Monday, June 3, 2013

Back in the Swim of Things....

Sarasota, FL      High:  91     Low:  73

Just thought we'd throw in the temperature today...It's hot every day, we don't even look at the thermometer or the Weather Channel app to see how hot it is....We're getting used to it, though, we really are...Which is a good thing, because we're still gonna be here in Sarasota till the middle of June. At that point, we will probably head to Red Bay, Alabama for a few things that need fixing by the capable Tiffin crew over there in Red Bay.....From there, we are now going to head to Elkhart, IN to load up our storage shed contents and bring them back down to FL, since we are going to be wintering here probably from here on out......So yes, Sparky and Eldo WILL be heading back on the road, but not for a few weeks yet. Hey! We do have some fun stuff coming up...

Another dolphin trip tomorrow...Sparky is bound and determined to get some GREAT dolphin photos, not just some far away so-so ones...Groupon offered a great discount offer for a tour out of St. Petersburg for TWELVE dollars a person. CHEAP! Our kind of deal! That will be tomorrow.....

Today, Sparky got back to the pool...finally! But first, she rode her bike all over the park for 45 minutes. Then she hopped over to the pool with her barbells and weight belt and worked out in the pool for about 20 minutes, before an onslaught of 5th graders converged onto the pool deck for a field day at Sun 'n' Fun. Sparky was the only one in the pool when she started, but was joined by over 100 fifth graders shortly. They were excited to be there!

Sparky had fun watching the fifth graders prove that they could swim in the deep end before their teachers would let them fool around in the 6'3" depth.  They had to swim across a short width of the deep end and then tread water for about two minutes with their head above water and show calm while doing it. They had a lifeguard standing by in case of emergency. Doesn't he look cool!?

As a matter of fact, he WAS needed! Sparky was watching two kids swim across during their test, and she could see one of the boys was going to have trouble. You know someone is going to have trouble when they are thrashing their way across the water, don't know how to turn their head to the side to breathe, and submerge their whole body more up and down than they do swimming horizontally. The boy almost made it to the side, when he went down and struggled to get back up to the surface to get a breath of air. First, the lifeguard extended the lifesaving buoy, that didn't work. All of a sudden, he jumped in and grabbed the kid, who was really not in imminent danger, he was so close to the side. But because he didn't grab the lifesaving buoy, the guard went in after him. Guess that kid was relegated to the shallow end the rest of the time. Good thing! Sparky was ready to jump in if needed. The old lifeguard instincts kicked in, but it was better that she didn't. They had plenty of help! Sparky lifeguarded for eight years when she was younger, all the way through high school and college.....

Sparky remembered an incident that happened 33 years ago back in her hometown. When she saw this little boy struggling, it all came flooding back. Sparky had just had a baby, and was recovering at home when she heard screams for help. We lived two doors down from a big lagoon in South Bend. Kids were always messing around and swimming in the lagoon when they weren't supposed to. The baby was napping, a neighbor was walking her dog in front of the house. Sparky yelled for the neighbor to stay at the house, which she did. Sparky grabbed a rake and ran to the lagoon. A boy, about the same age as this fifth grader was out in the middle of the lagoon, in great difficulty. As Sparky reached the edge of the lagoon, he went down. Sparky jumped in the water and swam out to where she could see bubbles at the surface. She dove and dove trying to find him, but couldn't.  She became exhausted very quickly as she had just come home from the hospital a few days earlier and really wasn't in good shape at all. Sparky was afraid she was going to drown if she didn't get back out of the water....The fire department arrived with divers just as Sparky got back to the edge of the lagoon. They didn't find him in time. It turns out that the boy's body had been drug to a totally different position in the lagoon due to a strong spring feeding the lagoon and it took them awhile to locate him. There was an investigation by the city, and for awhile, while going through the questioning, Sparky felt like they were trying to blame her for his drowning....It was extremely upsetting, scary, and a memory that had been forgotten until today. Sparky didn't sleep well for weeks after that.....But she knows she did what she could under the circumstances at the time.......

Hate to leave on that here's a more positive one.....Last night we went to the Blue Rooster, on 4th Street in Sarasota, a wonderful establishment that has great entertainment---USUALLY! Unfortunately, a jazz funk band just wasn't quite what we were expecting....and so we just stayed long enough to hear that this particular band just wasn't our style of music...Sparky was captivated by the word "FUNK" in the band's name when she first researched who was playing, so that's how we ended up there to see for ourselves....

The bar/restaurant has VERY interesting food there, some unusual offerings and specials on the menu...Sparky had a great wedge salad, they had melt-in-your-month biscuits with pepper jam and sorghum butter, and Eldy had some delcious chicken sliders with some kind of kick to them. Check out this chili pepper vinaigrette on the table. (See right photo) It reminded Sparky of high school biology lab with specimens in formaldehyde.....Yuck!

So, we didn't stay long this evening...But we'll be back...The Blue Rooster has such a cool atmosphere and yummy food and a wide variety of entertainment.... We just love it!


  1. What a sad story for you to have to be a part of. I'm sure you relived it when you saw the boy struggling.
    Are you guys sure you are really leaving? :)

    1. Yep, we really need to go to Red Bay to get some minor things fixed, and we really need to clean out that storage shed in Indiana and get the contents closer to us since we're spending so much time in the south!

  2. Oh my what a nighmare for you. Isn't that everyone's fear, that they will try to help and then be caught in a web of questions and potential blame. How heroic of you to try to save him.

  3. So sad that in our society the good guy is treated like the bad guy. But you know you did everything you could for that young boy. Are you sure you'll know how to move the rig when you head for Red Bay? lol