By Clif Knight
Several years ago, a first cousin of Geanell – John Griffin of Decatur – began sharing his Gulf Shores beach house as a vacation destination for seven first cousins, their spouses and close friends.
I had the good fortune of enjoying being in their company for another cousins’ vacation this past week.
We all were thrilled to watch the crashing rolls of ocean waves and the beautiful sunsets at day’s end.
We also fed the flocks of gulls with leftover bread from our breakfasts and were amazed while watching a man and his dog playing volleyball on the white sand beach. We had ringside seats on the front porch of Griffin’s beach house.
Concern about the coronavirus prevented some members of the group from eating at local restaurants, while others threw caution to the wind and dined out at popular restaurants specializing in seafood and beef steak menus. No social precautions against the virus were being observed.
Families pitched in with their own favorite entrees, sides and snacks to feed the group at other times.
We were surprised and inconvenienced to learn most fast-food restaurants on Interstate 65 and the Gulf Coast Parkway were only partially open to customers because of the virus and employee shortages.
Geanell and I stopped at a fast-food outlet and went through a drive-through to buy sandwiches but were denied entrance to use the restrooms. We later learned the same policy was in effect at other fast-food outlets.
Prevailing prices for gasoline and ground beef on the coast were slightly higher than what they are in Hartselle. Regular gasoline was selling for $3.10 per gallon, while ground beef was priced at $6 per pound.
We were welcomed home by a significant plunge in temperatures, seeing readings in the mid-50s after saying goodbye to the mid-80s. Another sign of cool days ahead was a hanging empty sugar water container in our back yard. An obvious loss is the two hummingbirds that were feeding from it when we left home.