We always meet great people (and dogs) in Seaside. The topography and layout of Seaside orients you toward community. There are exceptions, but most residents and visitors are ready to go beyond “hello” for a chat. Everyone seems to have a story about how they came to Seaside. There’s a sense of mutual belonging and camaraderie, an unspoken assumption that “you get what’s special about this place too…”
I also love the mix of generations – many young families like ours, alongside older folks who take great pleasure in watching little ones enjoy Seaside.
A few people I remember:
–a lady with a dog named Gracie who shared a slimy tennis ball with Wade
–a couple from Memphis we saw daily at the beach, excited to see Wade as they expect their first grandchild, Georgia, in December
–a woman in her 70s who had been saving for a house in Seaside for decades and finally saw her vision fulfilled 2 years ago
–Bridgette, a 6 year old girl who asked to join us in building (futilely) a wall on the sandbar
–a 10 month old girl, Ina, who briefly held hands with Wade and how she snuggled a pink blanket just as Wade held tight to his
–a group of house-sharing retires trying to lure a frightened kitten from a tree
–a 30-something groundskeeper who found life after the military in Seaside
–a couple visiting from the Indy area who happen to live about 10 minutes from us and wanted to share first beach stories and favorite nearby restaurants
–a woman and her partner who sent me a picture of Wade as they were intriguing by his fascination with hugging the wooden Seaside mermaids
The beauty of Seaside is partly found in the lessons it teaches. There is simplicity in being neighborly, in saving space during your day for unexpected conversations and connections. And there is a great simplicity in proximity – letting your friends be the ones next door. (I will write more on this soon.)
For now we continue to save space, to ask a follow-up question, to be interested. …and to increasingly let this lesson bear fruit at home.