Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Last beach Days

Saturday June 16, 2012
Oscar Scherer State Park Site 89
Osprey, Florida


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Well you certainly did have comments about my musing on why do a blog if no one comments.   So now I know you are out there.  I hope you won’t go into lurking again.   And I hope those responsible for all the page view numbers will come on out and make yourselves known.


I may have already mentioned that I have kept a personal journal daily for over 30 years so I have excellent records of my full time life and all the lives before that.  For the full time life I also have at least a few daily pictures as well. They are actually organized and easy to get to so any time I want to check on something, it isn’t that hard to do.  Thus the blog is to keep me connected to other folks interested in full timing or beaches or hiking or kayaking or any of the other things we do or did.   So hearing from those who read the blog about what they think and what they would like to know is my real motivation for doing it.


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These are the last beach days sadly.  And also the final beach pictures for those missing the beach.  Hope you like them.  Hope there aren’t TOO many.  J

I spend as much of the last 3 days at the beach as possible going over early, about 7:15 on the days I don’t run and about 9:15 on the days I do.

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Each day I get a great parking place, usually in the shade, pick out my spot close to the water, set up, swim out to the buoy and talk with the cormorant if he is there.  I swim back, run in the water parallel to the beach a mile or so and then I run back to my spot.  When I get back, I have breakfast usually an orange and peanut butter toast.  I write in my journal and read until the people watching gets good.  It’s just amazing what you can see.  Around 12:30, I  go back for lunch with David and bring him back to the beach for part of the afternoon. 


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The gulf is so varied.  On Thursday it is very windy.  GREAT waves.  The yellow flag is out.  I put the TIBU far into the ground so it won’t blow away.  This works but it flap flap flaps in a way the WBBU never did.  But then TIBU is some synthetic fabric and WBBU was a serious canvas.  The waves are big for the gulf and steady.  I wonder if the wind will pick up even more at its usual afternoon time and get even stronger.  


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On Friday the gulf is like glass.  The water just laps the shore.
I arrive after 9. 


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There is already one young woman in a black dress, her blonde hair pulled back in a pony tail, sitting on the shoreline on a towel or blanket.   She sits there for a very long time just staring out and down.  She seems to have a journal,  at points I wonder if she is meditating.  She stays for a while even as people begin to come and walk the beach.  They show up earlier and in bigger numbers.  I look over at one point and she is gone.


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For the second day in a row someone has brought a live shell up out of the water.  I go over as they set it down on the shore and stare at it waiting to watch it move.  Mother, father, 2 daughters.  I say,  like I did yesterday, he’ll die without water.  But this time, I just stand there.  They move him slightly closer to the water.  he doesn't move.  They move him closer still.  A wave washes him back in.  He’s high and dry again.  I stand there and watch.  My disapproval evident.  I say nothing.  Finally the father takes him just beyond the small drop off made by the waves rushing up and pulling back and sets him in 18” of water.  I wait.  Someone else will just find him and do it all over.  What is the matter with these people that they think all creatures are nothing but curiosities to entertain them.  So despite the fact that I have just gotten out of the water and rinsed the salt off and have on my t[shirt, I go in, pick up the shell and take him out over my head and drop him.  I hope I’m not too late.

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As I come out of the water, down the beach comes a woman and her 3 year old son.  She’s in a string bikini and at least 7 months maybe 8 months pregnant.  Her skin is all completely browned and her belly button looks like a cap in the middle of the mound.  How things have changed in 100 years.  In 1912 I’m not sure women even went outside their homes when pregnant and surely not without a coat or cape to cover them.  Now they bare it all.  why?  why not??


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The live shell couple and their daughters turn to sand castle building. The daughters are involved for a few minutes at the  beginning but then the parents appear to take over the castle.  The father works especially hard while the mother brings him water and the two girls are no where to be found.   They are playing in the water.   Later the mother takes the girls’ picture with the castle.



Umbrellas are blowing over.  People are running after them.  But mine does not.  Of course I don’t leave it opened up when I go in the water which is when most of the others are nearly lost.


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Saturday I’m on the beach at 7:30.  The water is calm and warm this morning but it’s breezy.  The swimmers are out.   They are able to swim so well.  Not zig zagging or going on an angle but just straight parallel to the shore.  almost perfectly.  Stroke, Stroke, Stroke Breathe.  The women seem to have a slower pace than the men and don’t stop as often and when they do, they just change strokes for a short period and then return to what I always called the American Crawl.  They wear skull caps and goggles.   They are serious swimmers.  I can see the caps keep your hair out of your eyes.  I wonder if they help keep water out of your ears??  I think I’d like to take swimming lessons and have a good and easy stroke.  Swimming is great exercise and this is a perfect place to swim.  Not sure how lessons would fit into my life thought.




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An elderly woman helps an elderly man into the water.  He takes his walker until he is up to his hips.   She then holds on to him until he’s up to his chest although she almost seems to be holding him back more than helping him at that point.  She puts the walker back up on shore and they float in the water together.   Two white head lying back.  I wonder if they have had long and happy lives together.  They don’t seem to say a word. 




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The snorkelers are out laughing and swimming around looking down.  Some clearly know what they are doing and are completely covered in the water, long sleeve shirts and all.  Others have flaming red sunburned backs from being face down in the water for so long.






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A brassy blonde with straw like hair comes out with a flat lounger in a thong bikini.  She goes through a ritual of putting the chair out, a towel over it, sun lotion on her feet but no where else and lays down facing the sun, away from the water.  She puts a towel over her face.  I guess it’s her eyes she’s protecting.




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A nice looking black man runs down the beach and eventually back.   Later I see this same man go into the water and start swimming laps.  He must be in great physical shape.



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The elderly woman goes back in the water alone after she helps her husband?  her companion?? ashore.


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A father plays chase with his twin daughters running down the beach in slow motion.  As they squeal in glee he says I’m going to get you.  They are maybe 4.  I hope they will remember these fun times with their dad.  Tomorrow is father’s day.





I see a very strange swimming outfit.  But hey, this is clearly a day for people watching.

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And then the flaxen haired sun bather gets up for to take a walk down the beach.  Times have definitely changed on Gulf beaches.

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Is the patrol out to check on the swimmers?  Or check out the walkers??


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Boaters of all sorts are out.


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The noodles are out.

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The strange swim attire is moving up the beach.

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And then I get it.  He spends a lot of time in the sun, he’s nearly completely covered. 


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I go back to get David in the afternoon and we return with Gordon and Kim of The Gypsy Wife fame.  If you didn’t read that blog about their fabulous bus, check it out here.  They have been in a site about 10 down from us all week and we didn’t know it. How could I have missed that bus in my running.  Must be those books on tape.  I’ve run this campground so many times I no longer see it.


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We spend a lot of time in the water this afternoon and at about 4:00 one of those big breezes that has cropped up all afternoon and given other umbrella holders fits including Kim and Gordon just snaps the TIBU off at the neck. Well at least we have all the parts and can return it.  But for what?  Maybe a sportbrella that we can anchor down although I don’t like it used as a tent.  It’s too low for David’s big chair and it’s too confining.  But that’s a trip and decision for another day.  It’s too late today.  We intend to go back for dinner and then return to see the drumming down of the sun one last time.  But we both are too tired to return.   We have a big day of moving back to Lithia tomorrow. 


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  1. I'm glad the beach gives you peace. I prefer the woods and mountains.

  2. If I were on that beach, I think I'd cover my eyes, too, and NOT to protect them from the sun! There are just some things I don't wanna see! Beautiful pictures, Sherry. David looks good!

  3. LOL I think there's things that are better off not being seen too! Enjoy your last stay Lithia Springs.

  4. After reading your post, I feel like I've just spent an afternoon at the beach...without the salt & sand. : ) Love your stories about people watching, especially the old couple with the walker, and the young girl being chased by her daddy. Almost brought tears to my eyes.

  5. Enjoyed your photos of the final days at the beach. Lived in FL for almost 30 years but, like Judy, we were always drawn to the woods and mountains.

  6. like you I find peace and solace in the beach..and I love to people watch...good luck with the move tomorrow

  7. You and David look very good! Great picture of you both.

  8. Well, Sandie, thank you for taking me to the beach! I can almost feel sand between my toes! You may not realize it, but you are an excellent writer, and by the reaction to even the thought of not having your blog to read you need to realize how valued you are.

    I, too, have kept journals for many years. I'm so glad to have them; especially of our trips west. I have the pre-digital pictures (thousands, I might say) and movies to go with the places we've been and family gatherings, etc., but it's not the same as having a blog.

    It's nice to put pictures with the words--it tells a more complete story. I'm glad you had such a nice time and peaceful time at the beach, and that you ran into Kim and Gordon.

    ...and I look forward, as always, to your next blog.

  9. Really like the bch picture with the seagulls!! Love your commetary on all the people and equipment. ye gads you see all kinds!!!!

  10. An excellent time people watching ... the brassy blonde reminds me of the couple we saw in St Maarten ... the man was just as scantily clad as the woman :-)))

  11. Very nice commentary today :) You see all kinds of people at the beach, or anyplace for that matter! Makes the world go around. The beach will be there waiting for you when you are able to return..with open arms :)

  12. Another day at the beach! Nice!! :-) Very nice photo of you and David!

  13. Great pictures -enjoyed the day at the beach with you :)

  14. Nice commentary about the beach and all the people there, Sherry! I admire you for your dedication to journaling. I find it so hard to do for me, I don't do it!

  15. You really did have a great people watching day, didn't you? It made me want to go to the beach.....and kayaking.

    The strange beach attire is a "skin suit". I have one of those when I scuba dive. It keeps you from getting stung by fire coral, jellyfish and the like...and it also keeps you a little warmer.

    Sorry you have to go back to Lithia. I know how you love the beach.

  16. I spent a summer in Florida when I was in my mid 20s, going to a special graduate school seminar. I have a photo someone took of me on the beach. I'm wearing bluejeans and a long-sleeved shirt, with the legs rolled up. That's all the closer I would get to baring my skin, as I'm pretty fair complexioned and burn easily. I sure looked out of place, and what a contrast to the people wearing about nothing. :)

    Your post took me back to those days...thanks!

  17. I like all the people... I love to people-watch and to try and figure out what the heck they're doing... sometimes I can't!

    Too bad about the shell creature. I hope it survived.

    I like that picture of the both of you. Nice clouds in the background.

  18. Absolutely loved your post. Felt I was right there, but glad I did not have to have a close up of that string bikini! Was your husband there for that? :)))

  19. All right Sherry, I'm "outing" myself! I am an official lurker and not sure why I finally picked today to 'fess up! I've been reading and loving your blog from the very beginning. When you were going confidently "in the direction of your dreams." I've cried with you through David's diagnosis, his treatments, his pain and YOURS! I'll continue to cry.

    I am not an RV'er and likely never will be, but I am a blogger, avid hiker, traveler and enjoy many RV'er blogs because that's exactly what they do. I love the mountain connection we have. I live at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in East Tennessee and love when you and David are at YOUR farm as your pictures look so much like "home" to me. My husband is a college professor and I'm retired, so we travel during his breaks and will travel almost full-time once he retires in a few more years. We take advantage of every opportunity and learned long ago never to take as much as the next breath for granted. As you well know, a lifetime of goals can change with one doctor visit! We are currently traveling in Maine finishing up our 2012 Summer Adventure as we call it and will be heading back to Tennessee at the end of this week.

    For some reason, today just felt like the right day to introduce myself and say, "thanks" for all the work you do on this blog. Yes, I know the feedback is encouraging and fun, but as a two-year blogger myself, I also know that it is a lot of hard work. Today's post was hilarious - you always manage to make me smile although today's smile did NOT come at the pic of the girl in the thong. Oh my..............

    Guess now that I'm no longer a lurker, I'll comment and hopefully, one of these days make you smile as well!

    Take care, Sharon

    P.S. I have a friend who is a multiple myeloma survivor of more than five years now. As you posted not long ago, there are MANY forms of this disease and I hesitated to even mention this because David's could be totally different, but on the other hand, there are bright spots out there. I'm hoping and praying David is going to be just like my friend!

  20. I admire people who don't give much thought to what others think of them. In superficial matters, at least. Now, that family stranding the critter needed to pay a little more heed to what you thought of them!

  21. Your days on the beach, with all the sights are very entertaining. I've noticed some of the bathing attire that people wear, well...What Are They Thinking???!!! Or I guess they are not.

    Hope you don't stay away from the beach too long. You sure love it. :c)

  22. People watching is certainly interesting, isn't it??? One of my favorite hobbies. As always, you made me feel like I was right there with you.

  23. Sure had a lot of interesting people at the beach today;o)) We are back at Myrtle Beach and I really prefer the beach when there are not so many people. Just a couple months and the vacationers will return the beach to the rest of us!!!

  24. I loved Sharron's comments.And I bet it felt good to hear from someone you've never heard from before. I suppose it's alot like writing letters to our politicians. For every one letter written there are a bunch more that go unwritten. So...you have lots of people reading your blog and celebrating your joyful moments and saddened by the journey that you and David are currently on. It will pass. You have lots of joyful days ahead of you. Beautiful beach days and whatever else you want to do.

    I'm having a difficult time wrapping my mind around the photo of the woman in the thong. I guess it shows my age. I just can't believe someone would walk around in one of those things. She belongs on a nudist beach. I mean why bother with a thong?

  25. Thanks for sharing a day on the beach. We don't have too many beach days here at the North Rim :)

  26. Peroxide L'asSie has a nice derriere. Such a pleasant rear view allows parading around with two cheeks to the wind. But how does she tolerate that halyard stuck in the crack of her centerboard?
    Well, at least she is covering her fo'csle.

  27. Great blog and amusing comments! People watching is excellent - I wonder what people think of us when they watch us on the beach (I never feel like they are, but they must be!). This post really captures the feel of being there. Very nice picture of you and Dad.


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