First in Freedom
For the Love of a Small Community

My Happy Place


Everyone has a special place in her heart, a place associated with happiness where you can go in your mind when you need to calm yourself, relax, and destress.



This is mine.



Emerald Isle, North Carolina.  Which, by the way, was incorporated the same year I was born...a great year for cars, girls, and islands!



As soon as our car starts across that bridge, I can feel myself relaxing into beach mode.



And I can't wait for my first glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean once again, to smell the salt air and feel the sea breezes on my face.



Although it is absolutely beautiful and takes my breath away every year, it's not that it's the most gorgeous beach on earth. I've been to lots of beaches around the world and some are more photographically beautiful than this one. 



But none even come close to Emerald Isle in the "Happy Memories" category. I've been going to Emerald Isle since I was a little girl. I introduced Kim to this little piece of paradise on earth and we brought our own family here nearly every summer. Now my grown children are coming with their families, and we even had Emily and Zach's engagement happen on this very same beach several years ago. Over fifty years of sweet, sweet memories.....



I've taken many a morning walk (and formerly RUN) down these sandy stretches, marveling at God's creation and feeling pretty daggone small next to the mysterious, vast ocean.



So many, many beautiful memories are here. It's why we keep coming back....



My favorite restaurant in the whole world is on Emerald Isle.  (Who's the crazy reflection in the door?!)



All year long I look forward to this hushpuppies, the very best I've ever had. (And believe me, this girl has eaten more than her share of hushpuppies!)



Happy, happy, happy!




The grandkids refer to Sandhurst as Gramaw's Beach House.  Oh, how I wish it really were! But for one week out of the year, we can pretend....








When I need, as we all do at times, to close my eyes and take a deep breath and regroup, this is where I go in my mind.



Emerald Isle.

My happy place.




Donna Cronk

I can feel from your writing and your photos what you describe. Looks just wonderful. How wonderful that the whole family is on board for this annual adventure.

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