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!

Shootin’ from the Hip

Between the saltwater and the sea strand

That is where you will find St. Armand‘s Circle on St. Armand Key, Florida. You will also find this Simon and Garfunkel statue, in the window of one of its shops, of which, there is 130.

I cherish Armand’s Circle. I first discovered this people watching haven, on my ’09 Florida Road Trip. I had to come back. The people, the clothes, the window shopping and the food is a magnet for me. Where else are you going to see a teenager wearing brown leather shorts, eating ice cream, wiling the time, lapsodasically, in decadent heaven. Unfortunately, I was unable to capture her image. I missed her, as well, as many others. It’s one fascinating person after another, in this circle. And you just walk and walk, around and round; looking in the windows and at each other.

When I started trying to get photographs, I could tell I was handicapped, with the camera at my face. It was too obvious  and crass. I’m brave, but I just couldn’t do it. After all, this is Florida, not Manhattan. So, I decided to shoot from the hip. I held my camera, as it hung from my shoulder and just aimed and shot. These are the random results of Armand’s celestial shoppers.

Pretty in Pink
Difficult to buy for ~
Everybody’s mother ~
I’ll take that one ~
Sweet azules padres ~
It’s all about style ~ mariposas viejas
Arm flaca ~
Shifting years of beauty ~
3 generations of “The Browns”
These girls need sunglasses!
Bliss and Happiness ~
Exiting ~

I had to tear myself away from the circle. As we were leaving, in the car, I snapped the Exiting ~ photo. You can’t see it in the photo, but the girl on the right looks like a doll. She has the finest features and is wearing pancake makeup. I have to go back! I always look forward to another day or night on the circle!

I guess that makes it bucket list.

John Ringley, the circus giant, created the circle. To me it is one of the Greatest Shows on Earth.

Between the saltwater and the sea strand

Over 55

I’m sitting on a porch in Bradenton, in an over 55 community. It’s sunny and peaceful. It’s just too darn cold on the island, right now. I know! I know! It’s whatever degree up North, but I personally could care less how cold it is up north. Everything is relative and I’m a southerner and when it comes to certain things, like the weather, it’s about ME. OK?

I guess it’s the same for age too. When you’re younger, it might be difficult to recognize the intricacies of this trailer park. It’s been here for about fifty years and the trailers are OLD. But they are all kept up and added on too. It’s colorful and artistic. I wish some folks up in NE Florida would take the hint.

Resting on the porch this morning, I have had a chance to upload surf pictures to my Facebook page. I really enjoyed it.

Here are some of the pics:

Looking at these pics, I am impressed. This spot is tricky. The waves jack up and break over shallow water. I wouldn’t want to surf it. People who don’t surf, don’t really understand the difference of beach breaks, point breaks, ground swells and wind swells, wind direction, cold fronts, low pressures, reefs, where the waves originate, what it takes for them to break, peaks, short boards and long boards. And who is Kelly Slater? According to Lance Armstrong, he’s the world’s greatest athlete. I don’t really have the time to explain all of this important information. I don’t really know all that much anyway.

You only have so much time in life to learn what you want to know.  And the more you know, the more you know that you don’t know.

None of us have a crystal ball to tell the future, but it’s predictable that if you don’t die, you will get older. And you don’t know what older really is til you get there. So no matter where you are on the continuum of life, be in the now.

Don’t worry and be happy.

Water for Air


I am flying out today, and I’m starting to feel like a fish out of water. I have travelled the flight, round trip, Florida to Costa Rica, about thirty times. I always feel a tinge of dread; the long lines, all the people, the germs on the plane, not to mention I have to start wearing real clothes again.

But, it is the way to get home. I work to enjoy it. By midnight, I will have employed the “Hail Mary” enough times, for there to be peace on earth.