Winter has arrived on the Crystal Coast. It is not like winter in most places. While I have had some frost on the windshield of my pickup truck. The frost has yet to get my tomato plants which are growing about ten feet from the truck. Our centipede yards have turned reddish brown, and Christmas decorations are starting to show up. Crab Pot Christmas trees are not very hard to find. A drive down the local highways in the evening will highlight some decorated trees on docks and boats. The first thing you see when you go into our real estate office is box for Toys for Tots. Everyone's schedule is beginning to fill up with all the holiday parties. Instead of more traffic, we have less traffic as many of our visitors have gone home for the holidays.The fall fishing season has slowed due to storms, winds, and lots of rain. The days of driving across the Emerald Isle Bridge and counting thirty boats fishing for spots are just a memory. While you can still find some surf fishermen on the beach, their numbers are small compared to a month ago. Even the local produce stands have closed up for the winter. All the sweet potatoes have been sold or are in storage.
While things have slowed, we are not sleeping on one leg like the Willets in the picture. Almost all businesses are still open and welcoming customers. While meals might be rushed in cities during the holidays, now is a time on the coast that we often linger over lunch since there are no crowds waiting for our tables.
This is a peaceful time of year here on the coast as long as we do not have a nor'easter bearing down upon us. In the evenings we watch the news of blizzards working their way across the country. The months of watching for tropical storms are gone. The bitter cold and snow of the mid-west and northeast seems far away to us. Our waters are still warm enough to keep freezing temperatures at bay for another month or so.
All the small towns have their Christmas decorations up. I love the swans of Swansboro, but I also like the snowflakes of Cedar Point.
There really is no place to get into a serious holiday crowd like you might find waiting to turn from Chain Bridge Road into the Tyson's Mall in Northern Virginia. We just do not have enough people to create a serious crowd during the old season.
We even visited Walmart in Morehead City last evening. While there were plenty of people in the store, we did not have to hunt for a parking, and certainly we did not to stalk other shoppers going back to their car in hopes of getting their parking space.
As an area where small business dominate, we are well into the season of office parties which often are potluck meals here on the coast. There are plenty of seasonal festivities including parades to get us into the holiday spirit, but the difference is that the holiday is on island time. That means there will be no panic, and the holiday will happen as people get around to it.
It is actually a very pleasant way to have a holiday. There are far fewer stores to tempt one into over spending. The glitz of the holiday seems to be muted by the blues and greens of our waters. The beaches are still available for walking on warm afternoons. It is still a great way to wash away the pressures of daily life.
With luck we might even get in a boat ride or two on some warm days. Life goes on here and winter is no the overwhelming master that oftens shows up in the north.
We have had a great season on the coast, and we would love to have some company as the new year comes to the Crystal Coast.
There is plenty of room, so come on down and experience a coastal holiday vacation.