Tybee Island is one of those places where you can find something new each time you visit. I ‘ve made some fantastic discoveries each time I walk my dogs and I often go back to take closer looks when I’m out walking by myself.
The tree lined streets, different styles of architecture, the colors of the cottages, and the exotic vegetation all help me leave behind the fast pace of the city. I give myself the pleasure of actually seeing individual things that normally would be a blur on the best of days at home. I’ve even found my special favorites around the island where I let my imagination take off and soar free of worries, schedules, and deadlines. My ramblings always seem to become my own little Narnia, where I find a hidden passageway into another world.
Such is the case with this lush garden of Eden I found at Fish Camp Cottage. The cottage itself is so charming and inviting. The kind of place one looks at and fantasizes how happy and stress-free life could be if one only lived in a little haven such as this.
Can’t you just imagine how nothing stressful or bad could ever follow you through the gate into this place? Isn’t it evident that only good vibrations reside here? Even the trees, flowers, vines, and grass seem to know this is a truly magical place.
How many times had I walked down this street? Countless. How many times had I gazed in admiration at how perfect its setting? More than I can remember. I’d be embarrassed to admit how many times I imagined how wonderful it would be to live there.
Many times, I almost plopped down in the silky grass and just lay there until the sun had set and the stars had come out to greet me.
Okay…I said almost. There have been way too many times I worried someone might turn the flood lights on me and ask, “Boo Radley, is that you? You know it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird!”
I must have done something right somewhere along the way, for one fall evening I got an invitation to attend a party at this island paradise. What if someone recognized me as the loitering stalker who, time after time, walked past? Stopped, then paced back and forth, wistfully gazing from the street… Exactly what are the grounds for a restraining order? Forget about it! I was finally gonna get a closer look. I new it would be magical. I knew it would be even more beautiful up close. I was going to Fish Camp!
Don’t you just love it when something you’ve always wished for turns out to be even more fantastic than you imagined? I gave myself a good talking to and made myself promise to not be a total geek freak and drool over what I was about to see. I vowed that I would act as if I had some sense of decorum and at least a glancing familiarity with party manners. I would behave myself in front of the caretakers of my Narnia…surely they must be special people. Maybe they would recognize they had done a wonderful thing by letting me cross their threshold.
That night, I learned an awful lot about how someone makes a house a home. The hostesses were two of the most welcoming people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Of course, upon first introductions their names flew right past me, but they gave wonderful hugs and ushered me right in. With each passing moment my life long shyness gave way to the kind of comfort I always felt in my mother’s home. I watched as every guest was warmly invited in, given hugs, and even joined in on some of the laughter and smiles that everyone was enjoying. Finally, my hearing returned and I could hear, “Margo and Betsy!” and “Betsy and Margo this is so wonderful!” so there you have it. The magical caretakers of this my secret garden wonderland were Betsy and Margo. I was in a home. I was among wonderful people. I was part of something special. Good food, good drinks, good people.
I have no shame in telling you that over the next week I eagerly accepted two more invitations to visit with Margo and Betsy and Fish Camp. I met their husbands. This was real. These are truly special people that work hard, enjoy each other, and what they have… and they love to share with new friends. They even let me drop by with two other great friends I had just met (Camille and Deb, from Georgia Made, Georgia Grown) and they served up a breathtaking sunset complete with champagne toasts!
Now, I proudly walk by Fish Camp when I’m on Tybee. I hold my head high, stop and take my time, admiring the beauty of the cottage and the yard. I know the owners…I can do this. I’m not stalking or loitering or lurking in the shadows. I know that if they’re visiting Tybee, Margo and Betsy will call out and invite my in. Of course, we don’t have to tell them everything. We don’t have to tell them I walked by just last week to behold their Christmas decorations. My little island getaway was even more beautiful! Bathed in the soft glow of white Christmas lights. Giving this heavenly little home a halo it truly deserves.
We don’t have to tell them I sat down in the yard and gazed up at the stars that filled the night sky. We don’t have to tell them I felt right at home and at peace with the universe. They know they’ve created a home that welcomes all that admire it. We really don’t have to mention I lost track of time and sat there for a good long while…
Of course, I’ll be a little on edge until the statue of limitations has expired for a no trespassing restraining order. I’m not sayin’…I’m just sayin’…they read my blog!
‘Tis the season! It’s the holidays! It’s a champagne toast to friends, new and old! It’s a little slice of heaven! It’s Fish Camp! It’s Cottage Cheese!
Happy Holidays, Margo and Betsy and families!
See you soon, Fish Camp…Merry Christmas, ya’ll!