I am a Cynical Old Woman

Yes, it’s true I am a cynical old woman.

Yesterday, I was reading a thread on Facebook, in a group Fernandina Surfers. It was addressing the issues of lifeguarding, in the time of pandemic. However, it touched a nerve in me, that was yet, another one of those issues of aging.

The word that set me off in their dialogue was “enforcement”. I dislike enforcement, therefore, according to the dictionary, I am cynical.

I made the simple comment, of having mixed feelings, concerning lifeguards. Some, white haired, old man named Bert, called me a cynical old woman. I know lifeguards have their place, but that’s part of the problem. I don’t want a sixteen year old, with braces, telling me where and how to swim. They will look at me and my grey hair and think I shouldn’t go out deeper than my waist.

Reading the comments, on the thread, my mind reflected on vivid memories, of being a child and swimming, in the ocean. I would bend my knees and duck under the waves. I would feel it pass over me. I learned about the rhythm of the sea. I was taught about run outs, and how to deal with them. I swam far out beyond the breakers. I swam every day all day long, only stopping for lunch, a rest, and then back out until the sun went down.

No lifeguard. – I would not have been allowed.

I swam in the salt springs of Florida. They were freezing. I would dive and check out the caves; my mother put a permanent fear mark, of caves, in the depths of my being. The same as the currents in rivers. The St. John’s River will swallow you whole, and only a fool would ski there. After civilization moved in, I was whistled at and removed from an area by security, because of alligators. I have swam, in that spring since 1960. I’m sure alligators were there before then, as they are now. It’s Florida!

Continue reading I am a Cynical Old Woman

Backtracking Sandy ~ 3

This photo is from Sandy ~ Day 5.

The surfer is Angela, a local, science teacher and life guard, who brought her South California surfing skills, to our humble island.

It’s a bit tragic, that what brought us these savory, brown waves, has been devastating up the coast. Anyone that lives near the ocean knows the threat.

It’s wise to respect mother nature.

Personal Favorites – 4

This photo starts a series, of a move, called a helicopter. Notice the fins are out front.
Balancing and moving to the back of the board, which is really the front of the board.He’s turned the board and heading down the wave.Picking up speed.To be able to surf like this~

On the move, with a three-second warning in the contest.Two seconds.
This is the last second of the contest. The horn blew and it was all over.

It’s a Better World

It’s a better world when I surf. I paddled out yesterday for the first time here in Florida. This trip anyway. Florida and Fernandina Beach is my primary home. This morning, before surfing, I was reminded of the day that came every year, when my mother would drive us out of the woods, on the Westside of Jacksonville, for our long stay at the beach. It was an annual trip, following winter. We were never allowed to get into the water before May. I was a little kid.

I still have little kid ways. And I’m glad. Those memories and the feeling that I get surfing are free. There’s no debt and no interest to pay. And it’s great owning cherished memories of my mother. Surfing is the best, and really if it hadn’t been for my mother and her love of the ocean, I’m sure I wouldn never have become a surfer.

By the way, my mother only had one traffic ticket in her life; a speeding ticket when when she was about sixty. She wasn’t even going that fast. She did not drive over the speed limit. It always took us a LONG time to get to the beach, but they were good road trips.

When riding on A1A we look up to the flag for our most important weather report. If it looks like this it’s a west wind. And further inspection is required. 

West winds make the waves clean, but unfortunately it can make them smaller, little by little. However, we have a bit of a ground swell going on, so I waited for low tide and the waves to push in. I had so much fun surfing, small chest high waves. They were breaking left, off of the sandbar built up by the local pier. It was a tough crowd to be in, because it was kids, but that’s OK, everyone starts somewhere.

The twins were out.

They obviously love to surf too. They charged some good waves.

Then it was back to my surf-mobile and a ride, back to the woods. At least these days, I don’t have to go back to the Westside.

Yes, it’s a better world today.

We’re expecting good waves Saturday and Sunday. Historically, we always have good waves on Easter. Thank you, Jesus.

P.S. One day maybe, I won’t write in my short choppy sentences, telling my story before I run out the door. Maybe one day, I will give descriptions of the water and how it really feels to be in the water and catch waves. And my words will make you feel like you’re right there with me.

P.S.S. One day maybe.

Today’s the Day

Me and this kid have a lot in common. We’re dreaming! I want to go surfing. I started this blog out, writing about surfing. I was in Costa Rica, but have since been exiled to Florida. It has been too cold for me to bother. However, yesterday the sun was out and I saw a bit of a swell ! It’s two to three feet and I am excited. I can taste it. I can’t wait. I’m living out in the woods and it’s thirty minutes from the break. I have to go to town for other reasons and my board is going with me.

If I get to surf today, I am going to be reborn~again. I guess, deep down, surfing is my religion.

I’m off to see the Surf Wizard. Let’s see what happens!

This Guy

That’s an unusual name. I took my granddaughter, to the Fernandina Beach, skate park yesterday and had the pleasant surprise of running into this guy. He’s high energy.

Skate photography – it’s different. However, photography is photography.

It’s all just another day in the neighborhood.

I left the park thinking, I’ve gotta get a fish eye!

Here’s two pics of my youngest granddaughter on a rip stick.

Mr. Rogers would approve.