A SW FL Christmas Eve.

Christmas eve morning, we drove to Jiggs Landing in Bradenton to spend the day.  We’d never been there before but it will be on our list from now on. 

Jiggs landing is named for the original fish camp established in 1946 on a loop of the Braden river.  Freshly redone, it now has a visitor’s center, modern bathrooms, rental cabins, a playground neat and clean with a astro turf surface and wonderful boat ramps.   This has the most wonderful is the kayak launch I’ve ever seen.  You can get into the water and out without wetting anything more than the tip of your paddle. 

I saw more water birds than I do paddling the Peace river.  It must be that the birds here are more used to people.  Most populous were common coots and moor hens.  I wish I were an accomplished birder, but I know some other birds I saw were Herons and perhaps a Crane of some kind.  Lots of turtles too, of course.  No doubt there were the ubiquitous alligators, but I didn’t’ see any.  Being nearsighted has its advantages. 

As we were unloading our kayak, another boater was launching his small boat to the accompaniment of four squealing, laughing, wiggling kiddies that appeared to be about 6 to 8 years old. 

I could imagine the scenario.  “For cats sake – take these wound-up  kids out of the house for awhile so I can finish Christmas preparations!!”  says the young momma.  It appeared these two young daddies had decided a boat ride was just the ticket.  Launching the boat was a snap – loading the kiddies – not so much.  I heard one daddy say “Everyone will wear a life jacket.  --- NO – I said everyone!” Jason!  Get on the dock!  Everyone stay on the dock!”  It looked much like the phrase ‘trying to herd cats’.  More squeals.  A fisherman had dumped a small bucket of minnows on the grass and the kids were tossing them at one another.  Eventually, I saw them motor out to the main channel. 

Whew!  Do I miss those days?  Not at all.  They were fun then and I have many beautiful memories.  But, I’m glad to be the age I am now and be free of all the hassle. 


all the time in the world

What an incredible and priceless gift is the gift of time.  Time to simply watch waves chase one another onto the beach.  Watch the shells tumble and spin it its wake.  Time to observe the seagulls wheel and turn in the sea breeze.  The leisure time to watch a small sailboat traverse the bay from south to north. 

As a Senior, I now have the prized gift of time.  Enough time to observe the world around me - enough time to simply ‘waste time’. 

Getting old isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  It’s so much better! I’ve found that instead of something to dread, it is a pure gift to live long enough to be beyond the busy-ness of raising a family, tending to a husband, working a job, keeping house and hearth together.  Except for caring for my two little doggies, I have nothing I ‘must’ do every day.  I can neglect housework, let laundry pile up, prepare only simple meals, sweep floors only when I’m inspired to do so. 

A few days ago I visited a small bayside park on Charlotte Harbor in SW Florida.  It was a sunny, breezy day.  Only a few fishermen were on the fishing pier far out on the water.  There isn’t really a beach here, just a short piece of rocky shoreline so I sat in my car listening to Classical Christmas music and reading a book interspersed with long stretches of just looking at the scene before me.  Pachelbel’s Canon seemed perfect inspiration for the gulls as they swooped across and down then up again into the sky. 

Right next to the parking area was a tiny 1950’s era bungalow and small back yard that ended right at the shoreline.  I watched an equally tiny lady as she puttered about her yard.  She had a few perennials and a few small palms – nothing needing much care like roses or vegetables.  She had a few clothes on her clothesline.  Since I have ‘time to waste’, I made unfounded guesses about what her life story might be.  How long had she lived there?  Was she a transplant from a different climate like me?  I saw no evidence of pets – but perhaps she had a cat inside the house?  Probably she was a widow – but perhaps she had been a single all her life?  If I had a better imagination, all this could be the menu for a novel.  I could make her out to be anything I could fancy. 

Now – isn’t this a wonderful thing ???  To simply have the time to simply sit still and let my imagination take Flights of Fancy.  ~Pam