BeachSide Submitted Stories

ALL qualifying stories submitted to Beachside will appear here in the Digest. From all the stories posted here, the BeachSide e-magazine weekly email engine selects stories to feature to each reader. The e-Magazine actually uses AI technology to select the stories for each individual user based on their previous selections.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Welcome to the St. Augustine BeachSide e-Magazine - from the Publisher

Michael and Carole Trufant

by Michael Trufant, Publisher

Welcome to the inaugural edition of BeachSide! My wife, Carole, and I are so excited to launch this project. It is our deepest hearts desire that the Anastasia Island community finds this as a beloved resource for information, events and stories about living here in this wonderful beach community. We had our own beach wedding this past January!

We have so much to tell, but we'll be simple for now. The core of BeachSide will be contributed by you, readers and writers, that have something to contribute and want a place to do that. It may be an upcoming event, a special attraction to you or what life is like living on the island. Submitting an idea, event or story is super easy at Take a look.

We are also calling out to island businesses to submit stories in a unique way. You see, we won't be selling ads. Any business located on the island can post a story that "helps" our readers with an area they specialize in and we'll give them visibility at the end of the story as appreciation.

There is more to come. We are just getting started. This will take time, but we are excited about growing an organic e-magazine here for the beach! You can email us at if you want to share any ideas!

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Walking on the Beach Early in the Morning

by Lois Wolleman-Gasquez

Walking on the beach early in the morning, with my husband, how does it make me feel? I feel that I have been invited to spend time with people who are familiar but do not know, not their names or anything about their lives except for a remark overheard in passing or perhaps what a gesture may imply. What we share together in this moment on the beach is not who we are individually but the familiarity in the day’s activities.
Nothing really changes on the beach from day to day, but is instead rearranged and I like that. There is the parade of people who walk the beach—some stroll along, others walk solid with strong intention, older couples often greet us with ‘Good Morning’ and walk pass leaving good feelings behind. Some walk at the water’s edge while others prefer deeper sand. Younger walkers wear headphones and walk or jog with their eyes straight ahead. Some want to be noticed, others not.
A mother applies sun protection to the backs and arms of her young children and afterwards joins in with their imaginary play while a father brings the older siblings into the water for a little fun or reassures by holding hands with his son or daughter.
There are those under umbrellas and those who are sun worshipers and those who look like they are going to camp here for the night.
All the while the waves jump and crescendo and make the long stroll up the sand to tease sandpipers, that scurry like wind-up toys to avoid getting their feet wet, the same as yesterday but rearranged for today.
The book readers and those who plan ahead and bring crunchy salty snacks and drinks, children who dig tunnels to mysterious places or ditches they climb into and wait to be found or for the water to fill, they are here also.
All this and more, a fisherman waiting, sitting close to his bucket filled with water ready to drop in a fish if he catches one, those who toss a ball about, a young woman barefoot, wearing a white summer dress and floppy hat looking like she stepped out of a 19th Century painting, she’s here also.
Some days the beach is strewn with seashells and on other days you can only find only a few. Today, instead of bringing home sandy seashells in my pocket, I will bring home the memories of giggly three and four year old children who delight in chasing pigeons while waving their arms about, and happy silly dogs who delight in running in and out of the water for no reason at all, except to be silly happy dogs.

Lois Wolleman-Gasquez loves putting words together, is a photographer and plays around with Intuitive Design. She has written personal interest stories for publication and is currently working with her husband, author Carlos Gasquez, on the completion of his new book Death of a Priest.

St. Augustine Beach Art Walk - Sat. Nov 27

 The City of St. Augustine Beach and The Art Studio Invite you to Join us for Beach Art Walk

Stroll down A1A Beach Blvd. and Enjoy the Lights and visit Businesses and The Outdoor Parkettes that will be filled with Artists and their wares. All part of the Light-Up the Beach Season!
A great way to start your Holiday Shopping... Give the Gift of Art!
Artists and Artisans showing and selling their Paintings, Pottery, Jewelry, Photography, Sculpture, Stained Glass and many more Gift Items.
Saturday, November 27th From 2pm to 7pm.

A1a Beach Blvd, St Augustine, FL 32080, United States

Friday, November 5, 2021

Belle of the Ball - The Night of Lights from the Water

by Adrilia Pedersen

We had planned the event many months before. We had bought the tickets, but it was going to be cold that evening. We wondered if we could still do it. Our moms were in town, but they were both limited in their energy and their mobility. We told them about it and they were a little scared at first but then excited. So we bundled up, bringing extra scarves and blankets just in case, and of course our COVID masks. We decided to make the best of it. My husband took his time helping his mother walk the Vilano Pier, sitting to rest whenever her legs hurt too much. I took my time walking arm in arm with my mom making sure she felt safe and supported. We were happy to see people fishing off the pier, it lent a fun casual atmosphere to the occasion. The pontoon approached and we headed down the ramp, easily onto the boat. I had thought that St. Augustine’s holiday lights might just be “meh” after having seen them many times before while walking. I was wrong. Seeing the lights, the bridges, the haunted lighthouse from the water was dazzling -- as if we had traveled somewhere else and were all on vacation. Our moms were bundled up, they loved every minute of our mini adventure together. It was a magical and unforgettable evening. St. Augustine all dressed up in holiday splendor looked spectacular when seen from the water. An old yet vibrant city, belle of the ball, looking out to sea … remembering glory. This holiday season my dear, beautiful mom no longer with us, I will look at the lights, celebrate her zest for life … and cherish the memories.

Adrilia Pedersen lives in St. Augustine's World Golf Village with her husband Ken. She loves exploring nature and wellness, walking, writing and decorating cookies.