Crystal Coast COVID-19 Update

The beach at the Point in Emerald Isle during happier times

This is definitely not the spring that we hoped for here on the Southern Outer Banks. Just after my birthday in early March the world seemed to enter a new more dangerous era. In spite of our location where the sand meets the sea, we are not immune. There have already been five cases identified in Carteret County, four of them from international travel.

By now we have usually kicked off the countdown to the beach season by having the Emerald Isle Saint Patrick’s Day Festival followed by the Swansboro Oyster Roast. Both events were cancelled this year to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). We can be thankful that our area leaders understood the gravity of the situation.

Our streets and stores have been steadily emptying out over the last week as people began to practice social distancing. People seem to be getting the message that staying home is the best thing that you can do.

Saturday, March 21, 2020, was the kind of day that makes you want to work in your yard with temperatures well into the seventies. We did that and enjoyed immensely. Our beds are now ready for beans and tomatoes which we will plant the first week of April. Even though we enjoyed our first salad from the garden on Sunday, colder air embraced our area and it almost seemed like mother nature had figured out that things were not right and changed the weather to match the mood of seriousness.

Sunday also brought the first time we attended church by using chromecast to stream a YouTube sermon to our den television. With public access parking to the beaches closed and all restaurants either doing takeout or closing down, life remains out of sync with the seasons as trees bloom and yards begin to green up.

Fortunately, our gardens are doing well. At least we will not lack for lettuce or other green stuff for the next six weeks. In spite of the gardens, life is just not the same. Certainly, this is the first time other than hurricane season that I am telling people to stay home and not come to visit our beautiful coast. While I miss the beach, I know that our absence from the sands will help this crisis end sooner rather than later. I continue to enjoy the memories of better times through photo albums like this one from a hike on the Point at Emerald Isle in May 2017. I will continue to post pictures to keep the memories of sand and surf fresh.

We should all remain hopeful that there will be a summer beach season, but a lot depends on how well we do at staying away from each other. The alternatives as this simulation show are not encouraging. It is imperative that we stay away from each other until this crisis slows.

My newsletter from Sunday, March 22, with some additional details is at this link.

On the Edge of the Continent

We are all in the same boat with COVID-19, but we can hope that living on the edge of the continent might buy us a little more time to learn from others’ mistakes.

Carteret County also has some unique characteristics which might help us a little. Some of those things are what attracted us to the area when we moved here fourteen years ago. Read more here.

Critical Thinking

Our society depends on the ability of its citizens to analyze information and to make informed decisions. We have so many citizens who have chosen to let others think for them that we are in danger of losing our group ability to know right from wrong.

In college we spent endless hours debating different sides. People actually changed their minds based on learning new facts. Today people actively avoid hearing facts that contradict their opinions. A good citizen should challenge their own opinions with opposing facts and opinions.

We only have to look as far as the US Senate to see the danger of people living in the world of groupthink. Republican Senators would rather dismiss the impeachment charges against the president than hear witnesses. What are they afraid of? Perhaps it is the truth.

For an earlier article on Critical Thinking, click this link.

Finding a home by the water

Bogue Sound not far from our Crystal Coast home

Our journey to a home by the water involved a lot of learning and more than a few surprises

Finding your spot on the water is not as simple as it might first appear but it is not really difficult. You just need to understand that are a lot of different kinds of water. Read more about where and how we found our piece of waterfront paradise.

Beach Season Is Far From Over

Hammocks Beach near Swansboro, North Carolina

Many people start to panic when they have yet to sneak away for a beach vacation as the end of July approaches. The truth is that you are better off if you missed that July baking in the sun. The best time to visit North Carolina’s Crystal Coast is later in the season. Read more here

The Real Spirit of July 4th

US flag flying
Our Crystal Coast Home, July 4, 2019


I posted this yesterday to my friends. The message resonated well with many people so it has now made it to my soapbox for all.

I love my country of birth, but having lived in two countries, I also feel great pride when I hear “Oh Canada.” Having visited many countries, I feel great respect for a number of them and understand that there are other paths to happiness besides just ours.

Today the Fourth of July, I salute the vision of our country’s founders and hope that we can live up to their thoughts and ideals which have helped us evolve to a better but far from perfect place. We will eventually emerge from this nightmare of children caged along our borders.

Any student of our battle for independence will attest to our founding fathers great fear of standing armies. Changing times have resulted in the need for a professional US military.  There is little doubt that we have the best armed forces in the world but why brag about it?

Our founding fathers would be appalled at a Four of July celebration of military power. There is a big difference between honoring those who have served in the defense of freedom and celebrating military power.

Celebrating military power is no more a part of the American tradition than separating children from their parents and holding them in intolerable conditions. We will overcome this at the ballot box.