Here’s some free advice: Don’t take water for granted. David and I have traveled worldwide and we have had many experiences with water. There are places where: (1) water is in short supply, with signs admonishing people to conserve it; (2) water is unsafe to drink, leading to the necessity of buying bottled water; (3) water surrounds us, such as when one is on an island; (4) water in the ocean, lake, or stream is too cold to swim in; and (5) water spews upward, such as from a geyser. During graduate school, I lived in a rural environment, where drinking water was pumped up from an underground spring, resulting in the finest tasting water I ever drank. In fact, for years after I moved away, I brought empty containers to fill with this wonderfully refreshing water so that I could enjoy it when I returned to the city where I had moved, where the drinking water smelled as foul as it tasted. My hometown’s city water was of notoriously poor quality, leading the city officials to send a postcard advising residents to avoid drinking it and leading David to buy a water filtration system for my mother. David and I recently visited Merida, Mexico, a beautiful colonial city and the capital of the Yucatan region. Merida has become a travel destination for foodies and other upscale visitors, but alas, the drinking water is toxic. Not only can one not drink the water in places like Merida, but as I can verify, it is likely that one will get sick by using water from the bathroom sink to rinse a toothbrush. Water is a requirement for life and I am happy to live in a place where it is both safe and plentiful, not to mention in unlimited supply in the nearby Atlantic Ocean.
Melissa and I have lived near water for most of our lives. I grew up in a city with the Atlantic Ocean nearby and for many years, I lived within 500 feet of the mighty St. Johns River. I played and fished in that river as well as the ocean. At some point I decided I wanted to swim with the fishes and took up scuba diving. I’ve gone diving in Florida’s beautiful springs, in the ocean and later in Australia (including the Great Barrier Reef, offshore Sydney, and in Tasmania), New Zealand, Fiji and Mexico. My diving days are behind me, but enjoying the water is not. Clean water. It seems pretty basic; it is one of those things we, in first world countries, take for granted. Having just been to Mexico, I’m reminded that it is not something that everyone has. Which brings me to the fact that clean water has diminished in Florida’s rivers and waterways. Having enjoyed boating and fishing in SW Florida, in the bays, Caloosahatchee, and Gulf of Mexico, I have been dismayed by the condition of those waters. Our state government seems more interested in text books than clean water, which is why I was pleased to read of a citizen’s initiative to force attention on the issue. Florida Sportsman’s magazine recently had 2 articles on a clean water amendment. They know that, without clean water, fishing disappears and Florida’s sportsperson’s paradise is threatened by dirty water. If you are willing to sign the petition on this amendment, or want more information, see https://www.floridarighttocleanwater.org/ Every signature counts!