Eric Anthony Rodriguez

Eric Anthony Rodriguez

Tropical Depression Three came and went without much fanfare or news coverage last week. The storm formed and was being monitored, then dissipated before being given a name. I got excited when the forecast track had it coming close to Jacksonville but staying offshore. I decided to take my daughters to the beach last Tuesday to enjoy the waves this storm would produce. We were not disappointed.

Since it was a Tuesday, there was plenty of parking at Mickler’s Landing Beach. I have taken my daughters to this beach many times. It has plenty of parking and has a real bathroom, which is a big plus. There were some pavilions built on the east side of the parking lot that were not there the last time that we came to this beach.

The waves were big but not dangerously so. We all enjoyed riding our body boards in the surf. There were a few young surfers out with their families. It was great seeing the kids stand up on their boards, and for some of them it looked like it was their first time feeling the rush of the water propelling them forward. I hope they receive as many gifts from the sea as I have. Being able to come to the shore and find enjoyment in the waves is something I am so thankful for.

One of my daughters also brought her skim board. This is a thin board that is ridden on the little bit of water that is left behind after a wave has hit the shore. You run a bit, place the board down and jump on it. If you are agile and have good balance, you will skim across the surface of the water. If you are like me, the board will slip out from under you, and you will land in the sand. I decided not to try the skim board on this trip. I was having too much fun riding the waves on the body board.

At one point, my daughters were attempting to body surf. This involves riding a wave without any type of board for assistance. I decided to also give it a try. I had mixed results, but it was a great way to clean out my sinuses. There was one wave that we all were able to ride. I hope my daughters remember that moment that we all conquered that wave together. You never know how many more chances you will have to enjoy a moment like that with the ones you love.

The prediction for this hurricane season calls for a total of five hurricanes. That means we still have to possibly endure four more. It would be great if they would all just give us some good waves then dissipate.

Remember that the weekend of Aug. 2 is the start of Florida’s tax-free weekend. Clothing items that cost $60 or less will not be charged sales tax from Aug 2-6. Many school supplies, computers, and computer accessories will also be tax exempt. Many stores also have sales on this weekend making your back-to school dollars stretch even further.

Eric lives in Suwannee County and is a public school educator. He is an independent contractor. You can reach him at

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