A New Love
There’s a new love in our lives.
A tiny little bay house on stilts in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
A place where birds like this come to visit for a while, and wait around ’til you get a portrait photo.
A place where the colors in the sunset over the water are so hauntingly beautiful that it will break your heart if you allow yourself just the slightest bit of sunset vulnerability.
A place where relaxing and mindfulness aren’t just the goal, they are the gold standard, set by Mother Nature herself.
A town that can turn anything into a celebration without it seeming like a feeble excuse to party.
A town that embraces soul-satisfying comfort food right alongside extraordinarily creative foodie fare.
A beachy town where just as many folks ride around in golf carts as cars, and the seafood is the freshest you can imagine because you can buy it just off the boat.
We’re in love.
This new love happened because of the Glover Gardens blog. It happened because when you share, people share back. And when you share more, you get more back.
Here’s how it all came down.
It Started with a Blog Post
I wrote a post about my childhood on the Gulf Coast of Texas with a poem, My Days by the Water, sharing my memories and experiences.
A Reader Shared Her Own “Days by the Water” Memories
A wonderful Glover Gardens follower commented on the Glover Gardens Facebook page that my poem and story reminded her of childhood visits to her grandparents in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi and their epic seafood boils. Her description was delightful; she made a gift to me of those treasured memories. This sharing inspired another Glover Gardens post, titled Epic Seafood Boil Memories from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, in which I used her commentary, with permission.
To provide more context in the story, I did a bunch of research on Bay St. Louis, or BSL, as it’s known to the locals. It seemed enchanting, a small town with a welcoming culture that beautifully bridges folksy charm with artsy sophistication. Many of my Google searches landed on the Shoofly, an online magazine so cleverly marketed that you’d think it was produced in a large urban city, but so warm and homey that you know it is the beating heart of the little town. I used some marvelous photos from the Shoofly in my Epic Seafood Boil post, with attribution.
The Shoofly Picked Up Our Story
In a stroke of luck or serendipity, my story caught the attention of the editor, resulting in a blurb and a link in the Shoofly (I was thrilled).
The Shoofly’s editor also sent me a personal note suggesting that we check out Bay St. Louis and included a link to her vacation rental, a 1913 former school, The Webb Schoolhouse. It’s beautiful!
We Fell in Love with BSL – Hook, Line and Sinker
We were being pulled toward Bay St. Louis, don’t you think? Serendipity is my favorite word and I like to follow its subtle but seductive suggestions. We moved BSL to the top of our must-visit list for 2019 and got out there by March. The Webb Schoolhouse is in high demand and was already booked (drat!), so we stayed at a small cabin, right on a canal.
In a beach town and right on a canal, just like my childhood home.
Just. Like. My. Childhood. Home. Score!
It wasn’t just me hankering for the peace that relaxing by the water brings. The Grill-Meister spent his late childhood in Maple Valley, WA, where there was also water all ‘round – but never, ever enough sun. Bay St. Louis has sun, sand, sea and serenity galore. It was everything we thought it would be, and more.
And there’s a bonus: it is only 45 minutes from New Orleans. Y’all know how we feel about New Orleans here at Glover Gardens, right?
Friends, We Took the Plunge
Energized, inspired, stimulated, we got to work. We connected with a Realtor, looked around in the same neighborhood as the cabin where we stayed, and found a perfect little “bay camp” (as they’re called locally). It’s situated on a large bayou that feeds St. Louis Bay, with a canal beside it. We dived right in to this new venture, taking possession of this tiny little piece of heaven on stilts in early July.
It needed a name! We did a lot of brainstorming, the Grill-Meister and me, finally landing on Gumbo Cove. Y’all know how we feel about gumbo here at Glover Gardens, right?
So we made a sign and packed up a U-Haul, and now plan to enjoy holidays and the occasional weekend relaxing by the water at Gumbo Cove. Glover Gardens in a suburb of Houston is still home base, but we feel the pull of the Mississippi tides.
More to Come
You’ll hear more about Gumbo Cove and Bay St. Louis in these pages as we revel in the mindfulness, peace and serendipity of our new days by the water, making new memories while we cherish the old ones.
Thanks are in Order
Thank you to the Glover Gardens reader who turned us on to Bay St. Louis. You are awesome and I love the tips you continue to send. Thank you to the Shoofly Magazine for providing so much color and context that we knew we had to get out there to BSL, and to its editor, for suggesting that we come visit. The Shoofly is awesome, and we are now subscribers and supporters who always check the Community Calendar before a trip to Gumbo Cove. Thank you to our Realtor, who helped untangle strange loan and flood insurance requirements. You are awesome and we are glad we have stayed connected. Thank you to the previous owners of Gumbo Cove, who saved it after Hurricane Katrina. As you said, we bought a legacy, and we will take good care of it.