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GASPARILLA MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 EDITOR’S LETTER Here we are in a brand-new year, blessed to live in a beautiful seaside community like Boca Grande. It's funny how all the little "controversies" that we immersed ourselves in throughout the year fade so quickly, while the good memories tend to linger in our minds. That's Nature’s way of keeping humans sane, I suppose, and I raise a glass to that survival instinct. When you live on the Gulf it's easy to judge a day by a sunrise or a sunset, by watching your dog have a good romp at the dog park, or by a particularly good glass of wine. For our residents who come from large cities to spend the cold months here in the balmy weather by the shore, it must be even more of a special treat. While the year-rounders walk around in scarves and jackets and huddle inside, the visitors don their shorts and sandals and walk the windy beach. It's been so long since I left "the rock," it's hard to imagine snow and ice. When the temperature dips below 60 degrees I step outside and savor the crisp air and try to remember the cold Illinois winters of my past. It was January 5, 1995 when I traded road salt for beach salt on my car windows. While I have adapted somewhat admirably, there's still a big part of me that misses snowy mornings and doing ice donuts in the grocery store parking lot, I won't lie. But this is where I have planted my roots - and my children's roots - and I certainly feel no worse for wear for it. A large part of my childhood was spent here, and I always longed to be part of it permanently. This year promises to be a very interesting one. We have a new community of homes being built at the south end of the island where the huge fuel tanks once stood. We have a new bridge. We will soon have a beautiful new preserve at the entrance to our island where an abandoned compound of buildings stood derelict for many years. For as many changes as we have seen, though, little old Boca Grande remains very much the same ... and we are thankful for that. As much as mankind blusters and bleats and tries to bend Nature to its will throughout the country, on Gasparilla Island we know who's in control. We watch as the sun rises on the harbor and sets on the Gulf. We watch the cold fronts roll in from the north, knowing in a few days there's a good chance the wind will blow balmy from the south again. We know when the sand disappears from the shore after a storm it will more than likely reappear again - slowly - when the Good Mother deems it time to come home. There's a lesson to be learned there ... I hope you all know what it is. I have learned it, as best a human can. Take care of yourselves and each other. Marcy Shortuse Editor-in-Chief 14 GASPARILLA ISLAND January/February 2017


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