An eerie sight.
My taskmaster took a break, but left his weary presence to shame me back to work.
First, more about critter characters in the Florida Keys. Visitors to the National Key Deer Refuge can enjoy a variety of attractions other than the endangered Key deer. The Blue Hole is a popular wildlife viewing area and a location featured in my book Island Sting. Why is the Blue Hole mentioned in the book? It has something to do with the alligators. If you go, be sure not to take your small dogs... (Don't worry, Itchy is still alive and well.) In addition to the Blue Hole being a habitat for gators, a variety of herons, turtles, and fish live there. Oh, and Kenzie just reminded me--stay away from the droopy poisonwood leaves like those you see on the left. The no feeding rules of the refuge apply to the gators at the Blue Hole just as they do to the deer, no matter the temptation.
Recently, fellow authors and I were chatting about the struggle to avoid temptation. Not the temptation to feed gators, of course. Though the temptation to feed ourselves what and when we shouldn't can be tough to resist. No, we weren't talking about food. The subject of temptation arose out of a fashion discussion. As we shared old photos, we giggled at our teenage hair and clothing styles. Just wait. One day you'll be doing the same. You too may be surprised at a few fashion statements that reappear to haunt you with embarrassing memories, like bell bottoms, loud paisley patterns, and mini skirts.
Back to temptation and wildlife. Prom fashions figured heavily in our chats. Prom night is creeping up for many teens now. Lifetime memories are associated with prom night. What a night for temptation and for wildlife unprotected by any refuge. Why else would so many movies have focused on such a major event?
As I sorted through my old prom photos I noticed a trend of huge, elaborate hair styles, the precursor to today's extensions, but not as secure. Ours were called falls, and the fake locks were precariously attached to our own hair with combs and pins. Major headache makers. When the tresses were worn in an updo, the style required holding one's head high. A stance that immensely improved posture. Perhaps even improved one's self esteem.
It occurred to me that this entire hair design could have been an adult scheme to prevent teens from succumbing to backseat temptation. Ooohhh... but backseats in the old days were roomy and comfy. (I know that because my brother is a vintage car collector. Honest.) There was no way a girl could get frisky without painfully pulling out her natural hair and destroying that laboriously sculpted hairpiece. If she did have a moment of weakness, there was no way she could get the elaborate design back together without an army of hairdressers none of whom were likely to take emergency calls in the middle of the night. Demolished do? Big trouble waited at home.
Big trouble for me was my gorgeous, muscular dad. His business involved heavy labor. No need for a gym. And how he loved to stretch and flex in front of my dates. Dad ran our home the way he ran his business. He was tough, fair, and honorable. He was the best tool to avoid temptation of any kind. No need to Just say no. Just say Dad.
Whatever the temptation, parents are natural avoidance tools. A simple, "My mom was a police dog in a former life. Nothing escapes her," might be a good line to use in a pinch. Better, come up with your own blame-it-on-the-parent line. Practice it. Say it with a smile. Years from now you'll be laughing at your prom memories too. It's so much better than weeping.
I leave you this week with a photo of the pine woods in the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key, Florida. It's been a fun week e-logging with you.
Remember green teens, please tell me what you've been doing to help keep our planet as green as these woods. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org