Ahhh …

What’s your “ahhh” place? Images of beaches are what live in my heart. I grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan, learning to swim was a requirement to graduate from the high school. Childhood summers were picnics on the beach, but only after we finished our chores.

Michigan winters drove us to Sanibel Island, renown for its shells, existing to this day without stoplights or fast food joints. Beach combing produced caches of shells, which I carefully guard to this day.

But a walk on the beach has much more meaning for me. Whether Michigan or Florida, memories of my mother are always with me there. On beaches, I could always share my most inner thoughts with her. Long stretches of sand meant for spending long stretches of time, perfect for sorting out life’s trials.

She died younger than I am now. Yet here I am, walking the beach and considering next books, and next family trips. And always thankful.

Special places are, well … special. They don’t have to be far from your home as long as they’re close to your heart and make you think, “ahhh.” And they are as necessary to our existence as air and water. Never let them fade from your life.

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