Tropical storm Debby and another unexpected thing on our vacation

We’re home! It was our kids’ first visit to Florida last week. Yes, we did experience Tropical storm Debby. In this picture, Zach looks like a half back looking for an opening in the front line. He and Jess had a great time running on the beach since they wouldn’t be able to jump in for a couple of days when Debby would depart. Emma isn’t in this picture because she is off to the side inspecting the 3 billion or so shells she had accumulated.

My in-law had allowed us to stay at their recently purchased home in Pinellas Park, Florida, not far from Clearwater and its surrounding beaches. As we crossed the Skybridge that connects Tampa with the towns on the other side of Tampa Bay, the winds were fierce and the waves crashed against the walls that had been positioned for such an occassion. It had been a long trip by car from Boardman, OH. Eighteen plus hours and over eleven hundred miles had gone by, but we finally reached the condo as Debby unleashed her furry on the Gulf Coast.

Florida isn’t supposed to be like that. Actually, most of the time it isn’t like that. A long time family friend who has lived a couple blocks away from Frank’s and Ronnie’s (my in-laws) newly purchased home for 20 years told us she’s never seen weather that crazy in Pinellas Park. Extreme weather usually bypasses them and heads inland or north.

Yet, the weather didn’t hamper our week. We did get to Disney World, eventually hit the beach and got to swim in the pool provided for the residents of the condo community and their guests. It is a rule that only people 55 years of age or older can live there. We told the kids that we need to respect the other residents in the pool. If there were other swimmers, our kids did a great job of keeping the noise level down. But if there were no other people there – which was about half of the time – they could make more noise.

On one of our trips back to the house we were talking about going to the pool again. To help quell a potential car argument that was brewing among our offspring, Vanda decided to redirect their attentions to the anticipation of another excursion to the private watering hole. She asked them how many senior citizens there might be there this time, reminding them that they could be noisy if there were none. Jess figured about three. Emma thought there may be one or none. Zach, our eight year old, was convinced there would be two. I asked how he could be so sure and he responded: “Well, you and mommy will be there.”


We laughed our heads off though because he hadn’t said it in jest. His response was completely unexpected, just like the weather. Vanda and I considered one benefit of such an unexpected vacation . . . it would be one we would never forget (Just like Zach’s comment). We made the most of what could have been a disastrous vacation and as a result, we had a great time.

That’s the way I want to live my life: roll with the punches and live as if God knows what he’s doing in every aspect of it.


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