Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Weather or Not...Here We Come!

Weather or Not...Here We Come

I generally pray for sunny days whenever company comes our way from up north. They expect it. And, we generally have great weather during the winter months here in Florida. February in Florida rarely disappoints. 


My youngest daughter and her two little girls planned a short trip to see us over President’s Day. Mike and I watched the weather. It was not looking good. Though February is normally a mild month with plenty of sunshine, forecasters were predicting an onslaught of rain over the holiday weekend.


Rain it did… and it was cold.


We picked up the girls from the Orlando airport late Saturday evening and made our way through the rain back to our home on the Nature Coast. (Yep, the Nature Coast was last week’s blog topic.) 


Our house is in total disarray as we are remodeling. No kitchen with lots of drywall work and such. The fireplace front is gone and we have new lights and outlets in or going in…you get the idea. 


I wasn’t worried about any of that. My daughter, Kendall, and her two little girls have lived through their own remodel recently. They are flexible on that front.


What did concern me was the weather. Mike and I prayed for good weather. Saturday night was obviously wet. I hoped it would change. 


It didn’t. Sunday morning was rainy and cold. And it lingered. We planned to take the girls to Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River. The springs are known for hosting a bevy of manatees. Crystal River isn’t far from where we live. The girls had been there one other time, but it was during warmer weather and they only saw one manatee the whole time.


The benefit of a chilly rain? Manatees love to stay near the Springs in cooler temperatures. The water in the Springs stays between 72 and 74 degrees. We saw dozens of the large, graceful creatures. We were bundled and warm. We had umbrellas and a rain poncho. And… we had phones with cameras. 


Manatees are fun to watch. They are gentle. God created them with a “do no harm” attitude. They are more of a "live and let live" mammal and their only enemy? Humans.


On the way home, we talked about how the chilly rain proved to be beneficial. We were able to see the beautiful creatures up close and active.


The other “must do” on the girls’ list was to go to The Cove. The Cove is a restaurant located on our lake. The notion that we are able to climb in our boat to go out to eat intrigued the girls. But though the chilling rain was perfect for viewing manatees swimming in the warm spring water, it wasn’t looking good for taking the boat out.


Then Monday dawned.  It was sunny. Warm. Calm. 


"Get in the Boat...We're Going Out to Eat!"

It was perfect weather for jumping in the boat and heading across the lake to The Cove. We sat outside and ordered our food. Although the girls loved the manatee excursion, I think taking a boat out to eat was the highlight of their stay with us. I should note here that The Cove’s food is amazingly good. After lunch we toured some of the lake before docking back at our house. 


The visit for them? Sweet memories. Memories of rain and manatees. Memories of water and sunshine. Memories of a boat ride and lunch on the lake.  


The visit was short, but for me? It was a time to treasure.


Right: Parking at the Cove 

Below: The Youngest Granddaughter Looking Over 

the Menu Wearing Mike's Sunglasses

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