Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back Home Again in Indiana

Dear Friends,

I first came to Ocracoke seven years ago on an invitation by Donald Davis. He thought I would enjoy his storytelling workshop as well as the Island. I decided to take him up on his offer and signed up for the workshop.

The first thing I had to do was to find Ocracoke on the map. Most of us mid-westerners travel and vacation to Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota...other cold places! One of my friends suggested I look on a map of Australia. Australia?

The time came to pack up and drive out with a friend of mine. I brought items that I never did unpack: mascara, sweatshirts, a hairbrush, arm weights (what was I thinking on that one?)

When we began our journey down the Outer Banks, I had to open the car windows and let the salt and sea spray cover me. I loved seeing the Cape Hatteras lighthouse from a distance! I found the ferry ride great fun and was greatly tempted to throw the rest of my lunch to the

I am a traveler and a wanderer by nature, but I was not prepared for this pristine beauty of Ocracoke. For three weeks I explored every cove, went to every show by Molasses Creek and let my heart fill with story under Donald's direction.

When I returned home to Indiana I carried music and stories of ships and ghosts and lighthouse keepers in my heart. I did not know if I would ever return so I decided to take part of Ocracoke with me back to the heartland.

These things I learned!
Have pot lucks with your own family, community as often as possible.
Go barefoot.
Have parties to celebrate everything: Robert Burns, the Solstice.
Listen to nature while you fall asleep.
Spend time with the older folks in your own community.
And more.

This too I learned:

Visit Ocracoke as often as you can, but remember,
there is beauty wherever you live, take the time to find it.
So, meeting Philip is a whole other story, I'll just save that one for later. I love spending my summers on the Island. I feel honored to be part of the community, to tell stories at the lighthouse, spend early mornings on the beach on turtle patrol, and look for haints and ghosts during the evening ghost walks. For now, though, school and storytelling bring me back to the Midwest with farm stands of fresh corn and tomatoes and the early hint of Autumn in the cool night air. You can be well-assured though that my Indiana community is enriched by the Ocracoke community.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes and get well notes for the broken arm.
Until next summer,

Lou Ann


  1. Lou Ann,
    How is the arm doing this week? Hope it is rehabbing well in time to enjoy the start of school. I just had my 2nd total knee replacement (last Tuesday), so I'm in physical therapy myself...but will be a new woman in time to enjoy Ocracoke next summer..hope to see you well and happy then...

    Linda Borneman

  2. Hi Lou Ann-

    I enjoyed reading your blog. My wife and I live in Indiana as well and we'll going back to Ocracoke ine September for the 3rd time in 15 months. We just can't get enough of it. Our daughter lives in Raleigh so we get to visit her as well. What part of Indiana do you live in?

    Ed Hall
    Highland IN

  3. Debbie Leonard4:14 PM

    That was really sweet! It almost made me cry.

  4. Anonymous5:33 AM

    Lou Ann, I live in NC, Ocracoke is one of my favorite places and I ended up stumbling on this blog a few years ago. I don't know you or Philip, but just from reading the posts, sounds like you're both very much in Love

    It's sad to hear about you heading back home every Fall - just wondering if the two of you will get married someday and spend the whole year together?

  5. Anonymous9:41 AM

    What an excellent post. I too live in Indiana. My wife are teachers with two young boys. Ocracoke is always enjoyed by our family. Whether it's ice cream every night at sundown by silver lake, or hitting one of the north beaches during low tide- it's always something we'll remember. We were there this year for the 4th- what a sad memory i have at was going to be a beautiful day.

    Columbia City, IN