Tag Archives: Destin

Thanks One-Legged Bill

Life has a funny way of working out.

Even when the pessimistic side of you is sure it will never work out and that most likely you’ll end up dead in a ditch before anything good happens things seem to sort out in a most unexpected way.

They never teach you this in journalism school, but this job has a way of sucking the life out of you.

The past few weeks, I’ve found myself unhappy, depressed and negative about … well, everything.

Which, honestly, is not me – it’s not who I am or who I want to be.

Last night, God convicted me of the way I’ve been acting and feeling. He has such a way of showing me that despite all the terrible things going on in my life He has a plan, a purpose and it all works for His glory.

I guess I just forgot that for a minute.

Friday afternoon I got called into my editor’s office and the Negative Nancy in me thought, Great, what did I do wrong this time? He sat me down and instead asked if I would be interested in going to Washington D.C. for a story. Umm, YEAH!

Although even then I thought that most likely something will come up, someone else will somehow get to do it and I’d be disappointed once again. Like I said, I was not looking up at life.

Then this morning we got a call about a man who was on his way home after some locals decided to do good for someone else.

Meet Bill.

He was crippled in an accident a few months back, left with only one leg and stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He ended up homeless and broke in Tallahassee with no way home – which happened to be Iowa.

After months of sitting around, Bill decided he was going to get home one way or another. He made it nearly 150 miles in two days from Tallahassee to Destin in his wheelchair when a local man decided to pull over and help.

I talked with the man and asked why he pulled over. Honestly, I drive by homeless people all the time and the only thing I do is check to make sure my doors are locked.

But this man said simply that since he became sober eight years ago he has been doing a good deed for someone he doesn’t know everyday.

His good deed for that day was to give Bill a ride to a nearby hotel and pay for him to stay the night. As he told the hotel staff Bill’s story they too wanted to help. Long story short, the staff and friends of friends paid for a ticket to get Bill home to Iowa.

I realize that while life has its tough times, its cry in the bathroom times and its “I want to quit life” times, there are also beautiful moments where you see compassion, love and tenderness.

Thank you for those moments.


Living the Dream: Reporting on Slimy, Smelly Sludge

There’s nothing like the smell of dead fish in the morning.

This morning, I got an email that said I would be doing the centerpiece story on the mystery “sludge” that has washed ashore on the beaches.

I won’t lie, hearing the word sludge will probably never excite me.

The beach was disgusting. I walked on mushy/hard/crumbly sand that sat in between fishy, green seaweed and algae.

Just what I always wanted to do as a little girl: Grab my notepad and camera to do the exclusive on green crap that smells bad.

But as I am going to be a positive person no matter what, a decision I just decided on, I will look at the positives.

I was able to talk to a local couple who knew why it was nasty and explained quite articulately all the going-ons of beach seaweed.

Then I interviewed a woman, who made me feel like a hippo because she was so skinny, and talked to her about why on earth she would get in that nasty water and what it felt like.

Side note to you skinny girl: One day a cookie will be shoved in your mouth and I will be that hand doing the shoving. You’re welcome in advance.

Then I went on the pier, passed the perverted guy that collects the toll after a long discussion on my polka dotted dress, and talked with a guy who has been fishing in the area for 50 years and gave great quotes. Plus, he caught a fish as we were talking – nice.

I hate sludge, slime and seaweed. It’s gross and smells, but getting out of the office and talking with various folks definitely makes it worth it. Plus, I got myself a large Diet Coke from Sonic, yum.