Column: Some locals migrate from Sandbridge come summer


SANDBRIDGE — When we think of migration, we may think of animals and birds, particularly those in our area like shorebirds, monarch butterflies and those beautiful whales jumping and feeding at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Many of our winter animal friends will travel thousands of miles in search of better climate, food availability and change of habitat.

But there is a mammal that migrates from Sandbridge between April and June – the human, leaving its winter habitat, putting homes in the hands of management companies sheltered along Sandbridge Road and elsewhere in the Red Mill area.

This year, I was one of those undertaking the seasonal migration.

We left our home and taken everything we hold dear to an apartment not thousands of miles away but 30 minutes away at Town Center. We haven’t even changed cities. We are still in Virginia Beach, but we are no longer at the beach.

I hate it.

Don’t get me wrong – we’re doing the same thing that many of our friends in Sandbridge do every summer.

It is not to forage for more or better food. It is not to seek a better habitat. It is so we can pay our mortgage for an entire year with the money we make in three and a half months.

So we are economically driven to a two bedroom apartment, and many Sandbridge migrating homeowners take to their personal condo or pull their RV into a campsite. I am not a camper, so I shouldn’t complain about being in an apartment. What I do miss is Sandbridge itself, and I miss our house with the pool in the back and my walks to the beach and the pelicans flying overhead. 

I even miss meeting new people down at Sandbridge Market or the Sandbridge Island Restaurant who have driven hundreds of miles to come to my home.

So many people from Pennsylvania. Is everyone up there tired of Philly summers and Hershey Park?

Anyway, I miss my home and our friends in Sandbridge for so many reasons.

Among them:

I hate packing and moving. I am not good at it. I break things, and I can’t find anything once I land in my new spot.  By the time I find it, it is time to move back. It takes me months to recuperate.

I miss the local restaurants and fun on the island and in Pungo. My boyfriend Bob and I are the only people that have not waited to eat at the new place in downtown Pungo. I want to get that waiting app on my phone.

No one comes to visit us at the apartment. We have seven children between us, and not one of them has mentioned making it down this summer. They love us. They just like Sandbridge and a guaranteed parking place for the beach.

On a recent weekend, we had to go back to the Sandbridge house to clean the pool and cut the grass, as we will each weekend this summer. When Bob starting cleaning the pool, I walked to the beach and sat on a dune. When he finally came to find me, I turned and saw him walking. I stood up with a fist full of sand, voicing some of the most famous lines to ever come out of a Hollywood movie:

“As God as my witness…. As God as my witness, they’re not going to lick me.”

“Who?” Bob asks.

“I’m going to live through this and, when it’s all over, I’ll never be homeless again.”

“What are you talking about?” Bob asks.

“Wait, I’m not done yet. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or grill out forever, as God as my witness, I’ll never leave Sandbridge again!”

Cue the powerful, if imaginary, music and Bob rolling his eyes as if I am being overly dramatic.

See you back in the fall.

Peace out, Katie Scarlett.

Burkett is a Virginia Beach native and University of Richmond graduate who has been in marketing for over 25 years. She is a writer and photographer who owns her own craft business. Burkett has four children, ages 15 to 30. She lives in Sandbridge.

© 2017 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

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