Friday, March 23, 2018

‘Gators and Gophers, Sand and Snow

Written by  David Polzen

Recently my wife, Danielle, and I went on vacation to Florida, a place neither of us had ever been. It was beautiful. We plan to go back some time…gonna have to collect a lot more bottles and cans to supplement the vacation fund though... hahaha. As a part of our time in Florida, we took a tour of the Everglades National Park. What an incredibly interesting place. The tour began with a bit of a video, then the tour guide gave a short presentation, then we all loaded up onto the tour trolley. It was all very exciting. Danielle and I wondered if we would get to see any alligators and crocodiles as the video showed and the tour guide explained earlier. The trolley lurched forward and we were off.


The tour guide began by introducing the trolley driver and explained that she was also the spotter. She would drive and watch for interesting animals and landscape phenomena. We had full faith in our tour guide and now in our driver to enable us to catch a glimpse of an alligator at least. Us prairie folk don’t see many alligators, so we were hyped up for this first for us and were scanning the landscape with eagle eyes.

The tour guide was about 90 seconds into his tour presentation when the trolley came to a dead stop. He announced an alligator off to the driver side of the trolley. We all leaned out of the trolley and yep there was an alligator. Jazzy! The cameras came out and photos were snapped in the multitudes. Yahoo! We got to see an alligator. We were elated. We made it to Florida and we were able to catch a mere glimpse of an alligator and, bonus, get a ton of photos of it. After a few moments of pausing the trolley slowly moved forward. We moved forward a just few more minutes, and heard a bit more from the guide, when again the trolley came to a halt. Cool! More alligators. This time a few of them along the path were basking in the Florida sun. More awes and photos ensued.

Well, as the tour continued Danielle and I came to realize that them ‘gators were all over the place in the Everglades. The tour paused at a lookout point. It was here that we could get off the trolley and go up a lookout tower and use the restrooms and such. At the lookout tower, we saw a crocodile. WOW! We were getting to take it all in. Even around the restrooms alligators were present. One gave me a bit of a startle as I came out of the restroom. It was just off to the side of the restroom door. Yikes! Them ‘gators were as numerous as gophers on the Prairies. To say the least, we captured plenty of ‘gator Kodak moments. (Thank goodness for digital photography, otherwise we would have gone through tons of film.)


The Florida beaches were another item on our things to do list. So, we checked out a few of Florida’s beautiful beaches; and they are beautiful! As we lounged, we ran our fingers and toes thru the incredible white sand. It was awesome, and once again we were amazed by it all. White sand, blue ocean water rolling up on the shoreline, and sea shells galore. As we lounged one day, we got messages from home of the white stuff that Saskatoon was dealing with and yeah, we smiled. We were very much enjoying the white stuff that was surrounding us and not the white stuff surrounding our family and friends back in Saskatchewan. 

We paused from the white sands, blue water, and discovering sea shells for a while to get a bite to eat. It was here that we engaged in conversation with some of the local folks. They were so interested and awed by our stories of snow, just as much as we were fascinated by their white sand, something they did not find overly fascinating or awe inspiring. It was so common and everyday to them; just like the gophers and snow are to us. My little trip gave me a bit of an epiphany: the awesomeness of this world is very much in the eyes of the beholder. May we always see the awesomeness and beauty of God’s creation, even if it is gophers and snow.

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