Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Visit to the Atlantic Coast

A few years ago at about this time, my father and I spent two weeks with my brother and his family in Florida. For the first couple of days, it rained, and because of the humidity, it felt colder than it was. I wished I’d stayed home. Fortunately, I brought my Victor Reader Stream with plenty of material on it, and I was only too happy to curl up in an armchair with a blanket and listen to a good book.

When the temperature finally climbed up into the 70’s and 80’s, the fun began. The following poem from How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver details what I did during those two weeks. I had a great time, and I hope to return for another visit.

Florida’s Song

When temperatures in Wyoming fall below zero,
and snow is on the ground, I go to Jupiter,
bask on a sunny beach,
feel the sand and water between my toes,

walk on the pier
while fishermen reel in large sharks and other sea creatures,
gaze at low flying birds,
view a poignant moment, as a man drops rose pedals into the ocean
to honor his dead wife,

do water exercises in my brother’s unheated outdoor pool
to the thumping rhythm of “Single Ladies,”
enjoy a good book on the screened-in patio overlooking the pool
while a gentle breeze makes wind chimes sing a haunting melody.

On a warm Saturday, I go to Fort Lauderdale,
sail on The Jungle Queen to a tropical island,
eat a hot dog while others watch alligator wrestling.

After two weeks,
I return to the reality of winter in Wyoming.

Have you ever visited or lived near the ocean? If so, what did you do on the beach? Have you ever tried surfing? Tell me about it. Leave a comment below.

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver


  1. Though being exiled to Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind was painful, going to the beach was one experience that lifted the load somewhat. Digging in the sand, being pummled by the waves, examining the different types of shells, burrying myself in the sand up to my neck: they all were new wonders to a boy from the prairies.

  2. Hi Bruce, since I spent most of my life in New York, Colorado, Arizona, and Wyoming, the beach was a wondrous place for me when I had an opportunity to go there. I loved to stand at the water's edge on a hot day and feel the cool waves wash over my feet. I wasn't too crazy about going in much farther, but I did a few times.

  3. I loved your poem:) I could see it all. Yes, I lived in Fl for ten years until God moved me to Texas. It gets cold there this time of year but we always knew it would warm up soon:)

  4. Hi Terri, I'm glad my poem took you back to Florida. I had a great time when I was there, and I hope to go back sometime.