Tuesday, August 17, 2004

At The Speed of Geriatric Light

I generally don't like to take family vacations. Don't get me wrong, I love my family. However, when you confine that many adults with as many varied personalities it becomes more than stressful. So I have devised a plan to be able to participate in the family time share vacation. I show up for 3 days, 4 tops. I avoid at all costs the day of check in. If I can steer clear of the whole grocery shopping challenge, who gets which bedroom debate and itinerary planning, believe me I do.

This particular post is about our trip to Sanibel Island Florida. I met the family there as I was still living in NC. By the time I arrived on Wednesday, the gang was looking a bit on edge. As the peacekeeper I did my best to keep everyone laughing and for the most part I handled my task pretty well. The spirit-lifting award goes to my Dad.

We were swimming in the gulf. My niece and I were snorkeling looking for starfish and sand dollars. She is quite the mermaid, my niece. Because she doesn't realize when she gets tired, you basically have to drag her out of the water every 30 minutes or so. We have always had the buddy system when swimming, so my niece and I were sitting on the shoreline and my Father went in for a swim. It's fun to watch him splash around. I guess he has this unwritten agenda while in the water. He takes about 5 freestyle strokes, stops, stands, wipes the water from his face, continues with the breaststroke for 8 strokes, stops and flips over and floats on his back. While floating he typically is facing the shore and casually throws both of his arms over his head every now and then.

My niece and I are enjoy his antics, of course we are quietly making fun of him. He waves, we wave back. It's all good and relaxing. That is when I see it. There is a huge shadow slowly approaching my Dad. I knew from the shape that it wasn't a shark it had to be a manatee. Before I could calmly tell him, he took one of his backstrokes and touched the manatee full on. I heard a girly squeal and watched my Father sprint out of the water. The look of panic on his face was priceless. My niece and I were laughing so hard we could not contain our selves. I never knew he could move that fast. Geriatric Lightening, that is what we called him for the remainder of the trip.

To this day, anytime we see a manatee on TV we all break into hysterical laughter. Dad is usually the first to recount the tale. Of course his version excludes the girly squeal and panic.

You go, Geriatric Lightening!!


Michael said...

No wonder they call you Wicked!

Anonymous said...


I don't know that there is anything in world that I fear more than sharks. Seriously. I was already freaking out just from you saying you were swimming in the gulf... I don't think I'd ever set foot in the ocean again if that'd happened to me.

- Jo

Wicked H said...

Michael: I have earned my title - most definitely.

Jo: I am not that keen on swimming in the ocean/gulf much anymore either. Although it was kind of cool watching the manatee do it's water dance.

HotForSimon said...

Sounds to me like Dad was doing most of the dancing on water!! ((LOL))

How funny...I would have loved to have seen that!!

Anonymous said...

I cracked up at the memory of it all......don't be wimps, Little Mermaid and I snorkled in the free waters of the Gulf this year and actually spotted large (6ft.) nurse sharks. Little Mermaid wanted to go down and touch the darn thing, I told her "Let sleeping sharks lay (?spelling)". They really are docile.....Nutcrackersweet #54

HotForSimon said...

I'll just have to take your word for that, nutcracker...now dolphins, on the other hand...I'm all for swimming with them!!!

One of these days...((SIGH))

Wicked H said...

Hey HFS, I witnessed you feeding them. You never thought you'd be doing that either. Dream Big, like my Granny used to say - in case it comes true....