Living Life In The Shoes of Paradise

Written By: Matthew C.  Peters

I’m sure you are all wondering what this paradise may be like, right? Don’t worry, this paradise is not some prosperous cornucopia filled with luxuries and estates. Let me start from the beginning on how this paradise bloomed in my life.

As a young child, the most recollected memories were most often at a beach. I remember waking up early in the morning with my family loading the chairs and snacks into my father’s truck, and heading out to Smith Point Beach. One of the best feelings was when we waited on line to let the air out of the tires so the truck could glide across the sand. By the time we got to our spot, the tailgate dropped and I immediately went for the chips and french onion dip. That was the ultimate beach snack for me. My oldest brother Karl, an outstanding role model, helped pitch my camouflage tent while my other brother Jason would be out on the waves ripping the water in half with his surfboard. Within the next few summers, Jason’s friend Teddy and his family purchased a “top of the line” recreational vehicle. They used it for the first time at Smith Point Beach and I couldn’t be any happier that I was going to be able to hang out in it. I remember stepping inside and pausing for a moment just to soak it all in. The shiny wood molding around the ceiling, the big television that hung over the captain’s chairs. It was something I have never seen before. I still can’t let go of the thought that the RV also had an outdoor shower and television that pulled out of each side. At the end of the day, the Mister Softee ice cream truck would drive around the campsite playing its catchy tune and that would be the time when I sprang up and pulled my brother out the door. We would wave him down and I would always order a vanilla milkshake. But whenever Karl got his vanilla cone with chocolate sprinkles, I just had to try it. Now that was only a little piece of my paradise so let me continue.

My family and I live in a town which I am proud to say is called Manorville. Manorville has its history and it’s a mysterious little town filled with its farm fields and famous pine trees, also known as the Pine Barrens. I guess you could say it is more of the country part of Eastern Long Island. All we are missing are the bears and mountains. It is ironic because I went to Eastport South Manor High School and we are known as the ESM Sharks, but why? The irony is that there are no sharks near Manorville, let alone rarely a body of water. We have our lakes and ponds but our school is set back beyond a large farm. My house has drawn a decent amount of attention to a lot of people that pass by. It’s nothing too special but it is a traditional style log cabin, a cozy home with a proper setting ensconced by the lovely pines. Not everyone realizes it but Manorville claims the title as “The Gateway to the Hamptons.” When its kickoff time for the summer, Manorville becomes a mini New York City. Everyone gets off the Long Island Expressway at Exit 70 as they are greeted by the “Welcome to Manorville Sign.” County Road 111, also known as Captain Daniel Roe Highway, becomes the main road to paradise for many others. It’s pretty neat being a Manorville resident because I get to bump into a few celebrities at our shopping center and see some of them drive by as they make their way to the Hamptons.  Now let me tell you the key aspects of paradise in my life.

As a child, I would always watch my brother Karl, run out of the house when his ambulance pager beeped, knowing that he was going to help someone. He had such a passion for caring for others and helping out and that’s when I started to follow in his footsteps. I joined the Manorville Community Ambulance Youth Squad when I was 13 years old and was granted permission to respond to 911 calls with the ambulance at the age of 16. I have been on a wide variety of emergency calls including car accidents, fires, strokes, overdoses, and the most impacting and adrenaline rushing, cardiac arrests. We care for our residents and anybody who passes through that needs our help. A few years ago, I started volunteering for Yes We Care Inc., a not for profit organization that assists the homeless and disabled veterans of the military. One of the most rewarding experiences I had was when I volunteered to help at a Holiday Party at the Northport Veteran’s Affairs Hospital. Keep in mind that many of these veterans are bedridden. Physically, mentally, and emotionally impacted by the times of their service. It is heartbreaking to know that many of the vets have either family that doesn’t or no family which means no visitors. When we walked in to brighten their holiday, it put smiles on their faces and it just meant the world to them that people still care for them. A simple thank you just doesn’t seem like enough after seeing what these service men and women have gone through. The thought of giving back to those who put their lives on the line for their country and its people, you and me, is absolutely rewarding. Being kind and respectful is a key trait of mine and no matter what, I always attempt to put a smile on someone’s face. That is my paradise, a random act of kindness to make another’s day. My passion is to care for others and to make sure everyone stays positive to ensure a better tomorrow.

To wrap it up, I could talk for days about Long Island and why it is such a beauty to me. When people ask me why I wouldn’t move off of Long Island, I simply tell them “The weather and the setting.” What do I mean by this? Long Island offers everything in my perspective. It is like my miniature United States. You have areas that are nothing but tall business buildings surrounded by mazes full of crazy intersections where all you hear is “beep.” The Pine Barrens is where nature proclaims its place in life. The country where you have farm fields and open roads that you could travel for days. Wine Country, don’t get me started on that. Is it spiked grape juice or just a stress reliever? Of course, I am sure this is everyone’s favorite, the famous Long Island Beaches. Where you can catch some decent waves, get burnt by sun rays and enjoy the most beautiful sunsets. Now the weather contributes to a lot of the beautiful scenery. Long Island has its extremely hot and humid summer days to its frigid, frostbiting winters. Even though many people are not a fan of the temperatures, there is no doubt in not being able to enjoy the beautiful sights they bring. The warm colors of the trees on a cool autumn day. The thin layers of snow that lay upon the branches that create a true winter wonderland. It is all the many beauties Long Island has to offer. Even though it is pricey to live here, Long Island is my home and I will continue to cherish every moment I spend on this place I call paradise. So, are you ready to experience my paradise?