Friday, April 13, 2007

Spring Break in Ft. Myers

Springtime is beautiful in Ft. Myers. The weather is hot, hot, hot, the sand is white as talc and the water is warm. We wait all winter for these last few weeks in the tropics. Snowbirds tend to leave for home around the first of April and the college kids have been and gone by now. They leave in their wake locals who are underage and in jail for drinking and partying with the big time college kids. Our oldest daughter flew in the 30th of March for her Spring Break from school. She had been held hostage by a band of renegade third graders since last August. Here she was; free at last. If you really want to have a great house guest --- give birth to the perfect home companion. Her idea of a wonderful time was watching TV until the late news, reading until sleep grabs her by the eyelids, sleeping until she awakens of her own free will, more reading and a little counted cross-stitch, suntanning beside the pool, eating out and having her mom and dad sit and appreciate her presence. I insisted that we had to go out to Ft. Myers Beach, just for the sudden view as the crest of the bridge is reached and the Gulf of Mexico lies spread before us like a glittering jewel to be tucked away in the recesses of our memory until the next occasion to behold such beauty. We went after dinner and strolled along the beach as we awaited the sunset with many other romantics. Since I am an old lady, I plopped down on the sand --- it is so soft and white that it is a wonder that people don't try to bake bread with it. It is so fine and powdery --- it sticks to your bare feet, to your butt and hides in your pants pockets. I am not proud! In the presence of natural beauty, who cares if you get a little gritty?

As we walked around the end of the island through Bowditch Park, we came upon this image of family togetherness. Dad, Mom, one little girl with pink sandals and one tiny little girl with a white sandal at each end of the grouping left their shoes to wiggle their toes in the wonderful white sand. People scan the sand bars as the tide goes out and the sand dollars appear and occasional shells beg to be picked. Most people pick shells just to prove to themselves that they actually were here.

The daughter did her obligatory visit to the beach and crossed it off her list of things you have to do when in southern Florida. When you are the single mom to three grown sons, Spring Break means just that --- stop whatever you have been doing for so many months and flop until you are revived to go back and start all over again. I told this child when she was four or five and bored that once she learned to read, she would never be bored again. She took me at my word and has a Master's Degree+ in reading. She read three books while she was here, but I think she brought eleven or twelve. It's hard to believe that she is only a few years from retirement herself. After eight days of revitalizing sunshine, we took her back to the airport on Easter morning. She is back at her desk with her brood of nine year olds, but summer is only two months away and she will be able to recoup until next August.

Today, I made a zillion chocolate chip cookies to send to my grandson in the Air Force and I am starting to drag things out of their hiding places to pack for our return to Ohio. I just don't understand why we leave Florida when things are just getting really good here. I want a Spring Break!


Loving Annie said...

Ahhh, Kacey, what a trulylovely spring break with your daughter that was !

She indeed sounds like a delightful houseguest ! In fact, so much like me with her passion for reading and sleeping and needlepoint and relaxing that should you ever need a stand-in, I'll be happy to do so !

That beach has the prettiest sand I've ever seen ! wow.

Your grandson will LOVE the cookies ! I bet they won't last a week when his buddies find out about them and want to have one or two or ten !!!

Thank you for the incredibly sweet comment on my blog, Kacey...

Cyber-hugs and blessings to you --

Matty said...

This post brought a tear to my eye! You described the beach, the white sand, the snowbirds, the footprints, and for a tiny moment I was there. I could feel the sand between my toes. Sounds like heaven!
I've never had the opportunity to take a vacation, the one time I had planned to visit my sister in New Brunswick, I ended up going to a funeral instead. Her daughter, 5 years old had passed away.
So, I'm travelling with you in cyber space!
Your daughter sounds like the dream houseguest.Did you convince her to join the 'Diva's?
Funny, but I told my granddaughter when she was only 5,,that she would never be lonely as long as there were books around. I had taught her to read at 4 yrs old. I told her that when you're having a bad day, when friends will hurt you, you can always turn to a book and you'll never be bored or lonely...and now at 9, she has the same habit as me, we can't go to bed without reading a bit. She is so much like me, she carries her books everywhere, to her dad's on a weekend, for a long car ride, a wait at the dr's.

I will teach myself cross-stitch this summer when I sit on the deck with my legs up and dream off far-away places! When I was at the Children's Hospital I saw a lovely cross-stitch that was donated, a picture out of a Norman Rockwell book. A work of art!
Oh surely the sand is always whiter, the sky is always bluer, the water warmer in your patch of the world. I just know it is.
Maybe one day, I'll get to go!
Beautiful pic's.
I know you had a lovely time with your daughter,, and yes, I believe that teachers are wonderful, over-worked, underpaid and under-appreciated! Bet she could tell you some horror stories about the parents. It's sad when they leave, isn't it?
Now back to work Kacey, no rest for the wicked!Pack up and move again, I hope you get a break after this.

Lesley said...

I do sound like the perfect houseguest! I wish I were back there with you. I loved every minute of my vacation. When I got up today (Saturday) I had a long list of "todo items" and I thought to myself, "Gee, one week ago today I was laying by the pool watching the ash from the nearby forest fire gently drift into the pool." Instead I went to the dentist to have my cavity filled, took Chloe and the guinea pig to the groomer's to get cleaned up, cleaned the house, and started dinner. I decided to save the yard work for next weekend as they are calling for snow and rain today. Sigh!

Lisa said...


What a wonderful place Fort Meyers seems to be! So beautiful, peaceful looking. Loved the sandals! How cute!! We have a lovely Nor'easter up here right now. Windy, rainy, dank and dreary. Would love to be sitting in that butt-hugging sand right now!!

Betty said...

Dear Kacey,

My next door neighbors are snowbirds too and they remain in the Tampa area until mid May. I never can understand why they bother to bring themselves back here. I'd just stay in Florida! It's clear to me that the wife, anyway, definitely leaves her heart in Tampa. And after reading this post of yours, I'm all the more convinced that they're crazy!

I am so glad that you are blessed with a daughter who is such a joy to be with, and I can just imagine how you feel when she leaves. But you have your trek to Ohio to focus on! What a busy and adventurous life you have!


Big Dave T said...

My aunt and uncle returned from Florida last week and they're sorry now. It's still COLD up north here. Stay, Cookie, stay.

I have a couple jars of those shells that you collect on the beach. And just like you said, just to prove I've been there.

But I've got meself a treasure map now, arggghhhhh, so I be lookin' for gold the next time I find a beach by the ocean.

Summer said...

Kacey, i swear i left you a comment here a while ago!! where did it go??
glad you had a nice time with your daughter. also happy that you enjoyed doing stuff you like with her. at this point in your life and hers, you are more friends than you are a mother and daughter i think..enjoy your time!