It’s been almost four weeks since I moved to Florida and what an adventure it’s been! On day 11 Hurricane Ian hit and as I picked up my parents to evacuate to my brother’s house on the East Coast I couldn’t help but think: “Why am I here?”
I had just moved down here and very little was unpacked. I spent 3 nights at my brother’s house and worried every single moment I was there. Was the house I just moved into going to be in one piece? How long would the power be out? What would this beautiful town look like?
I picked up my parents on Tuesday and I can’t even begin to describe the conditions I drove through for five hours to get us all to safety. I’ve lived through many Jersey Shore storms but this one was different. The tornado warning alert was going off on my phone, walls of water came up over the car and I swear that at one point I felt as though the front of my car had lifted off the road. It was one of the scariest ordeals I had ever been through but happy to say, we got to the East Coast of Florida in one piece.
My brother and sister in law made us feel welcome and it was good to spend time with them. We constantly watched the news and social media for any updates on the area. It looked like complete devastation for many while others suffered minimal damage.
We packed my car on Friday and drove back to see what, if anything, was left of our homes. My parents house suffered only minimal damage and next it was time to drive to the house that I called home for just 11 days.
I pulled onto my street and saw my house: a broken screen, some cosmetic bricks fallen to the ground, and a missing gutter. That was it. I remember walking into the house and literally falling to my knees in gratitude coupled with tears of sheer joy. My house was fine and I knew at that moment that I would be too.
There are still moments I wonder why I’m here, but they are becoming far and few between. I know I’m here for a reason and with each day that passes, I find another reason why.
Tonight is my last night in Delaware and I’m filled with so many mixed emotions. We trekked up to Jersey yesterday to empty our storage unit and came back today to load it with the rest of my things. Tomorrow we leave for the West Coast of Florida. It’s a very bittersweet time for me. Life is about to change and it’s a big one! I’ve lived at the Jersey Shore my entire life and spent this past summer in Delaware. Tomorrow I leave both places behind to begin a new life, a new adventure, in Florida.
I’m exhausted and will certainly keep you posted on my next adventure but for tonight, I’m spending a quiet night silently saying good-bye to all that I’m leaving behind and saying a silent prayer of gratitude for the amazing life I’ve had for all these years at the Jersey Shore and in Delaware.
Tomorrow another chapter begins and tonight this chapter closes.
Here’s to change and all the wondrous things that life has to offer.
“Overwhelmed and bittersweet” are two words that have been in my vocabulary these last few weeks and there’s a good reason as to why.
My parents are moving out of our childhood home and I’ve been spending much of my weekends and days after work packing them up and selling their furniture. It’s bittersweet finding so many memories of my childhood and selling off furniture that we all spent time around as a family. The packing can be overwhelming and it’s bittersweet in knowing that this house was our connection to the Jersey Shore.
I will be leaving my job at the end of this month and have decided to spend a few months in Delaware to promote my new book and write the sequel. In addition to that I will continue working with the publisher on the final edits for my new novel, “The Mind of a Heart ” which should be ready for release in the next few weeks. I’m also working on creating a weekly podcast and motivational/inspirational virtual group.
I’m okay with all these changes but they do mean that I will be moving away from my beloved Jersey Shore in May. I’ve lived here all of my life and can’t imagine being so far away from the beach and the local towns that I love but it’s time for change. These changes are overwhelming at times and most definitely bittersweet.
I have to remind myself to enjoy what time I have left at the Jersey Shore and focus on the excitement of the next chapter in my life.
And I am very excited about where this next adventure will take me.
I’m saying goodbye to feeling overwhelmed and hello to feeling grateful for the “bittersweet” because that means that it all meant the world to me.
Danny Rongo, “That Oneness Guy” asked me to kick off the fifth season of his podcast and I was thrilled to do it! We had a great time doing this interview as we talked about my books, my breast cancer and how we both keep a positive outlook on life. If you’re looking for some encouragement, motivation and inspiration, take a listen.
Every so often Mother Nature smiles down on the Jersey Shore in the middle of winter and gifts us with a springlike day. The temperatures were well into the 60’s, baby blue skies and plenty of sunshine! And what do all us locals do when we wake up to such a day? We head to the boardwalk and walk the beach.
Yesterday we took off before noon and strolled down the boardwalk into one of my favorite towns, Asbury Park. We had lunch at the Seahorse, which is located in Convention Hall, complete with live music. We were surrounded by many vendors at the Valentine’s Market inside the Grand Arcade. It was the perfect day!
It seemed as though everyone was on the boardwalk, sitting on the beach, or strolling through the town. What a breath of fresh air in the middle of winter to be outside without a coat and hat, just a hoodie.
It was a wonderful surprise to have a day like that in the middle of winter but it was no surprise to wake up this morning to freezing temperatures, gray skies and light snow.
You never know when you’re going to step into your next adventure.
A small group of us went out to dinner on Saturday night in Asbury Park. The dinner was over the top delicious and the company was even better. I couldn’t have planned a more perfect evening.
After dinner we walked across the street to a very cool store called “The Severed Wing.” As I walked to the back of the shop there she was, a woman that I’ve seen on social media known as “the lady on the corner.”
And she is “the lady on the corner,” an interesting person who I was grateful to have met and happy that she snapped this picture of us. She has her own style of photography and she can be found on “the corner,” taking pictures and meeting people. I felt like I had just met a celebrity.
You never know where you’ll find your next adventure…
After a good night’s sleep I woke up this morning feeling like my old self!
Funny how those moods sneak up on us without warning, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned is not to get too upset with them or let them stress me out. They come for a reason and sometimes it’s best not to fight them, but to surrender to them until they’ve passed.
And that’s what I did yesterday.
I’m grateful for that day yesterday and as I always told my children: “It won’t be like this forever, just for today.”
And I was right.
Here’s to the down days, the up days, the good days and the bad. Here’s to every single day that we can experience life and all that comes with it. Here’s to being grateful for all of it.
As I stepped out of my back door to go to work I had to stop and take a deep breath! The smell of the salt air was so strong and smelled so wonderful that I took a drive down to the beach. The skies were stormy and the seas were rough but still an absolutely beautiful sight to see.
I’m grateful for feeling better this morning and I’m grateful for this magical place that brings me so much joy: the beach.
Thank you for all your support during my “down day.” I appreciate it and your comments helped me through.
The weather is a bit warmer here at the Jersey Shore today and the remnants of the blizzard we had are melting away. The fog was rolling in thick so I decided to sit out on my back step. All I could hear was the strong sounds of the ocean and of course you know that I just had to take a walk to the beach.
And I did.
The words are hard to find to describe the beauty of the ocean, the fog, the lights and the sound. I could smell the salt air from my house and it was even stronger as my feet hit the sands. What an incredible night to be able to see all that was in front of me.
And I am so grateful for that walk that took me to see a sight that most aren’t able to witness. It was both beautiful and eerie at the same time. I felt peaceful and at the same time felt restless. There’s something about an ocean that’s churning that brings so many different emotions, so many feelings, so many thoughts.
Tonight I was able to feel the wind, smell the seas, and taste the salt air.
My friend, Billy, sent me this picture yesterday and I had to laugh a bit because it’s just what I needed to hear! And he’s right, I always do figure it out…eventually.I can’t help but think that we all are trying to figure it out. The world that we thought would have calmed down by now is still somewhat chaotic. That virus seems to be everywhere, causing turmoil wherever it goes. Businesses can’t get help and customers have no patience for wait times. The shelves at the food store haven’t been restocked in weeks. Mask mandates are cropping up again all over. It’s no wonder that we’re feeling anxious or stressed. It’s no wonder that we’re trying to figure it out. And it’s no wonder that we’re trying to “figure out” what we’re actually trying to figure out.
All we can do is keep the faith, stay positive and be there for one another.
After all, as I’ve always said to my children, “It won’t be like this forever, just for today.”
At least I’d like to believe that.
Don’t worry, my loves, we’re in this together and eventually we will all “figure it out!”