• Karen Heckman Stork

The Good, The Bad and the Okay

Quote of the Day: Forget about likes and dislikes. Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness. George Bernard Shaw

In just two months in Wilmington, I’ve learned they are many things I like about my new location, and a few that I dislike. Some of my “likes” are:

Beaches, beaches, beaches —I’ve discovered some wonderful walking beaches with flat sand near the sea and parking nearby. And I now have an app on my phone which tells me how many steps I’ve taken. My goal each day is 7,000 (about 3-1/2 miles). However, I’m usually lucky to reach 5,500 steps.

Ferry rides to Southport — I’ve never driven my car on a ferry before, and it’s a great 25-minute peaceful ride across the Cape Fear River to a wonderful touristy seaport, for only $5 per car. I take all my visitors there; great lunch spot at Provision Co.

Quirky beachy gift shops — like Somethin’ Beachy and Sun Junky where I can buy inexpensive “tchotchkes” for my home and gifts for my visitors.

Ice cream — Hershey’s Ice Cream is available at Mel’s Ice Cream Shoppe which my granddaughter tells me is her favorite and one of the best. I take all my visitors there for sample the treat.

The weather (good and bad) — lots of sunshine, but with it (because of the beach) comes high humidity which has totally changed my coiffeur — I now have wavy and curly hair that I haven’t quite gotten used to yet. However, I’m hoping the extra moisture will slow down my aging process!

Some of my “dislikes” or not-my-favorites include:

HORRIBLE traffic — especially on major roads and especially during tourist season. However, I must say that it is easy and convenient to make U-turns with special turning-around spots on major roads (probably because of the summer tourist influx). And the speed limits are much higher than I’m used to, especially on two-lane country-like roads where it’s 45 mph. Believe me it seems like everyone uses the “speed limits” as a suggestion only.

Despite Wilmington being smaller then my previous home town (Lincoln, NE), it is VERY spread out in all directions, and therefore takes at least “20-30 minutes to get anywhere in town” (as the locals say).

There are no Runza’s or Valentino’s in the south and I miss these Nebraska staples.

About the weather — I love rain, but here so far there have been no thunderstorms with lightning. I miss this Midwestern phenomenon; however, I have been able to actually walk around in the rain and splash in puddles which makes me feel like a kid again. I am definitely not looking forward to hurricane season. It seems like most hurricanes don’t come ashore full-force this far north. However, my son-in-law has told me that if warnings are given, I am to drive to their home about three hours inland from here, and if I don’t, he will come and get me!

So as in any location, there are both good and not-so-good things. I love my new environment near the ocean with walks on the beach available whenever, and I will get used to or disregard my not-so-favorite aspects because, after all, I can walk on the beach whenever I want and be near my daughter. I am where I belong.

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