Florida beach washes away sickness


Throughout my life, travel has been sort of hard to come by.
Growing up on a demanding dairy farm meant there was never any free time in which to squeeze a vacation. A day trip was about the best we could manage, and no matter where we went, it was a thrill to be treasured.
When my children were little, we made a few trips to the beaches of the Carolinas, but after my daughter became ill, followed by my son’s ongoing battle with Lyme disease, all vacations were tabled.
When my husband’s boss learned of my recent bout of vertigo, he made an incredible offer. He suggested a vacation to his family getaway home in Stuart, Fla., free of charge, as a place for me to rest and recuperate.
Excitement. My daughter, Caroline, who was born with dreams of travel, was excited beyond words. It was decided that Doug and Cort would stayhere and hold down the fort at our new farm, and Caroline would invite her friend Lindsey to travel to Florida with us for a week-long vacation.
I was concerned, to say the least. I had a very bad day of dizziness and sickness just the day before we were scheduled to leave. A call to the doctor gave me good advice to increase the dosage of medicine to battle the horrific dizziness for the flight.
In the town. Stuart, Fla., is a pretty town, located north of West Palm Beach. It was established in 1914, and historic downtown Stuart pays tribute to its heritage with beautiful fountains and statues.
The walking trail around the condo complex gave us plenty to take in. One morning while out walking, I watched a white bird battling with a squirrel for a patch of grass. They went round and round, squawking at one another as if to say, “I was here first!” Little lizards darted all around, reminiscent of pre-historic creatures in their tiniest form.
Southern comfort. Every morning, a group of retired ladies did water aerobics in the large swimming pool, moving to the instructions of a tape recording. And every morning, after finishing my walk, I found myself craving air conditioning and a popsicle for breakfast.
The intensity of the Florida heat is beyond compare.
We met incredibly nice people who were more than willing to provide us with directions to the finest local restaurants. One waitress went the extra mile, writing directions to the best beach and the largest local shopping mall.
We were touched by the friendliness of everyone we met.
Visiting the shore is such an incredible experience. We watched herons, pelicans, sandpipers and seagulls run about and take flight as the tide pounded powerfully.
We watched boats on the horizon, brave souls on surf boards, and little ones building sand castles with the help of smiling grandparents.
The best part of all is that somewhere along the trip, I lost my dizziness, and have felt great ever since. There is an abundant blessing in some good rest and relaxation! I am grateful beyond words.


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.