Goodland Life

No Snoozin’ in Goodland

B15-pages-CBN-3-20-15-8

Goodland Life By Barry Gwinn Seasonal visitors driving through Goodland or visiting some of our excellent eateries, observe a sleepy village (except on Sundays) where, during the week anyhow, nothing much seems to happen. There are no stores, beaches, theaters, or malls. The village is surrounded by water and mangrove forests. There is only one way in and one way ... Read More »

Bracing Myself

A40-CBN-1-23-15-13

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com It was this time last year that I was first introduced to Goodland and the completely unfamiliar phenomenon of season. I flew back to Ohio with my head still spinning, but was ready to make the quick turnaround to relocate here. In the short month spent visiting my mother, I’d gotten caught up in the whirlwind ... Read More »

Seashells by the Seashore

Her doggies.Photos By Melinda Gray

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com Someone asked me recently what I love about the beach. It was then I realized why I’ve always gravitated to the nearest body of water. The Great Lakes stay cool, even in the dead of summer; the Atlantic Ocean’s waves make me feel like a little kid, no matter my age; the Gulf of Mexico is ... Read More »

The Power of a Kind Heart

The impromptu event ended with a group photo for Margie. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com In my 35 years of being perpetually lost in the big city shuffle, I have never had the pleasure or privilege of witnessing unity and support within a neighborhood like I’ve experienced here. On Saturday, Dec. 6, the small island community of Goodland came together in a very big way with a tremendous show of love ... Read More »

An Island Christmas

At our house, even the pets are forced to be merry.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com Christmas is just around the corner, and “island-style” holiday preparations are being made all around me. I’m also nearing the one-year anniversary of my big move here in February, and I’ve been reflecting back on this past year in sunny southwest Florida. I’ve never been happier, and my kids are doing really well. We are ... Read More »

Homegrown Clams

Nick spent most of the day covered head-to-toe; the process of  getting into a wetsuit proved more complicated than I thought. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com Does the average seafood lover ever wonder about what is involved in bringing their favorite oceanic edibles to the table? As a seafood lover myself, I’ve always gravitated to the surf items on any menu, but I’ve never really put much thought into how that delicious shellfish came to land on my plate. Where do ... Read More »

Sunshine in Goodland

On the opening night of his exhibit, Donald Sunshine and his wife Joanna greeted every visitor. They are pictured here with Marco Island residents, Judy and Ron Hattendorf.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com It’s no secret that upon my first visit to Goodland, I recognized it to be a very unique place, unmatched in its beauty and rich history. As I left the main road and first arrived on this little island, the feeling of being transported back in time was so overwhelming that it was elemental in ... Read More »

Deck the Halls at GCA’s Annual Holiday Bazaar

Marker 8.5 owner Michael Duncan.PHOTOS By Melinda Gray

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com It’s hard to believe that another holiday season is just around the corner. It’s almost time for big family gatherings, elaborate meals, decorations and presents; and while I didn’t have the pleasure of being in Florida this time last year, I’m very excited knowing where I will do all of my 2014 Christmas shopping: the ... Read More »

Keep Calm and Boat On

Just a few of the 10,000 islands.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com Since moving to Florida almost one year ago, I’ve felt like a stranger in a strange land, a tourist most times, learning the lay of my new homeland with each different excursion. Until now, the various trips I’ve taken have always been structured with a fairly strict itinerary of stops and attractions, but I can ... Read More »

Together Again

In one final marathon road trip to Ohio, we brought the boys and their toys back home to Goodland. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com I have to admit that I wasn’t ready; it seemed like only a few weeks had passed since the original plan was laid. The last six months have flown by, though, and now my family is finally back together again. My two younger brothers, Chris and Tyler, and yet another dog, have joined our already ... Read More »

Summer Fun, Island Style

A pelican perches on a post. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com It’s September, statistically the slowest month before the inevitable up-swing into another season, and finding fun things to do locally is getting more challenging. Thus, despite last weeks of record-breaking heat, my best friend, Alicia Cameron, and I set out on our first Goodland kayak journey; no small feat for a couple of full-time moms ... Read More »

Goodland Gator

‘Ray the Trapper’ attempts to snag the Goodland gator, who made no appearance that day.  PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com There’s a new predator in town, and he’s causing quite a stir. An alligator rumored to be at least eight feet long has been trolling the canals and causing unease amongst Goodland residents. Buzz about frequent sightings has been swirling for a few weeks now, but following a recent uncomfortably close encounter, a call notifying ... Read More »

Sweet Victory

A24-CBN-8-8-14-7FEATURE

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com In my experience, especially as a writer, learning about any new place always begins with getting to know its people. I love listening to the local stories, and I’m always eager to shine a well-deserved spotlight on the people that make their town great. I’ve written once before about Goodland’s own, Nick Lemke, and his ... Read More »

Surviving Year-Round in a Seasonal Town

Blue sky to the north and a mean storm rolling in from the south came together to pose for a beautiful picture.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com Doldrums – a state of inactivity or stagnation; a dull, listless, depressed mood; low spirits. The term “summer doldrums” is new to me, but apparently it describes what I’ve been experiencing but successfully fighting off. How does a person of modest means ensure survival when home is a place that lives and dies by the ... Read More »

Independence Day

Birds of a feather!! Goodland's favorite winged-resident, Pirate, and his feathered friend, this year's Buzzard Queen. Pretty ladies got a "hello" and a wave.

GOODLAND LIFE  Melinda Gray  melinbrya3@yahoo.com Living in a seasonal town is still very new to me. Though I am trying to acclimate quickly, many unfamiliar things about my home continue to surprise me. My July 4th memories have always been made of Hallmark staples: red, white, blue, family, fireworks and food. But, they also were tainted by the woes of over-planning ... Read More »

The Anatomy of a Rumor

Collier County water department workers  directed the light flow of traffic in and out of Goodland on June 16. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com It’s a well-known fact that big news, or any news for that matter, travels fast in a community as small as Goodland. It’s also widely accepted that as news travels farther from its source it tends to lose the original, factual information in favor of a more dramatic, sensationalized version. In short, minor issues feel ... Read More »

The Long Trip Home

One last walk along our private Lake Erie beach.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com The mission: a seemingly impossible road trip with the ultimate goal of packing up the last of my worldly possessions. I’ve got to gather what’s left in Ohio and bring it all back home to Goodland. I hear the “Mission Impossible” theme song in my head every time I think about the gravity of the ... Read More »

It’s That Time Again…

Used traps are pulled and stacked. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com The smell of crab traps in the open air — after months of being underwater — is a tell-tale sign of the end of stone crab season in Southwest Florida. “It’s quite pungent over there,” said Pat Kirk, the matriarch of the Kirk family and owner of Kirk’s Fish Company. Anyone living or passing by ... Read More »

If We Build it, Will They Come?

Goodland enjoys 2 county parks inside her very modest amount of land, pictured above is Margood Park. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com “Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” Summer is quickly approaching, and with it come the horror stories warning first-timers like me of mutant bugs, face-melting heat and the unbearable boredom to come. Of course, ... Read More »

The Goodland Good Life

Dub holds up his prize proudly. (left) J.W. "Dub" Abbott will celebrate his 100th birthday next month. (right) SUBMITTED PHOTOS

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com Life has been good in Goodland for J.W. “Dub” Abbott, who will turn 100 years old this month. The Drop Anchor resident was born May 2, 1914, in Checotah, Oklahoma, to Wayne and Beulah Abbott, who had five other boys and one girl; his youngest brother is only 93 years young. He says his mother ... Read More »