Friday, March 27, 2009

On the Beach

Last week, we were hanging out at St. Andrews State Park, on the coast of the Florida panhandle.

St. Andrews is right outside of Panama City, Florida, an it might be one of the most lovely state parks in America. The campground is set on the Lagoon side of the camp.

Sweet sweet campsite

The swimming beach is not far away.

Sweet sweet beach

Dave and Lisel and I spent two nights there. Dave and I were kind of unprepared for camping, as was evidenced by our first attempt at making a meal. We had no lantern or bug spray, but we did have a screaming baby who had been cooped up in a car seat for far too long I will say we made a valiant attempt at enjoying this situation – endeavoring to eat by the light of our lone flashlight while simultaneously struggling to ignore the encroaching mosquitos and trying to convince ourselves that Lisel would calm down “any minute.” Alas, we finally had to admit defeat, and ended up eating our food inside the Baby Bus, after I’d nursed our daughter to sleep.

I think it’s what they call a learning experience.

Contrary to my earlier fears, the campground was not overrun by college kids gone wild. Instead we found a sweet community of people from all over the country who gather at this lovely gem of a state park every year. Some, like out neighbors, come to fish for Spanish mackerel. Others bring their clans down for Spring break. At sundown people create elaborate mealtime set ups and wander from site to site, visiting with friends and catching up on the year past. The teens gather at the playground, trying to play it cool while flexing their newly found flirting skills. It’s was like we’d stumbled on a little utopia.

Today, the Panhandle of Florida, along with a large part of Southern America is getting smacked around by what the folks at the Weather Channel have termed an Epic Storm. It’s some scary business, what with all with flooding and tornadoes they’re expecting. And Dave and I can’t stop thinking about all the folks at St. Andrews who are going to have to hightail it inland, away from what is most likely a highlight of their year.

And this particular Epic Storm is coinciding with the biggest blizzard of the season in Colorado and the plains, and severe flooding in North Dakota. When it rains it pours…and snows and floods and hails and tornados…It’s the frightening new trend in climate change. I guess they call it Extreme Weather.

Dave and I aren’t really religious, but I do think there’s a time for prayer. And right now I’m sending one out to the universe. Please look after the folks in St. Andrews, and all around the country. Nature is flexing her muscle right now, and us little humans could use all the help we can get.

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