Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Walk on the Beach with Tara Taylor-Quinn

Thank goodness. A vacation!! I thought we’d never get here! We visited the island last fall, another much needed respite, and have been looking forward to our return visit. There’s so much to do here – and nothing that we, Tim Barney (my husband and the love of my life) have to do. The sun is shining. The light breeze has a hint of warmth. The water is a luscious 87 degrees. I can’t tell which blue is more pristine – the sky or the sea. I can’t decide if I should spread our blanket in the sand and rest, or take a long walk, hand in hand with my lover, along the beach. The beach is calling me, but I know we’ve been going at mock speed so I’m resigned to just sit if must be.

Tim votes for a walk along the beach. We’ve got the camera and you never know what we’ll find. I grab the plastic bag that is a by-product of our recent stop at the store for suntan lotion (it has sunscreen in it, too) and, with our hands interlocked we sink our toes into the sand and start slowly off. I want to fill my shopping bag with shells. Tim wants picture of the boats on the water. And the sunshine reflected in the waves. He wants pictures of critters we might find. Of anything different or interesting. He shoots one of me bending over to retrieve a particularly perfect shell that he spotted in the sand. He’s the best spotter. I’d have to have my glasses on to see as well as he does, but my glasses and I haven’t made friends yet so I leave them behind a lot.

We’re walking in the tide and the water ebbs and flows, swishing over our feet, lapping at our ankles. I watch as it recedes, waiting to see what treasures it brought, what it left behind for us. There’s a crab. It’s alive. I get close enough to look. And to keep my toes away while Tim snaps a picture. He grabs my hand and walks me around the thing. He’s so gorgeous, this man of mine. Perfect proportions, perfect stride, perfectly comfortable within his own skin. And those eyes. They twinkle at me, brighter than the sunshine highlighting our day. He teases me about stuff that could be lurking in the sand. I head to the water’s edge. He reminds me that sharks live there. I hold his arm as well as his hand and figure that if I go, he goes, and as long as we’re going together I’m good.

We meet a mother and daughter, both dressed casually, with shorts and swim suit tops. It’s hard to tell their ages with their hair highlighted and their skin bronzed by the sun. They’ve lived there forever we find out. A young boy comes up out of the water with a can filled with something. He dumps it into a bucket. He’s their son/grandson and they live just up the sand. They point out their place. The boy’s is collecting little sand crabs. He touches them. I back up a step.

They talk to us about turtles. Walk us down the sand to show us a nesting place. It’s pretty cool. I’m thinking about nesting with Tim. On cool sheets and a soft mattress. Indoors where there are floors that don’t shift beneath my feet or have things living in them. With walls that prevent interlopers from washing haphazardly into my space.

A crowd is gathering further down the beach. We walk down to see what’s going on. There’s a beach pub there. Just what I’ve been waiting for! We decide with only a glance at each other that we’re going up for a glass of wine. Or maybe two glasses of wine. After all, we’re here at the island. On vacation. But first…I can’t believe it. I see grey. A lot of it. There are two men in the water. And a fishing pole lodged in something nearby. One man is pulling the line. The other is in the water not too far away from us. He’s approaching something. The waves are huge around him, like a mini tsunami right in front of him. It surrounds him. He lunges. Grabs with both arms. He’s caught a shark!! Oh My Word. A shark. It’s little, I hear someone say. ‘A baby.’ Tim says. It was at least six feet long. Way too long to be any kind of baby I’d ever want to be around. Long enough to have a mouth that opens wide enough to take my arm. And teeth that are plentiful enough, and sharp enough to do so. Two seconds before he’d been in the very water where I’d been splashing around. Someone obviously forgot to tell folks here that I’m here. And on vacation.

Waiter…someone…please, could you pass the word here? I’m here. I’m on vacation. Tim and I need wine. Please!

…And there you have it. It Happened On Maple Street. Sort of. The above is a completely true story. Tim really took the pictures. But it isn’t happening now, here at Desert Island Keepers. It happened last summer, during our anniversary celebration on St. Augustine Beach in Florida. It Happened On Maple Street, our new book, is being marketed as romance fiction. Parts of it are fictionalized – years that Tim and I spent apart are fictionalized. But the story of Tim and I, our love story, the tragedy, and then our reuniting, the healing power of love, are all completely one hundred percent true. The message that we have to bring to you – that violence is wrong, and that victims remaining silent is wrong, too. I am speaking out to prove to us all that victim’s CAN speak out. That we must speak out. That violence is not right and does not win. And that there are Tims in this world who will walk right beside us, see us for who we really are, believe in us, and teach us to laugh again.

This post is brought to you as part of the It Happened On Maple Street International Blog Tour. For a complete tour schedule visit All blog commenters are added to the weekly basket list. Gift Basket given each week to one randomly drawn name on the list.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, or if you suspect someone is, please contact, or call, toll free, 24/7, 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). The call can be anonymous and is always confidential. There is not one second of life that is worth wasting.

Next tour stop, Friday, April 22, Serve One Another:

To get your copy of It Happened On Maple Street, visit your favorite bookseller, or

Don’t miss The Chapman Files! Still available here at Amazon

It Happened On Maple Street is coming soon on Kindle and Nook, too!


The Reading Frenzy said...

Oh and doesn't that look like absolute heaven, cute guy included :). Just have fun relax and oh yeah Waiter, please bring her the glass of wine pronto, she deserves the rest.
Tara, you have become a friend to me even having never met, as you know I've read and loved you as TTQ for years and years and now I know the other Tara too and she's an amazing woman, Tim you're a lucky guy and you're both lucky to have found each other again. So sleep in, walk the beach and sit at the small umbrella tables and have a little libation but most of all enjoy every second of every day you have left on this earth, life's too short not too.

Your friend

Darla said...

Loved todays blog, great pictures. I'll be walking on the beach by the 30th! Can't wait for the treasures I'll find.

Tara Taylor Quinn said...


Thank you. Your friendship means a lot as it speaks to the biggest fear - that people who read TTQ won't like Tara. I'm very very glad you're there.


What beach? With who? Share details, please!

EllenToo said...

I live within a couple of miles of a beach much like the one you described except its on the Texas coast and although I walk there alone it's still the best feeling in the world to see the amazing things mother nature throws in front of you. And it gives you a sense of peace (except for Spring Break time).

Lynda K said...

Ohhhh... I love it here! Last time you brought us here in November, I thought about staying..... could have skipped all that snow!

Great pictures! Makes me long for the beach and a glass of wine..... sans the shark, though!! Now if I could just figure out where my cabana boy rolled away to.......

Thanks for another terrific stop!

Kaelee said...

This stop is at a beach. How lovely. I love the pictures Tim took. We still have snow on the ground and going to the beach for a visit has picked me up . Thanks for this stop.

PS ~ The captcha for this post is roames which I thought quite fitting as we have been roaming together.

Darla said...

My daughters wedding in Mexico from the 30th to the 8th. We are staying at the Iberostar Tucan resort for a week. I plan on doing alot of walking on the beach!

Tara Taylor Quinn said...


Congratulations!!! I know you'll take a lot of great pictures. Please share!

Ellen Too, Lucky you!! I think a beach nearby would help me stay grounded. (Ha ha, but I didn't mean that in a funny way.)

Lynda and Kaelee,

I'm with you on appreciating the cyber beach because I so need a real one. Hopefully soon for all of us. Now about the cabana boy. I have one built in so I won't be needing one of those.

Karen C said...

Hi, Tara and Tim!

Sorry I missed you at the bar - could have used the glass of wine today. Liked the walk on the beach, though. Oh, and Lynda K - I'm sorry I delayed your cabana boy; he's on his way now ....

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