The Scent of Sun

 

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You can smell Florida before you see it.

That is, if you arrive long after nightfall…driving straight through on your 15 hour drive from Ohio. And you can feel Florida before you see it…the temperature climbing slowly on the gauge of your rear view mirror while layers of sweaters and jackets peel away and finally, lie forgotten on the floor of the vehicle. You probably could even hear Florida arriving if you weren’t trying to stay awake by “hammering in morning, hammering in the evening, all over this laaannddd” with Peter, Paul, and Mary…the volume turned off in the backseat for the sleeping kids, the volume turned up in the front seat to find that “for everything…turn, turn, turn…there is a season…turn, turn, turn…and a time for every purpose under heaven” …including vacation. So, with the answer “blowing in the wind” and right through your open windows, whipping your hair around, its hard to hear much of anything…but you can still inhale it’s coming. It smells like young green grass growing, humidity, and orange blossoms. It smells like no school, hot asphalt, and freedom.

Our house for a week...we've arrived.

Our house for a week…we’ve arrived.

Seth and I's room

Seth and I’s room

Living room which opened to pool and deck

Living room which opened to pool and deck

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Ephraim's bedroom

Ephraim’s bedroom

Bunk beds for the rest of the kids

Bunk beds for the rest of the kids

Bathroom cutenss

Bathroom cuteness

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In the garage...

In the garage…

Pool room

Pool room

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After a few action-packed days of our week long stay in North Port, Seth and I showered off the sandy kids and put them to bed early…free, then, to meander out to the patio and drink in some noise free, argument free solace and rest. This was the first night my sinuses were truly clear, and pain free, and I could breathe deeply. The intoxicating nighttime fragrance swept me off my feet. I had to sit down…and fill my lungs…of the tangy, sweetness from the loaded orange tree branches heavy with fruit and hanging low over the property fence separating us from the neighbors, the sea spray and the coconut sunscreen lingering on our skin, the ripe wine aroma of the fresh picked strawberries on the plate in front of me, the gentle breeze fragrant with growing things and tropical warmth.

My kind of take-out. Seth went for burgers for the kids, and found some adult fast food for him and I. Mmmm...

My kind of take-out. Seth went for burgers for the kids, and found some adult fast food for him and I. Mmmm…

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Evening walk (or run) on Stump Beach

Evening walk (or run) on Stump Beach

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I think perhaps a vacation is for us all to begin to feel again…to wake up to the gift of the senses..forgotten under a heavy load of responsibility and stress. Not that one has to leave town or leave the state…a mini vacation an hour long at home is a gift, too. Either way, it is a necessary thing.

Our favorite, Stump Beach...

Our favorite, Stump Beach…

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Dancing...

Dancing…

Wave racing...

Wave racing…

Exploring...

Exploring…

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Jumping...

Jumping…

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We left our dear little home in the wintery Midwest with cold sores, sniffles, respiratory irritation, coughs, and sinus infection…all not-so-wonderful remnants of a tenacious and terrible double dose of influenza. Tomorrow we return..sunburned and brown, sinuses clear and lungs full of fresh sea air. We played hard and slept late, we chased waves, dug in the sand, and savored delicious mouthfuls of fresh seafood and sweetly sour citrus fruit. We slept in the sun, saw unusual sights, explored new places, and fell in love with stalwart, giant Palms and lacy bridal veils of Spanish moss.

Alligator Hunting

Alligator Hunting

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Can you see it?  (Eek!)

Can you see it? (Eek!)

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And oh, the sunburns...

And oh, the sunburns…

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A sweet message on the Canopy tower looking over the National Forest

A sweet message on the Canopy tower looking over the National Forest

For everything there is a season…a time to be broken, then a time to build up… (Ecc 3:3)…and we began our journey home, healthy and whole…our senses resurrected and ready to live again..built back up and brightened with the scent of sun-drenched Florida.

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2 Comments

  1. Sarah O

    Oh fun. It son happens that my dear Man proposed to me at the top of that Canopy Tower… precious memories!!!

  2. Mama Boyd

    The smell, ah, yes, the scent–I will never forget it as I stepped out of the plane in Miami the first time as a young teen–overwhelmed I was and then—–I saw my first palms waving in the warm moonlit night, and I was entranced, and forever in love with beautiful Fla. Later, we did the Keys several times, and it was all romance. Thanks for the news and the sweet memories. Loving you all, Mama

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