Looking For a Secular Florida Umbrella School?

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A Memorial Day We Won't Soon Forget

No parades or moving memorials for us this year. We opted to go out to the island Sunday and just relax for a nice, quiet day or two. Was it successful? Well let's see...

Aside from the thirty or so people that were renting our next door neighbor's house, and their constant cutting through our front yard rather than using the superhighway of boardwalks our neighbor just installed, and the boat load of drunks that almost chopped Jorge and Elle to bits while they were out on a sand bar, and the frightening squall of a storm that swept our boat away this morning, causing Jorge to pull a Johnny Weismuller and swim for it in the midst of gale force winds, I'd say, yeah, we had a pretty great weekend.

Said bad tenants raised a large tent on the beach in total disregard of sea turtle nesting season laws which prohibit such activities, and the new, clearly marked turtle nest just steps from their tent spikes; left cellophane wrappers from the hundreds of dollars of beach junk they had purchased for the weekend scattered around which can choke a poor turtle because it looks like a yummy jellyfish; and used the sand for an ashtray.

Do I sound like a cranky old lady? Wait! There's more:

As the leader of the clan traipsed through our yard yet again, hollering a hearty, "Hope you don't mind!" little old non-confrontational me summoned all my courage and hollered back in a most cheery way, "Actually, we'd really appreciate it if you would please use the boardwalks and go around!" To which my husband, who had been as disgusted with their rudeness to that point as I, and who is apparently even less confrontational than I, says, "Nah, it's okay! Don't worry about it! How you doin'? My name's Jorge!" The guy brought him a nice Cuban cigar on his next trip through. Hey, I'm the one whose behind he should be kissing. I'm the troll under the bridge. It is me you must appease, buddy. On his next trip he promised to smoke another one with Jorge when he returned from ferrying a few more guests to his soiree. I am pleased to say he never made good on that promise. Feel a little used, Jorge? Maybe next time I will just catch some rays au natural in my front yard, that should drive them away. Maybe I am not so much non-confrontational as passive-aggressive.

While I sprawled on my beach towel (clothed, don't worry), trying to ignore the savages trashing our beach, I was startled to hear Jorge yelling at a boatload of guys. Were they loudly discussing some trophy tarpon they had just caught? Did he know these guys? No. Jorge was vociferously informing them that they were supposed to be 100 yards offshore, not 100 feet after he and Elle were almost run down. They didn't believe Jorge and finally drove off telling him that he shouldn't be out there that far swimming with his kid anyway. Sarabelle ran to tell me that her dad used the "F" word. I'll bet.

Very early this morning I dreamed of a thunderstorm, until the strobe light flashes of lightning woke me. I ran out in the pitch black, gathered all the towels, and lowered the umbrella. Should I check the lines on the boat? If I was out there by myself I would have definitely done so, but since Jorge had taken the boat out earlier in the day without any other little hands to help with the lines, I didn't worry about it. He got up early too, the intensity of the storm was unnerving, not the twenty percent chance of rain they predicted the night before, and he couldn't sleep. With a cup of coffee and his cell phone handy, he went out to sit on the porch and prepared to commence barking orders at his crew back on the east coast. One minute the boat was there, one minute it was gone. By the time he ran out to the end of the dock, and ran back to return his cell phone to a drier location, and ran out again, the boat was two docks away and moving fast. He did a heroic leap into the water, swam furiously, caught the boat when it slowed for a millisecond as the motor dragged in the mud, scrambled up the side, and then was able to start the motor and get back to our dock. I had been sleeping in the girls' room while they had chosen to pig pile on the living room futon, and went out to see what he thought about this frightening weather. The empty dock immediately caught my eye. I believe I gasped. I looked around to alert Jorge. No Jorge. His cell phone was on the porch deck. The kettle was on and beginning to whistle. Checked the back room and the bathroom, then went into and checked the girls' room again. No Jorge. As I puzzled what to do, he came cruising up to the dock with his Tarzan tale of adventure.

I am looking forward to moving out to the island while we renovate the orange house. Life in Punta Gorda is boring in comparison.

No comments: