I am involved in this City. I have always said that I wanted to live in a small town, get involved, learn about my neighbors, do my own thing and help out where I could. I guess I watched Mayberry on TV too many times but the idea of being able to go out to the river and fish and walk all over town, get intimately acquainted with everyone on the way seemed like the way to live a life.
I never picked up a fishing pole in my life, but it is nice to know that I could. The kids down the block go out to the Middle River, two blocks away, and have Family Time there fishing and have some success while doing it. I watch the entire family, from the smallest to Mom and Dad walk past the house on the weekends using an old red wagon full of bait and fishing gear on their way down to the river spend some time and walk past the house on the way back home. They almost always have a cooler with them, so I can imagine that this is their own little weekend picnic lunch.
These folks are intimately involved with the upbringing of their children. It truly is the way it should be, children get so much back from having parents take an active part of their lives. Better than being parked in front of the TV watching old cartoons or playing the latest game on the console, these children are going out and seeing what life is about.
I know I won't see this scene today since their pickup truck rolled past the house early with the Air Boat in tow. They will go out to the west side of the county and float around for a while doing some more fishing and having some family time, Mom, Dad and the boys enjoying the Florida Sun out in the Everglades. This is more of the Journey being worth more than the Destination, but it is nice to know that people still get out and see the natural side of life.
South Florida is densely urbanized. In this part of the county, there are more than 6600 people per square mile. Once you get past the western expressway, the Sawgrass, the urbanization abruptly stops and the River of Grass that is the Everglades begin. Since that is a heavily protected environment, there will be opportunities for people to get out and experience it again in the future.
I used to have a river that ran past the house when I was small. I'd get out and go exploring every so often, find myself by The Pond or back in The Swamp looking for frogs or turtles. I didn't have a very clear idea of what I'd do with them when I caught them so generally I'd just annoy them by moving them out of their home, take them to mine, then release them out by the river before nightfall. We couldn't eat any of the catch from those polluted waters so we didn't bother fishing.
I am glad children still do that sort of thing. It makes me feel like my childhood wasn't that out of the ordinary. If you listen closely you may hear someone whistling a tune with a 10 year old boy walking by, fishing pole up on his shoulder as he heads back into town...