‘Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes’ on LBI

By PATTY KELLY | Jul 04, 2018
Courtesy of: Patty Kelly GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: This memorial to a fallen soldier on 23rd Street in Spray Beach, photographed two years ago, has been replaced by a ‘shellabration’ garden. 

In this climate of political uncertainty and scattered insecurity, one tends to question every day whether we’re coming or going. Now don’t get your feathers ruffled. I am not going to dive into any political conversations. That is something I avoid like the plague. As my friends will tell you, I tend to stay away from all such conversations so I can remain positive.

As I went out for one of my early-morning walk/jogs, a sense of anxiety started rising within me when I noticed all the runners and walkers who were violating the written and unwritten rule: Pedestrians and runners should be on the side of the road going against traffic, and bikers should ride on the side with traffic.

It was then suddenly that my iPhone music library started playing its own selection that started with “Changes in Latitudes ...” by Jimmy Buffett. If you are a Buffett fan you will definitely know the words to the song, “changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes.” That is sure to put some happy thoughts in your mind. My little change in latitude quickly adjusted my attitude to a jovial one instead of a frustrated one. 

I then began noticing more closely all those around me. The early-morning dads were out with their children in trailers attached to the back of their bikes. They pedaled along with one or two kids in tow while I’m sure mom was either home getting an extra few minutes of sleep or more than likely cooking breakfast for the crew. No matter the story, mama was getting a break. I also began to notice all the happy faces and smiles I received along the way, reflecting the beautiful summer day that was breaking.

As the music shifted to a Foo Fighters song, “No Way Back,” my pace quickened to keep up with the rhythm. It was another song to adjust the attitude. I even noticed police officers taking the time to stop and redirect those who were walking or running on the wrong side of the street and make sure that they saw the posted rules on the signs that lined the street (hint, hint).

I could not miss all the patriotic flags and buntings displayed on the homes along the way. This truly provided a sense of not only community, but also love of our beautiful United States as July 4th approached.

Once again, my pace accelerated as it kept beat with a song from Andrea Bocelli, the name of which I could not remember. The song was soothing and stimulating at the same time. This now should give you a sense of my musical taste range, with some big band music thrown in.

The energy of the music gave me the stamina to extend my walk/jog past my usual turning spot. I headed down to Spray Beach to see if the previous season’s memorial to a fallen soldier still resided in its special place. When I arrived I was saddened to find that the memorial had been replaced. However, in its spot was a new “shellabration” garden that revealed an array of beautiful flowers, shells and colorful bottles. It provided a reminder of how diverse things can be and how we should continue to have faith and never forget those who have given their lives for our freedom.

My iPhone had surely chosen an interesting selection of songs on that warm July morning. It made me wonder if it could read my mood and thoughts. Why my phone had taken the musical path it had, I’ll never really know. However, the musical selection truly was apropos.

What I thought would be the last two songs were Journey’s “Faithfully” and the Cars’ “All Mixed Up.” Wow! What was the universe trying to tell me?

I turned my tired feet toward home, where I couldn’t wait for the shower I so desperately needed, as the temperature and the humidity had finally escalated to an unbearable level. It was at that moment that my iPhone surprised me with one last song by Andrea Bocelli, “Come All Ye Faithful.” It was a little off-season, but still the words had significance.

I’m seriously not making any of this up. The journey I had made to visit the site where the fallen soldier tribute used to be and its conversion to a beautiful garden that was so full of hope and diversity made me do a recheck of myself. It pushed me to think before jumping to judgments, at least for that day and hopefully many to follow ­– even if there were some who walked or ran on the wrong path.

Patty Kelly lives in Blue Bell, Pa., and Beach Haven Park.



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