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Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

A Pathway to the Past



I could never stay long enough on the shore; the tang of the untainted, fresh, and free salt air was like a cool, quieting thought. ~ Helen Keller

Summer is over for another year. The picnic cooler, the thermos mugs which hold our coffee, our beach sandals, and the beach chairs have all been packed away for another year. It is sad knowing that it will be a whole year before we can once again return to the peace and quiet of the seashore.




So what is my fascination with the beach, you may wonder? Well, there are a few reasons. 

The beach offers a peaceful interlude away from the comforts of home; a time to get out and breathe in the fresh air laden with the scents of nature. ~ Sandi W

When I was a girl, my father used to take us camping with friends every summer to Stanhope Beach which is on the north shore. Those were such fun times! My brother and I would run freely through the woods to the canteen and buy lick-a-maids for a penny, not minding a bit that our fingers and mouths were stained from those sweet and sour treats. There was always an adventure or two to be found every day in those woods. 


Oftentimes we would walk down from our camp site to the beach where Daddy would 'bury us in the sand.' 


A day at Stanhope beach with our family where the grandchildren got 'buried in the sand' by their uncle. 

Sometimes Daddy would help us build sand castles. 


One of the castles being built during a sand sculpturing contest this past summer at Brackley beach.


At night, we would all sit around the camp fire singing along with the accordion that our family friend would bring along while we roasted marshmallows and hot dogs on sticks.

A few short years later, I met my true love who also had a love for the beach. He had grown up there so it was only natural that we would want to spend time there together.


Taken on our first date.

You see, here on our little Island, we are surrounded by water and the seashore is a place that continually beckons to our hearts. It is a place where we feel closest to our Creator.  Standing on the shore looking out over the water, one feels like they are standing on the edge of the universe. We are always in awe of His creation. 



Brackley

The Beach .... the only place where salt lowers your blood pressure. ~ unknown 


For us, the beach is a special place where our troubles seem to vanish on each lace-edged wave which laps upon the shore. It is here we seek tranquility. 

One doesn't have to go far to find a beach because it wraps itself snugly around our little Island gifting us with multitudes of places to go and relax. One particular area of the north shore alone boasts several beaches in a row; Brackley, Covehead, Stanhope, Dalvay, and Tracadie with several smaller spots in between each one. 

Dalvay

Now let's go back a few decades....
Also nestled on the north shore of PEI is a small community which was my hubby's stomping grounds. You know all about those little communities where everyone knew everyone else and the hub of the community was the little country store which stood across the road from my hubby's homestead.



Running along side of my hubby's home was and still is a road called Watts Road. Watts was the name of the land which was owned by Hubby's Dad and his relatives. This road ran from the main road in the community all the way down to the beach. Here and there along the Road were cottages tucked in among the trees. At the end of the road is a small clearing for parking your car and that led to a path which led to the sand dunes and the water beyond. 



So, let's take a walk down that road and discover the hidden treasure at the end of it. The first half of this road is paved and the other half is clay.

First we park the car in the little clearing in the woods and then follow the pathway. 



The pathway leads to a boardwalk.






Behind those sand dunes lies the Gulf of St Lawrence which hooks into the Atlantic Ocean. 






If one could see far enough, you would catch a glimpse of Newfoundland.



As far as the eye can see there is sand and sea and sky. 

Smell the sea, and feel the sky, 
Let your soul and spirit fly. ~ Van Morrison 

Now picture, if you will, two young people very much in love, lured by the sound of the waves and the peace and quiet that can be found in their special place. How they relished the feel of the warm sand between their toes and the sun on their faces. Being together on the beach was total bliss!

When Hubby and I were going together, the sand dunes were much higher and there were areas that were hidden from view to those walking along the pathway and the shore. We discovered a secret place which we had all to ourselves.


It was our own little hidden world which had been scooped out by nature among the sand dunes. We would spread a blanket and unpack the chocolate milk and butter tarts and watch the seagulls soar overhead. We loved to watch the big fluffy clouds drift by and pointed out animals and castles we saw forming shapes in those great billows of white.


Once in a while we would venture down there at sun set and watch the clouds until they looked like cotton candy. We would build a small fire and when the sky looked like black velvet, we would watch the old stars peeping out above us. It was there in our secret place that we giggled and talked for hours about our hopes and dreams and what our life together would be like. Ah, young love!

The years seem to have sprouted wings and flown by.... Three wonderful children and five precious grandchildren later, the landscape has changed considerably, just like our lives. 

Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone. ~ Anonymous

Over the years, a boardwalk has taken the place of the pathway and it snakes through the grass linking the little parking lot in the woods to the sand dunes. Our secret place hidden among the sand dunes has disappeared into the landscape and is no more.



It is rather sad. Although the old waves still lap upon the shore and the sand still stretches as far as the eye can see, our secret place has disappeared, just like our youth. 



Once your feet have touched the warm sun drenched sand of the seashore you will never be the same. ~ Patsy Gant


Tracadie / Watts Beach

But we have all those beautiful memories together! We carry them safely tucked within our hearts to be pulled out from time to time and savoured. Those are the times we remember those two young people so full of life with all their hopes and dreams ahead of them. 

Today, when we visit the north shore, we can still hear the laughter of that young couple off in the distance. And it is as though they had never left. 

Sharing this with -
Share Your Cup Thursday
Home Sweet Home

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

19 comments :

  1. My goodness, what can I say after reading this post? That you touched my heart deeply in ways I can't even express! You reached way back into my childhood, and shared from your heart about the beaches of PEI, of which I know only too well, and miss with great longing. While I never had the chance to meet my true love in PEI, my heart is still nestled there among the waving sand grass and dunes, the silky sand, and noisy waves, with the magnificent horizon stretched before me. I have watched the clouds from those beaches, and played the game of matching clouds to an animal... how fun it was! What a beautiful thing that you and your true love were able to grow up on the beach, fall in love on the beach, raise your family near the beach, and still be living near the beach! You are blessed! :) Thank you dear Sandi for sharing these beautiful pictures for me. I can almost taste the salt air and hear the sea gulls now! Your blog is a little piece of heaven for me to visit! Much love across the miles :)

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  2. Sandi, I adore this romantic love story! The pictures of you two are darling. Some of the same reasons that you love and feel a connection with the beach rings true to me and the mountains. Having grown up here in UT with no beach, but glorious mountains I have a deep love for them! As a girl our family often pulled our trailer up there and stayed during the summer. Also, for my 16th birthday my family let me and my girlfriends spend the night in our trailer all by ourselves. Certainly wouldn't dare do that now days. Thanks for sharing this sweet story with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  3. As a beach lover, I loved reading about your love of the ocean and your sweet love story.

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  4. Oh, Sandi, thank you so much for such a sweet post!

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  5. Oh Sandi! this post is beautiful! I love your pictures and your story! A true love story. Blessings to you this day, Lynn

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  6. Aww Sandi, I loved that beautiful love story and could just picture you and your sweetheart sharing hopes and dreams in your secret spot. Even though your spot has disappeared, thankfully you have your sweet memories and each other.
    You live in such a beautiful area, and I enjoyed visiting it along with you.

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  7. Sandi, your words brought tears to my eyes as I read about your youthful days with your sweet beau walking the sandy path to the dunes and beach and enjoying the beauty there. What a spot! It's strange how time changes the landscape and erases those memorable spots. We can go back and try to find them but they are forever changed. Thank you for sharing your heart today and the beautiful beaches of PEI. Blessings. Pam

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  8. Sandi that was so beautifully written. I followed that young couple all the way down that road and through the woods and the path that led to the beach. Thank you for sharing such precious memories with us.

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  9. Hi Sandi! What a lovely post and thank you for sharing your sweet memories of the beach. Time does change the way a beach looks, doesn't it? What a precious picture of you and your hubby on your first date! :) Thank you for popping in to see me and know you'll be able to visit your beach next year.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  10. Oh, I enjoyed your post about the seaside. Love the water, the air, and the sand, not to mention the grassy dunes and winding pathways to 'who knows where'.

    Wishing you a beautiful weekend...
    Brenda

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  11. I loved reading this post Sandi...and the throwback picture of you and your 'hubby' is neat. What wonderful memories you have. What stands out is the love between you and your husband....it's the real thing!!! One day...PEI. Hugs and wishes for a beautiful Sunday.

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  12. Ahh, the carefree life when we were younger - good memories to hold and I enjoyed your story Sandi, Where my hubby and I grew up has now become a huge city whereas we were considered country back when and we did know everyone. All the farms are gone and really pretty much everything else we held dear.
    Happy Sunday.

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  13. Sandi, I really enjoyed this post, reminds me when I was a little girl packing up my summer things and going away on vacation with my family, thanks for the memories....

    Smiles~
    Mari

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  14. Hi Sandi. I reread your post and I'm teary eyed again. Just so sweet. Thanks for popping in to see me and hope you've had a great weekend.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  15. What a touching post.. You could have been writing my story. I grew up on a barrier island and although my 1st husband has passed our courtship was very similar to yours.
    It is a truth you have to be part of to understand. Angels to you.

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  16. Oh Sandi,
    This is so moving. What a beautiful place to live and your memories are lovely. I also love the beach! Thank you for sharing such gorgeous pics and an amazing love story! Karen

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  17. Oh Sandi,
    This is so moving. What a beautiful place to live and your memories are lovely. I also love the beach! Thank you for sharing such gorgeous pics and an amazing love story! Karen

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  18. Sandi, that is a beautiful story of you and your husband! I love the picture of the two of you so young! The beach is a magical place that is for sure. Thanks for sharing this at Home Sweet Home!
    Sherry

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  19. Although those familiar paths have been replaced by a boardwalk and your secret place in the dunes has become one with the land, you will never forget how to reach that beautiful, special spot on the beach, for it will always be accessible in your sweet memories, where it is still pretty and pleasant and peaceful and real.

    You are blessed to have had such a loving relationship, the true joy of children and grandchildren and your wonderful life on the water, all a blessing from God.

    Thanks for sharing, Sandi; I really enjoyed your words and pictures today.

    Happy Wednesday, my friend.

    Poppy

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I am delighted to have you visit me and I read every comment. Please forgive me for not being able to visit you all as there are so many of you lovely bloggy friends now. I will visit as much as possible. I wish you a day filled with JOY! ~ Sandi

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