Thursday May 24, 2012 and Friday May 25, 2012
Oscar Scherer State Park Site 89, Osprey, Florida
Gee what will we do today??
As it turns out, this visit to Oscar may be nothing but beach. The park is a lot different in the summer than in the winter. A lot less going on than in the winter when they have pancake breakfasts and other sorts of activities. But now, it’s too hot to do the hiking and even the kayaking that is here.
I go running early but it’s so humid I am slogging around.
By the time I finish the stretching and weights and shower, I decide I’ve missed the best part of the day which for me is early morning. The sun here is just too strong even in late May to be out from 11 to 2 even though I have both #60 sunscreen and an umbrella and I wear a hat, a t-shirt and keep a towel over my legs. With all that protection, still yesterday my cheeks and nose looked red.
So I decide to do the laundry first
Then I’ll go to the beach about 3:30 and stay for a few hours when the sun is waning.
With 104 campsites, there are multiple bathrooms at Oscar Scherer. Every other one has one washer and one dryer outside. There is only cold water for the washer supposedly so that the folks in the showers have plenty of hot water. You have to have your cold water detergent with you, which I do, since we’d been here before. But I have to say that if you only want to wash clothing that simply needs to be “freshened”, cold water works fine, but for stains, not so much.
The price is right though. You get a 32 minute wash for $1.25 or a 48 minute wash for $1.50. Dryer is 55 minutes for $1.25. AND one of the bathrooms with washer is just across at an angle from site 89.
Now where did I put that??
Anyway, one thing leads to another and when I go to start the laundry I can’t find the laundry quarters in their paper sleeve, in a jar above the dining table. I spend too much time looking for them. How can you lose things in such a small space? They have to be here somewhere. I am sure there were some left from last laundry. But I admit probably not enough for this one. This all adds up to a trip to get quarters BEFORE I can even start the laundry. Long story short, it is 5:00 before the laundry is finished. Now I can’t go to the beach or I’ll miss dinner. Then it’s 6:30 before dinner is finished and at that point I just give it up. Hard to believe I’m within 5 miles of the beach and there was a day I didn’t go. But it’s true. Happily there is tomorrow. :-))
Tonight we get the big thunderstorm that was promised by the lightning in the clouds last night. We turn the seats facing the windshield and sit in the dark and watch it flash across the sky and light up South Creek and the cypress. It is beautiful. I am too busy ooohhing and ahhhhing to think about getting my camera out. But I learned last night that lightning is very hard to catch unless you have some sort of rapid fire repeater camera.
So now it is tomorrow and I’m out early to hit the beach. David sleeps in. I hop in the car, I’m there by 7:30 and AGAIN I get the primo parking space.
I’ve developed a bit of a routine for these ‘great way to start the day’ mornings. I bring down my chair. umbrella, water, books…boy I have a lot of gear. I pick out a spot near the water and set off beachcombing for half an hour or so.
I walk in the water looking at the high tide line to see if there are any interesting shells.
I don’t find anything fabulous but they are lovely just in their natural setting. So I leave them all and just take their pictures.
Anyone from Michigan?
Does the shell to the left look like a Petoskey stone??
What am I seeing here?
This one catches my eye. I stop and look. I see sad.
As I walk, I notice areas marked off.
I go up to take a closer look.
There are perhaps a dozen of them already and it is only the end of May
This really makes me smile. I wish I could be here in the dark to see the mother come to lay her eggs. I wish I could be here when the babies find their way back to the sea.
I wish I could be one of the volunteers patrolling the beach to protect them. I am so glad it is both a state and federal offense to disturb these nests. I am proud of the governments for this.
I come back, swim out to the buoy and back, rinse the salt off in the showers provided near the parking lot and sit down with my journal.
I’m being watched.
I have breakfast at 9 or 9:30. I bring toast with peanut butter, a banana, and an orange or a pear. After that I read, watch the folks coming out for their time on the beach. About 10 or 10:30 I go for another swim. It really is a wonderful way to start the day.
There goes the silence.
As I come back in from my swim a swarm of kids and their drill sergeant drop their tons of gear right next to me.
I assume this is a school class field trip of some sort. The teacher in lime green makes sure those kids pretty much never even get their feet in the water even though it is shallow for at least 30 feet out from shore and there are no waves other than lapping. It is funny to hear her commanding “Line up. Ladies and Gentlemen get your buckets”.
Four mothers seem to stand around and talk on their cell phones and eventually use them to take pictures.
The commander divides the kids into “teams” and sets each one up to make what she calls sand sculptures. I hear the kids talking about mermaids, dolphins, sea turtles. She goes around to each group and asks “Do you have a plan? You have to have a plan”. Yes they were that close, I could hear every word clearly.
A few minutes later the commander comes by and dumps little plastic sand molds in the middle of each group and says “Mermaid? No no you can’t do that. Build a castle”. I think - What????
They no more get started on one event when 5 minutes later she calls
and they rush off to do something else. They never did get to finish their “castles”. I wonder if her tactics are because all the kids are ADD or our children’s attention spans are becoming short because the teacher is ADD.
They disappear for nearly an hour. Lunch??
I go out for another swim in the warm lovely CALM water. Here they come back at the sand castle task and then the teacher is pouring water on the kids.
Rather than let them just get a bucket of water each for their “team castles”, they line up and she steps 2 steps back and fills the buckets with water. I’m almost hysterical watching this. I know teaching is a difficult job. I did it in a former life, but I want to walk over. put my arm around her and say gently “just lighten up, there are 5 adults here, you don’t have to control every moment, let them play, let them create on their own, they are children”.
But I do find some children making up their own games.
The gentleman buries the ladies in the sand.
Later the Ladies go out into the water. They try to coax him but the gentleman refuses. Instead he stands on the shore watching them and dancing to his ipod. Or is he performing for them?? Whatever. He’s groovin’, they are cheering him on.
Today is an exceptionally beautiful day – just a light breeze and warm gulf waters.
No shock, even at first, getting in the water. If this were the Atlantic in Virginia I’d have to be looking for jellyfish the water was so warm. But here, I can just go out and float the day away if it weren’t for the sun. I’m always worried about staying out too long. I’ve done some damage to my skin in previous excessive sun days. Maybe I should go out in a long sleeve shirt, long pants and some sort of summer type ski mask to cover my face. That would make a great picture for someone.
What do YOU think?
The ski/swim mask will be the hardest to come up with. Don’t think I’ve ever seen such a swim mask. Can’t be made out of anything warm. Have I stumbled on a niche item that could make me rich? A full face swim mask made out of speedo bathing suit material 50 SPF fabric of course, to minimize the risk of skin cancer for those who want to stay in the water a LONG time. What do you think?? Can I pay the medical bills with this idea??
I stay playing and watching others play until the winds pick up and I get hungry for lunch. There is no end of fun at this beach.