“The grateful heart sits at a continuous feast.”
― Proverbs 15 15
“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.” – Novelist Charles Dickens
What a beautiful summer this has turned out to be. No one knew for sure how it would unfold.
Some of our fellow islanders and merchants are still struggling with Sandy’s aftermath, and my heart goes out for them. Many come in to The Gables just to forget about it for a while.
But, for the most part, LBI has pulled itself back onto its feet, and more and more people are realizing it.
During late spring and early summer, many people were hesitant, reluctant to plan a vacation here. They weren’t sure if the beaches, stores and restaurants would be open.
Roads were nearly empty of traffic. Boards still covered many windows. Lots of businesses had not reopened.
After a lot of work and determination, more and more businesses opened, residents rebuilt, and word spread that all of the benefits our beach towns offer are available again: fine dining, lodging, theater, music and general shore fun.
Families began returning.
Beaches became full.
Prospective brides began scouting wedding venues.
As I sat on our front porch during last week’s Wedding Open House, soaking in the sea air, breeze and excitement of couples planning their nuptials, I was overcome with gratitude.
I realized that a week ago today – August 22nd – we reopened after being closed following an Easter Sunday fire that damaged our beautiful landmark and threatened our livelihood. We were grateful that no one was hurt.
At the reopening benefit for emergency responders, we expressed our gratitude for them and for everyone who showed their support during the trying post-fire period.
We also were hopeful for a thriving “shoulder season.”
Then came Sandy, on October 29, – exactly two months after we were finally able to welcome everyone back and share our restored gem for the first time since the fire.
Once again, we were grateful that there was no loss of life and that The Gables and many other island structures could be salvaged.
We were grateful again when we reopened in late winter.
We have been so thankful to see our friends gradually return, stopping in for meals or just to say hello. Many had become family and had their own obstacles to overcome. Seeing them enjoy themselves brings us joy.
As we look forward to Chowder Fest and embrace early fall and all the beauty it brings us, I will frequently remind myself of one of the most important things in life: gratitude