Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Almost Too Much In Every Way

We went to the Sebastian Inlet today which is directly across from the Sebastian River. I took that picture from one of the fishing piers. Can you see the Roseland water tower? I remember when they cut the ribbon across the bridge in 1965. I was a child, of course, and it was a sorrowful day in my own life but a joyous one for the people here. 

Almost everything around here is sort of like that. There are memories on every block between this house and Vero Beach. I swear. How could I have so many memories when I only lived here for maybe five years? 
I guess they were formative years. 

The water at the inlet was gorgeous today. Almost Caribbean-like when the sun was shining. 

The piers that line the inlet on both sides are always filled with people fishing and it's like an international gathering place. I heard at least three different languages as we walked the length of the one on the north side. 

Here is the phrase I repeat most when I am here: "I remember." 
I remember before there was a bridge at the inlet. I remember when they built a bridge and it was almost done and a hurricane came and swept it all away. I remember the hurricane. I remember when they rebuilt the bridge and opened it up. I remember when there were no piers, just horrible slippery, jagged rocks with barnacles on them that people walked out on to fish, setting their tackle boxes in the cracks between the rocks. I remember when these fish houses were open. I remember when there were no houses here. I remember these cottages. I remember when Aunt Flonnie would stop the school bus right here and open the doors and take a deep breath and say, "I love the smell of the crab house!" I remember when someone was murdered at the fruit stand. I remember there used to be a rocket that lit up at a garage right next to the Tastee Freez. I remember the chocolate dip-top cones we got at the Tastee Freez. I remember Granddaddy getting shrimp to use for bait when he'd take us fishing on his dock. He bought it from Johnny Mays. I remember playing marbles on this road, drawing our circle in the dirt. I remember kids with teeth that were black from decay, skinny as sticks. I remember my mother teaching me the cha-cha-cha in our living room. I remember my brother accidentally breaking her new lamp and her fury. I remember getting cactus-stuck over and over again. I remember falling off my bike over and over again. I remember checking out books at the community center until I read all of them that I was allowed to read. I remember the little boy getting run over by a delivery truck in the back of my school, his head under the tire of it. I remember the wooden bridge over the Indian River on the way to the beach, the tha-thunk, tha-thunk, tha-thunk of it. 
I remember. 
It seems like I remember everything. I could go on for pages, all day. And every memory seems to come with a hundred different parts, each one integral to the story, the whole, the cloth of it. 
Sometimes when I am here I feel like my soul might just fly out of my body in order to become part of those memories, leaving this old body behind, done, used up by it all. 

And although so many of the memories are painful, they are mine, they are clear, they are sharp, they make me realize what a strong child I was and how much nurturing I got from the river, the trees, the ocean. 
And a few incredibly precious people. 
How all of that saved me over and over again. 

My husband is a saint to let me go on about all of this. 
It can't be easy. Sometimes I cry for no real reason that he can see. Or even that I could say. I am just too filled and it has to spill over. 
Sometimes I have to be quiet to settle myself. 

At the inlet, there is a state park and a small museum of the history of the local fishing industry. I know. Sounds so boring. Not to me. I grew up surrounded by those fishermen and their families. I remember. 

Here's a picture of a woodstork, wading in a puddle in a parking lot with some other bird. 

I do not remember woodstorks yet here they are. 

And here is the Atlantic Ocean.

We were going to go swimming but those clouds let loose of their rain and we did not. 

Still, it was beautiful. 

I've signed us up for a "river cruise" tomorrow that'll come down the Sebastian River. I've done this twice already on previous trips. I can't wait to do it again. Will we see the giant alligator we saw before? My dream house? (Oh surely.) Tarzan? A dinosaur? Manatee? Dolphins? 
Whatever we see, I will surely be glad. 

Love...Ms. Moon



  1. Thank you for sharing your memories ... both good and bad/sad ... with us! At least you can remember so much ... what if you could not!

  2. What a writer you are, Mary. Such powerful prose, like a river running over me as I read. I understand more and more why you needed to get here right now.

  3. you wrote so beautifully what I *wanted* to express, Boud. Took the words right out of my mouth.
    Susan M

  4. It has an undeniable beauty, our crazy state. Lovely post Mary.

  5. A most important trip! The writing of "I Remember" is like I grew up right beside you, so vivid, I can feel a skinned knee. Astonishing trip, Mary! I guess that is why it fell into place so well. Your angels be watching...

  6. Such a lovely sunset. And the wonderful dock of many tongues.

  7. Your descriptions are awe-inspiring! I remember sights and smells from my childhood in the Midwest (cow manure, corn fields as far as the eye can see, and my Nanny dipping snuff when she thought nobody was watching). I, too, feel that pull. But honestly, the last several years on the Gulf Coast of Florida has made me yearn for the water, the waves, and the sea air just as I did the corn fields whenever I’m away.

  8. Beautiful photos and memories.

  9. I love the way this place lives so deeply in your heart and reawakens so many precise memories from long ago! This seems a lot like the Florida I know -- the water, the tropical skies, the waterbirds. (Storks are simultaneously ugly and beautiful!)

  10. How strongly you feel that place - as though it isn't really a place at all but a part of you. And the last photo of the sunset - sublime!

  11. I love hearing all of these memories from you.

  12. I'm having a shitload of anxiety right now. And I thought oh I'll go read Ms Moon. And yes it helped a little bit. I loved all of those I remembers you shared.

  13. Like Jill, reading your wonderful writing is always soothing to me. I'm glad you're revisiting a piece of your heart.

  14. Roseland, Treasure Shores beach...the best of Florida. I have visited a few times and just loved it.

  15. I think it's ok to do a lot of "I remember"ing. You shouldn't live in the past of course, but it's nice to wander back down memory lane. My kids love the silly stories from way back when - which is one of the reasons I started my blog. And just think, when you are no longer around to paint your memories, your grandchildren and THEIR children will always have Mer right here on your blog! How lovely!

  16. Such vivid memories. We are made of our memories.


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