It’s Easy to Take the Heat With Fun Family Members in Florida

Tom Amsel. pg 2jpgA Boomer’s Journal

By Tom Anselm

It has been quite warm lately in our town, both politically and atmospherically. The first so much so that frankly it is just too hot for me to touch. At least for now. Maybe at a later date, as things seem to continue to cool down. Maybe. So let’s move on to the second.

We have had such a pleasant summer overall that this latest stretch of heat stands out as barely bearable. Now it should come as no surprise that this Happy River Valley we call home usually produces mugginess and discomforting temperatures in August. But come on, Dave Murray, can’t you give a guy a break?

Jill and I missed the unusually pleasant August week here at home of 70-degree days when we were in Destin, Florida, recently. Dang. That is some great golfing weather. But we were hanging with three of the lovely wife’s four sisters and her oldest brother as he and his lovely bride hosted this bunch of crazies for seven days.

Let’s just say we partied like aging rock stars, so hardy that most of the ‘Silver Sluggers’ were headed to ‘Dreamland’ by 9 pm, likely due to a combination of free-flowing adult beverages, spirited conversation and the tropical heat that took the toll. Having a good time can prove to be hard work sometimes, dontcha ya know.

And it was great for all of us to be able to do a vacay on our own. Not that we don’t love our kids and grandkids. But nobody had to worry about when (or if!) the younger adults might roll in, no counting heads… “1, 2, 3, 4, … where’s Johnny?… okay… 6, 7, … is Weesie with you?… 8.”

None of that. Like Jill said as she lounged in a slingback chair under the umbrella, it was nice to have your greatest worry be “who’s going to the store and what’s for dinner.” She rated the week as a supremely healing experience.

I did get in some golf. It was on The Links Course at SanDestin, rated one of the “Top 100” courses in a state that boasts of top courses. Ever play a links course? Lots of water… I mean lots. Both sides of the fairway, in front of and alongside the greens, nearly every hole. And, as you would imagine in Florida, muchos sandtrapo’s. Muy Muchos. Muchos of which I visited. This was when I didn’t dunk my tee shot. But it was a gorgeous layout with flawless greens and vistas across Choctawhatchee Bay like you’ve never seen before.

The heat ate me up by about the 15th hole, once again proving my claim that someone should invent the 12-hole round for guys of a certain age (mine!). Good old bro-in-law Richie graciously called it a day, saying he didn’t want me to “fall out.” Yeah, that would have put a damper on things, for sure.

Maybe the highlight of the week, of which there were several, was the day when after finally finding our way to a fairly secluded public beach (nice directions, MB!) the whole nine of us, siblings and in-laws alike, sunburnt, looking extra-hot in our Carmex-coated lips and tank shorts and tee-shirts and floppy hats protecting bald heads (me and Terry at least), waded out into the chest-high surf, held hands in a linked-line and jumped the waves like a bunch of 10 year-olds!

Laughing like idiots, spitting salt water, stumbling around as the breakers knocked us hither and yon. It was silly, goofy, awesome, unadulterated fun. I came back with pockets full of sand, and sore legs the next day. But, hey, YOLO, ya know?

We survived the ocean intact, everyone made it home safely, and it was well worth the effort. Thanks, Jackie and Karen.


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