My latest New Yorker magazine has an advertisement on the inside back cover from an "asset management" company. The photo shows a casually dressed, obviously affluent woman of indeterminate (but retirement) age, walking on the beach with her dog.
On the right hand side of the page are four dashes arranged in a column. Beside the lowest one are the words "earn dollars." Above that are "save dollars." Next come "invest dollars." Finally, at the top, we see "sand dollars."
Presumably, if we follow the advice of the asset management company, we can work hard, invest wisely, and retire "comfortably." Then we can stroll beaches looking for sand dollars.
When I saw the ad I immediately thought of the many excursions I took with Mr. Walter O'Neal in his jeep looking for sand dollars in the 1960s and 1970s. I was in my twenties. I decided then to enjoy life, even while earning a living and raising a family. I may not have as much retirement income as the woman in the advertisement (oh, I know she is just a paid model), but I have had a full and rewarding life living in this tight-knit community, surrounded by ocean, sound and sand dollars. And I didn't have to wait forty years to walk along the beach whenever I wanted to.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a history of the Ocracoke Preservation Society. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042111.htm.