Saturday, March 10, 2007

Procrastinating


Today I HAVE to pretty much write most of a paper I have delayed for days. That is to say, I still have to read 150 pages of material, and then figure out what to say, and THEN write a paper. It's very very dark outside ~ a big storm on the way ~ so it's a good day to hole up and work. But I'm not quite ready . . . and so . . . the internet calls . . . and see what I found!

Vero Beach, Florida, even though it has been overwhelmed by the trappings of wealth and the rampant development which is gobbling up Florida in ever larger chunks, still has a hold on my heart.

My first memories of Vero involve spending a week or two with my parents and grandparents at the Spindrift, a tiny motel-cottages establishment. I remember the ranch duplex we lived in the spring I spent in kindergarten, the tiny bungalow on Eugenia Lane in which we lived the year I attended first grade at Beachland Elementary School, and the house my father built for us that year . After my mother died, all plans for moving permanently to Vero were cancelled. We stayed in another motel for a couple of weeks when I was in third grade, and my brother and I with my grandparents in another set of cottages on the beach when I was in fourth grade and my father and Stepmother the First were off getting married.

Since my stepmother's first husband was from Vero and remained there, there were no more family trips to Vero. I didn't go back until I began spending my high school spring breaks with my grandparents, and then I went back every year until my grandfather died. The first real trip, one involving planes, on which we took our boys was the one to visit my grandparents when the babies were three months old and my grandfather was in the final month of his 80 years.

My grandparents are gone and so is the lovely little beach town that we knew, sucked up by golf courses and Mega McMansions and the brokerage firms that seem to occupy every corner. Those little babies will both graduate from college next week-end. It was a very long time ago that I was a little girl walking the dusty paths of what seemed to me a tropical paradise.

7 comments:

Quotidian Grace said...

Beautiful picture. Thanks for sharing the story. We're getting acquainted with "old Florida" since Portia got married. Her in-laws live in a little village called Indiatlantic--right on the Atlantic ocean. You can still see what it used to be like.

emmapeelDallas said...

Beautifully written. I am filled with nostalgia for a place I've never been...

Lisa :-] said...

I have never been to Florida... It used to be the eighteen-hour-drive spring vacation destination from Chicago, but I never went. And now that we live nearly as far away from Florida as we can get and still be in the continental United States, I doubt I'll ever get there. But I bet the birding is incredible there...

Presbyterian Gal said...

I've been to Florida. When I see pictures such as your really beautiful one, I always expect to see the flamingo standing in the foreground. Real or plastic. I expect the flamngo. Does this make me geographically racist? Or what would one call it for an animal species? Anyway, nice pic. Though makes me shudder in memoy of the intense heat and humidity.

Gannet Girl said...

Thay is a postcard, guys.

Theresa Williams said...

What a pretty card. My husband's dad and step-mom used to live in Florida and we visited there back in the '70s and early '80s. I often think about what Florida must have been like at mid-twentieth century. It must have been amazing and a little scary.

sunflowerkat said...

Both my sister and brother live in Jacksonville now. I'm not impressed with what I've seen of the state. It's just a shame that so many areas have lost their charm to overdevelopment.