Staying Too Long



The party's over.

The flock of 20 or so hummingbirds that stopped by our yard to rest and refuel for several weeks has moved on.


Just part of the crowd that visited 
our feeders from first light to dusk

Three or four—probably our original group—stayed put. I wonder if they’re mentally preparing for the trip south.

Hummingbirds often hog the feeders.

I’ve heard that a few hummers stick around all year. 

Could it be the ready food supply? 

Is that good? 

I don’t know.

But I worry.

The birds had a rough time last winter.

They say we're probably in for another harsh winter. I've tried admonishing my feathered friends not to hang around too long. 

But so far, they haven't listened.


Their lingering reminds me of some of the people we’ve encountered on our travels. 

There was the scruffy young man on the New York sidewalk playing his guitar beside a sign asking for $$ to get home. 

So many people--one can get lost in a crowd in NYC.



Not much ambiance, but 
the seafood and burgers 
are good and reasonably priced!



I like the guy in need of dental work who waits tables at TC's, a Navarre burger joint. 
I bet he was a looker when he first arrived in Paradise. He seems smart, and I can't help wondering what he'd be doing if he'd gone home with his crew.
We're almost there!





Each time, we pass a certain corner in Pensacola, I remember the emaciated woman with the skinny dog. 




Looking for her next fix?

But the one who haunts me most is the bedraggled young woman pushing her belongings in a grocery cart on the sidewalk in Vancouver. I bet she was living in a dorm or sorority house six months before instead on of the street. 

Sidetracked by booze and easy dope? 


Vancouver British Columbia is a beautiful city.

I shudder to think where that girl might be now. I hope she phoned home. 

That's what I wanted to say to each of them.

Call your mother for bus fare home. 

She's worried. And waiting by the phone.

Destin, Florida 1973
loved visiting all those places, and I can see the lure to stay. I wasn't ready to come home the first time I went to Destin. 

But I’m glad I did.

The beach is so nice, sometimes
you just have to dance for joy!












I still love the Gulf Coast's sugar sand. Even now, I'm tempted linger at Navarre Beach. If we didn’t have a houseful of cats and children and grandchildren nearby, I'd be happy to live there part of the year. 

We go often enough that we've met several transplants. Some came to the area with the military, others for a job or on vacation. Eventually, they found ways to stay or come back and settle down. 

But they're different from the stragglers and panhandlers. They didn’t just hang around, hoping to extend the party. 

They had a plan. 

Steve, an artist and partner in
Saltwater Cottage, was
a man with a plan.
No one can party through life without suffering the consequences. 

There are always consequences.

I don’t mean to judge. Some of those folks are trapped in cruel addictions. Or they may not have anyone back home to send them a bus ticket.

I wish all those people knew the One who's waiting to come to their rescue.


Maybe I should mention Him the next time I encounter a lonely soul who missed the last bus home.

What about you?

Do you know someone who needs a gentle nudge homeward? 





Let's tell them about His amazing grace.


Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have
I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
Acts 3:6 

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