Friday, April 9, 2010

Myth: Gators Live in Florida

I'm going to say what I'm thankful for first - my neighbors! The Millers are wonderful people who have been wonderful to us literally since our first day here. I'll never forget the first morning we woke up in Wewa - there was a knock on our door and it was Mrs. Miller asking if we needed anything. She came back with cartons of OJ and milk for us and she and her husband have been as hospitable since.

Mr. Miller is a retired game warden. You may remember my mention of him in my rattlesnake post. Funny, it seems I mentioned the OJ and milk in that post, too. Just goes to show what an impression it made on me!

Last week we went over for a little visit (because that's what you do in small towns) and Mrs. Miller suggested we go for a ride with Mr. Miller in his fishing boat. You have to know that she is a middle school teacher and is very smiley and expressive. Yet, Mr. Miller is waaaay more subdued. They are a fun mix. You should try playing Cranium with them - one of the best experiences, hands down. But, I digress.

Long story short, thanks to Mr. Miller, Addie had her first boat ride earlier this week. It was also actually my first ride out on the water since we moved to Wewa. One of the things I learned about Wewa before we moved here was that this little community
boasts some of the best fresh water fishing in the country. Fishing tournaments are held here and people come here just to fish and also to hunt during those seasons.

Owning a boat here is like owning a car or bicycle - most anyone you know has one. The waterways around here still confuse me, as there are two lakes in Wewa, along with the Dead Lakes, which is where we were boating, which I learned the other day feed into the river, which is where a lot of people spend their leisure time.
Once out on the water, it really is pretty. We saw a wide range of types of birds, turtles, and a fish even greeted us by popping out of the water. In fact, later on, a fish made a swift snack out of Addie's treats.

For the most part Addie loved the trip. She cried a couple of times, but as Mr. Miller said, being on the boat can make you sleepy, and I think that's exactly what happened to Addie. She also wasn't too fond of the life jacket, but it's kind of like a car seat - she just had to learn to deal with it. Her favorite part of the trip was leaning over the side of the boat to put her hand in the spray. Hand in spray, hand in hair, hand in spray, hand in mouth, and so forth.

It didn't feel like we were out for a couple of hours, but when we pulled in we were sufficiently tired, even though I'm not sure what it was that made us so sleepy.

It was a good afternoon, and even though Addie is so young that she'll only know some of these experiences through pictures, I'm glad we are able to do things like this, thanks to the sweet people around us.

Oh, and as for the title of this post, we saw NO gators. I haven't seen a single one since we moved here. Bears, yes, gators, no. I don't believe they live in this state.

One more thing - as for that photo of Sabian, I had to laugh to myself as we rode along, wind whipping through his hair. It gave me a glimpse of what he might look like with 80s fabulous, senior pastor, bouffant hair.

1 comment:

Lee Ann said...

That's just because all the rednecks in Wewa shoot them. ;) Actually, Jason had one take off after him while knee boarding here in Wewa.

I remember trying to convince my sister-in-law from Canada that there exists approximately 1 alligator to every 8 people in Florida (according to research cited in The St. Petersburg Times) & not being able to find a single one to prove my point! Then, on the way to the airport on an 8-lane interstate in Orlando I spotted a nice sized alligator as roadkill--no lie. She missed it and I think she still believes I made it up. I mailed her the article. We'll try again next time.