On numerous occasions, I believe I’ve expressed to you how lucky I consider myself to live in such a fine place as Marco Island and amongst so many wonderful people. I don’t think we can express those sentiments enough these days with all the negativity which surrounds us due to this being an election year.
This last Sunday evening as we sat on the lanai and ate dinner, we had one of the most magnificent sunsets that I’ve seen in a while. The sky was aglow with a wonderful blaze of orange and reds which would blend together in breathtaking beauty. It made me once again think about how lucky we were. The sky that evening was if someone had painted a canvas for us to enjoy at the end of the weekend.
I was also pleased earlier in the day by the pictures of Air Force 1 as she did her fly-by of the Daytona International Speedway, prior to the President’s short visit to that iconic track and those 100,000 fans of the most iconic race in NASCAR.
I had the privilege once of standing near what I consider to be the symbol of our nation a few years ago and will always remember that day. Air Force 1 is a wonderful personification of the strength and beauty of our nation and its people and should give all Americans great pride when they have an opportunity to view it, whether in person or across media outlets.
Of course, the weather this last weekend couldn’t have been more perfect for those participating in the many wonderful outlets we enjoy and have fun. Whether you relished the beauty of the beach, played tennis, golfed, gardened, boated or just appreciated a great book on your lanai I am very happy for you.
The Marco Men’s Club took the opportunity to have its members and their Sweethearts enjoy a wonderful evening of great food, wine and dancing at the ever-pleasing Island Country Club for their annual Sweethearts Ball.
Sunday would find me strolling through the grounds of Veterans Community Park and viewing the many entrants of the long successful Kiwanis Car Show. The event continues to grow year after year and provides car aficionados, their family, friends and folks like me an opportunity to delight in their love of the automobile. Of course, I’d be lying to you if I told you I didn’t enjoy a delicious hamburger from the grill while there to help the folks at the Our Daily Food Pantry raise a little cash to support their wonderful efforts.
No, you don’t have to go very far to enjoy yourself on this little island of ours. There are so many wonderful events and opportunities to be entertained by. A short ride over to Goodland on any weekend can find wonderful music, drink and food abound. Goodland is the embodiment of the Bohemian lifestyle that folks seek out in Key West but doesn’t take five and a half hours to get to.
Whether it’s the iconic Stan’s or at the historic waterfront restaurant and bar now renamed as Paradis Found just around the corner, you can find a wonderful retreat from reality and the pressures of the day while even having your picture taken with a very cute mermaid.
It’s no wonder so many of us that have discovered Marco Island have chosen to put down our roots here. So many that have come for a visit have chosen to stay rather than return to the colder regions up north or to take on a new set of challenges here for the future.
We’ve all read the stories of those that have chosen to throw off the yolk of jobs that prevented them from enjoying life. One person I met in Key West a few years ago was a very successful attorney in New York City. On a visit, years prior to his moving to KW, he fell in love with a little restaurant in the vicinity of the Schooner Warf Bar and Grill. He then closed up shop in New York, followed his dreams, and couldn’t be happier today.
I tell you that story because it reflects similar stories regarding many folks here on the island that chose to make similar changes in their lives after taking the time to evaluate their situations and what they wanted their lives to be in the future.
A good friend of mine once said, “Life is not a dress rehearsal, it’s a live performance.” Since then, I’ve seen that same phrase in a number of places, but it continues to ring truer every time I hear it repeated.
When I invested in a small condominium down here almost 34 years ago in 1986, I never thought I’d live here on a fulltime basis, but four years later, I moved from my home in New Hampshire. Although many of my friends told me I’d be back, I proved them wrong. Not because I wouldn’t miss those relationships, but because there were so many more to be had here in my new home.
Marco Island has the unique ability to allow people to heal as well as helping our residents to grow. Yes, so of that can be found in the wonderful healing powers of the sand, waters and gentle breezes. It also has the ability to allow individuals to grow oneself in so many ways—personally and professionally.
I guess Christopher Columbus was right when he said, “You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Our futures are in our own hands and it’s up to us to choose the course we plot for ourselves.