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The Survivor lives in our hearts

I have a wonderful, generous friend Pam who owns a vacation home on Jekyll Island, off the coast of Georgia. It's a beautiful vacation spot and Pam has invited me and others in our circle to her place for a little R&R. It is especially inviting during the long winter months, and I just returned from my second visit.

I am entranced by the beach that is only a few steps from her home. Beautiful sunrises, soothing ocean sounds and the mystery of high and low tides are something this small town girl from North Dakota finds fascinating. I texted my husband when I arrived, "I'm kind of in love with this place."

It just so happened that not long before my first visit, there had been a hurricane that significantly changed the look of the beach and the shoreline. Though it is still beautiful, one could see the destruction of foliage trying to come back and the natural landmarks that had been altered forever.

One landmark used by the residents of my friend's community was an old beach chair that marked the path from their homes to the beach. During the hurricane, the chair was swept away, taking away the familiar placeholder. However, lo and behold, a few weeks later, it reappeared! It seemed like a sign that everything would be all right. All would survive, no matter what Mother Nature dished out. The beach would recover and the beautiful spot would be there for posterity to enjoy.

I was intrigued by the story, so as a thank you gift for Pam's hospitality, I painted my rendition of that memorable spot, and named it "The Survivor."

It was fun to do and she now has the painting hanging in her beach home. Sad note though, another hurricane hit the area later that year, and The Survivor didn't survive this time. But the beach has made a wonderful comeback, and the memory of The Survivor lives forever in the painting and in our hearts, commemorating special times shared by good friends.

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