Southern pace of life. Truly Julie in the historic town of Swansboro.I have many flaws, but one that concerns me the most is my inability to relax. People…I had shingles this year because I ran myself ragged. True story. Every trip I’ve ever taken has been jam packed with sightseeing, scuba diving, flea market shopping, etc. So, when I took a trip to remote Emerald Isle, a sliver of an island just south of the Outer Banks in North Carolina, I was worried. I didn’t know if I could adjust to the Southern pace…but thankfully, I was wrong. I reveled in the simple pleasures of life: friends, good food, plenty of sleep (a first in 8 years!), watching the pelicans fly, a cute little girl building a sandcastle around her grandma, sunsets without city noise…the list goes on. All of this was just two weeks ago, pre-Hurricane Irene. Like so many East Coast areas, Emerald Isle was hit hard. One glaring example of this was the collapse of the beloved Bogue Inlet Pier, which was built in 1957. Hard to believe, I was splashing around under the pier just two weeks ago…and now….well, it’s nearly gone.
I don’t know what this surfer was thinking facing Irene head-on like this, but I can say with relief that no one lost their life on the island. Despite the staggering damage, I know North Carolina will be just fine because of the amazing human spirit there. Our car broke down in a parking lot one night…and a perfect stranger ran around the near empty lot for half an hour locating jumper cables for us. It may be a slower rhythm of life…but when crisis hits, whether it be a dead car battery or an unforgiving hurricane, the collective effort of the South will amaze and warm the heart of any city girl:)