A Day of Firsts: Swimming in My Clothes and Walking into a Jam Session

My first first today was something other than these. This morning I was standing where I always stand to get two bars of reception on my phone—near the pickle ball courts (I still don’t know what that is)—talking with my friend Lucy.

I was also watching a small group of women learn how to line dance out on the basketball court. So after I hung up, I walked over and joined in. Why the heck not. Now I’m officially learning how to line dance on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I sincerely am so stoked about this!

A Quick Dip

Here’s a first with a story to it. My snorkel mask is about 30 years old and leaks like crazy (the plastic seal is shot), so this afternoon I turned my exercise plan into a two-fer by walking over to the neighboring Key, Bahia Honda State Park, to look through what they have in their state park store.

I have the face of a child, so I didn’t expect to find anything that fit, but the dive/souvenir shop/snack bar for the public beach had as the cashier today the captain of the snorkeling boat, and he was ready to talk masks with me (in between the wandering tourists looking at shot glasses with the state park logo on them).

He encouraged me to rent a child’s mask and take it out and try it (it had been fully sterilized, he attested). Why the heck not? Well, because I’d walked over in my workout clothes and running shoes to get some exercise, not to go swimming in the ocean.

But heck, I really need a mask, so why not. I rented the mask that seemed to fit me, walked down the beach to a least-populated section, took off my running shoes and socks, kept on my workout skort (yes, that’s a thing), and tried nonchalantly to take off my tie-dyed t-shirt and wade into the ocean wearing my sports bra.

Imagine a middle-aged, tattooed lady wearing not exactly a bathing suit with a dive mask on her head, walking alone straight out into the water.

The water was oh so warm, and the mask worked like a charm, and I really didn’t want to get out. I could have swum around looking at nothing much under the water, clearly! all day.

But I did get out, and even without my glasses on, I somehow found my small pile of shoes and backpack in the dunes. I slipped back on my t-shirt, walked back to the shop, dripped my way to the cash register, and bought that mask from the boat captain.

The Unexpected Jam

I was really excited to walk back to my Key, get on my bathing suit, and actually see what I could under the water this time instead of on top of it.

To get to the highway, I of course walked through the state park campground because there are always Airstreams there and I like to ogle them. And lo, what did I walk by but a jam session.

I stopped for a sec and exchanged pleasantries and walked on. But then I got to thinking, if I can swim at a public beach in a skirt and a sports bra, I can turn around and join those strangers!

Turns out they all are staying at that park, and about once a day someone decides to start playing, and then the others hear and walk over, and voila. This is the way life should be.

I exchanged text numbers with the mandolin player, who said she’d let me know the next time they play, because I should grab my uke, jump on my bike, and get the heck over there. I think I will.

Gratuitous Banjo Shot

This is for you, Sooz!

The tide was so far out today that Tracy walked Banjo over to the small Key near ours, and she enjoyed the wind in her ears and looking for fish that had gotten stranded in tidal pools. Banjo is now a fishing dog.

Okay, you guys keep staying safe!

8 thoughts to “A Day of Firsts: Swimming in My Clothes and Walking into a Jam Session”

  1. Nice post. It’s the little things right? Growing up in ME I always thought surfers were the hardest people in the world. Imagine…jumping in the ocean to swim!!!??? The water is only 16 degrees! Then I went to FL and found out about the gulf stream. Annette Funicello and her friends had to be totally revisited and new opinions installed. Good dog Banjo…

  2. To think you can just walk into the ocean and go for a swim is unimaginable. My recent experiences with oceans are frigid endeavors

  3. Excellent that you’re getting some safe socialising in and pushing your boundaries and getting results!