It’s mid-December here in North Carolina: 72 degrees and sunny – beautiful blue skies, and we just put up our Christmas tree.
Something’s slightly amiss, but we’re not complaining.
Today’s weather is one of those strange particulars of places like North Carolina – it can be freezing one day in the late fall or winter, and sunny and 70 degrees the next.
Some people call these times of unseasonably pleasant weather Indian Summer.
I’ve also heard them called St. Martin’s or St. Luke’s Summer, after two of the traditional Christian feast days of the fall. My favorite description of a warm sunny fall or winter day comes from a Cold War-era spy novel by the English writer John Le Carre, The Russia House.
His main character steps out onto a street in Moscow, Russia, and promptly christens the unusual, sunny, warm Slavic scene, “a day to forgive all sins.”
Days like today couldn’t be better for travel, and the coast of North Carolina calls out to us on these days to forgive all sins.
The combination inevitably makes for lasting memories.
One of our favorite fall travel memories comes from November 2012 in Beaufort, North Carolina.
We travelled down to Beaufort for a long weekend, and ended up taking a small ferry out to nearby Shackleford Banks – an uninhabited island, part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore, and a favorite beach spot for locals.
Catching a few fish on what seemed like a summer day, the kids found their very first whole sand dollars.
We spent tons of time simply soaking in the vitamin D, and being grateful for a day to forgive all sins.
Beaufort remains a magical place full of interesting folks, stories of pirates and colonists, fish tales and rum drinks.
For me and Jennifer,though, Beaufort is full of memories – memories of innocent children thrilled by the find of a sand dollar, the catch of a puffer fish, or the sight of the sun slipping below the horizon over Taylor’s Creek.
They’ll enjoy those things again, but we’re approaching the days when such simple pleasures will be overcome by the drama of high school, of first dates and final exams, of school plays and little league games, of life at the speed of sound.
Every once in a while, over the next 6 or 7 or 8 falls & winters, I am certain that days like today will come again. I hope to spend at least a few more of these days traveling along our coast or hopping between islands and sand bars doing that glorious penance that comes with such a day to forgive all sins.
Reach out if we can help you find those days, and in the meantime I will be reminding myself to: