The Beach, from an Inlander’s Perspective

Ever since my very first beach trip at age 5, until my most-recent one at age, well just use your imagination, I have been in love with the sand, the surf, the creatures and shells, and the life.  The latter, most of all I do believe, is my favorite part.  The life of those who live near the ocean seems mystical, fun, and carefree.  Perhaps I am wrong.  I mean, I’m sure they have their own heartbreak, troubles, and worries. They just don’t seem to take things as seriously as others. I was away from the beach from that first trip at age 5 until I was once again delighted to be on the beach again at age 30-something, mainly because my ex-husband didn’t like the ocean (sand fleas were apparently a HUGE issue, for whatever reason).  Perhaps it was because my second trip to the beach was to South Beach, Miami, and I was fascinated with the absolutely carefree lifestyle, or perhaps it was the sunrise, the waves crashing on the sand, and the way the sand felt between my toes.  Whatever it was, I was instantly hooked.  I’ve been to over 50 beaches since then, and that was about 10 years ago.  I’m not a morning person, but the morning after we arrived in Miami for the work meeting trip, I got up before 5am just so that I could see the sunrise.  I knew I would never, ever want to go a year without seeing the beach again.

We have traveled a great deal, my husband and I, since that time.  We’ve been to about 20 different states and 11 countries since then.  It’s been a heck of a ride, and we’re already planning our next adventure.  I don’t think we’re too old for a backpack across Europe trip, even.  It’s not out of the question totally.  But, of all the things I’d like to accomplish, I would love to live near the ocean.  So, I’ve developed a plan to do just that.  Tell me what you think.

We live in Arkansas.  It’s a landlocked state.  We are about 7 hours from the ocean, in a couple of different directions.  Our ocean-front property hopes are thwarted by Texas and Louisiana.  So, I say let’s just go ahead and cut out Louisiana and a part of Texas and let them float off into the Gulf of Mexico.  They can be used as some island retreat for those who want to visit.  I mean, Texas threatens to secede from the US every year or so anyway, so let’s just go ahead and give them their freedom.  “Texas:  It’s like a whole nother country.” (Their English, not mine.)  In reality, most folks in Arkansas and probably Oklahoma and other neighboring states actually think, “Texas:  We wish it was a whole nother country.”  So, let’s just go ahead and make the swap.  As for Louisiana, it’s all swampy anyway.  It’s already 90% Gulf water, so it won’t really be missed that much either, plus it still has that whole Napoleonic Code for laws thing going on anyway, which is completely strange.  It would probably be better being its own country, too.

Just think what this map would look like if Louisiana and Texas were cut off. Image

source: US Dept of Transportation

Tons of beachfront property in Arkansas and Oklahoma even!  Mississippi’s coastline would increase dramatically.  And, the cruise line industry would be so excited that the Mississippi River really connected to the Gulf instead of having to traverse that 8-hour river pathway going out of New Orleans.  Finally, there would be a whole new set of islands for Caribbean travelers to explore!  (I suggest also renaming them:  Louisiana becomes Noruba and Texas becomes Galvania.)

I think it’s a lovely plan, and it will also help me forgive my ancestors for ever stopping here, as opposed to them continuing on to California or somewhere where it’s not 350 degrees with 300% humidity in June.  At least we’d get the ocean breezes if we were oceanfront!

I think I’ll start a petition tomorrow. 

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