Although I’ve grown up in the Midwest and therefore am no stranger to the cold, by March my soul is shuffling wearily through life and doing the basic minimum to get by. Some days were nicer than others but they felt like a cruel teaser to summer. I found myself wearing sweatpants everyday, sometimes layered with wool underwear.
Two Wednesdays ago, Sam and I flew down to Fort Myers, Florida and took a shuttle to Sanibel Island. A causeway was first built in 1963 and updated in 2007, so there’s no need to accommodate a ferry schedule. We arrived around 10:30 at night, marveled at the humid air, and fell into bed once the shuttle dropped us off.
We woke up to the powerful, restorative rays of the sun. It was more sunshine than I’ve gotten in the last six months in Minnesota. A quick morning walk in the already hot air, wearing shorts and a tank top, felt amazing. The abundance of color was a sight for eyes accustomed to blander landscapes.
The beach was a quick walk away from the house. There are plenty of beach entries that lead to the side of the island that faces the Gulf of Mexico. Sanibel is known for the quantity of shells that get washed ashore. We didn’t find anything spectacular but it was fun sifting and searching.
We came across what looked like the plastic leis you buy at the party store. These were creepier and less colorful; like if you put on round your neck, it would try to choke you. They turned out to be chains of whelk eggs.
There were also a lot of catfish washed ashore, some looking fresh yet. A couple of girls were collecting them in a bucket; I asked what for and one of them just shrugged. I used to “save” earthworms from the sidewalk during rainy days as a kid, flinging them back into the grass. I suppose I would have responded in kind. The next morning, I spotted some men in uniform picking them up. Image control?
We were on a shoestring budget and often ate at home. Valencia oranges were so cheap at ninety-nine cents per pound. We made a lot of orange juice.
We did a whole lot of nothing. Laying about by the pool, napping, reading. It was a great vacation.