July 27, 2006

At the Beach in Southeast Florida
It was hot, but I had to go. I can’t help myself. I’m addicted to the transparencies and colors of the water. I didn’t walk far in the hot sun, just from the wood ramp to waters edge. Even so, I got dizzy, and managed to totally exhaust myself. Today my feet, my knees and back are killing me. Never the less, it was worth the effort.

I put number 30 sun block on, and I know they keep saying it doesn’t provide complete protection, but good grief! I’m 86. I did the damage in my 20’s and 30’s. Then we just basted ourselves with oil and baked ourselves in the sun until we were an all-over bright pink. I also wore my panama hat to shade my baldpate, forehead and face. It is a yellowish-tan color with a few darker brown spots instead of pristine palest ocher.

The day I bought the hat, Rebecca and I were shopping at the market in
Merida, Mexico. It was 1957, and we were on a tour of the Yucatan Peninsula that took us to most of the ancient Mayan Indian ruins including Chitzen Itza (The tourists pronounced it “chicken pizza.”), Ushmal, and Tulum. It had been an expensive, truly fascinating and exhausting trip by plane and bus. I had learned that the Mayan civilization possessed advanced mathematics, and a written language, both of which the invading Spanish had destroyed. In 1957 Mexico was truly third world. The poverty was astonishing, and the Indians lived in tin-roofed and dirt-floored shacks called Nas. I know that many of them still live that way today. It is easy to understand why so many have come to the United States illegally.

I remember that day in the market the Indian women wore frilly white dresses with embroidered flowers of the brightest colors, the men clean white starched guayaberas, and the spotlessly dressed tiny children clutching and hung from their mothers hands. I don’t know how they managed to be so clean. The Mayan Riviera did not exist then, so we had not been to the East coast to see the bright aqua waters of the Caribbean. Merida is located on the North Coast of the Yucatan on the Gulf of Mexico and there the shallow gulf is like a huge muddy bay. Having been brought up in the Central Atlantic States, and experiencing only the brown opaque ocean at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, the Southeast coast of Florida with its changeable emerald ad aqua clear water is a special wonder to me. I also dream of going back to Mexico so I can see the Mayan Riviera, but I know that if I am to do that, It must be darn soon.

Wow, this entry certainly wanders all over creation!

I did take a couple of pictures on the beach yesterday and I include one here.


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