May 3, 2010- Drip.

Kate Murr

I woke up feeling like I’d slept in a muggy washing machine tumbling with Vaseline, elbows, knees, heads, and invasive little fingers. The kids smothered me all night. My benevolent husband gave me some time to myself in the tent after the inevitably early Brady wakeup at 5:50 with the time change. He is a wise (and wonderful) man.

We were on the 9:30 tour of the Florida State Caverns. They were beautiful. The kids especially enjoyed seeing the Eastern pipistrelle bats and splashing in the cave puddles, and I enjoyed the delicate cascading rim pool formations and the brief darkness allowed by our tour guide.

We ate lunch in Marianna at the Gazebo Coffee Shop and Deli courtesy of Larry O’Reilly’s friend and colleague, Walter Spence. Larry is a Springfieldian and an experienced cross-country bicyclist who has provided us with tremendous insight. Debbie from the Marianna post office enthusiastically contributed to our cause over lunch too, and she called Deborah at The Jackson County Floridian to set up an interview.

I am so thankful for the generosity of the people we meet; thankful that they understand we’re trying to be part of the solution for very pressing issues in this nation; thankful that they recognize the value of the experience we’re sharing as a family; thankful that they’re demonstrating to my children a great kindness I could never teach them alone.

We enjoyed visiting with Debora, and she wrote a really lovely article. I feel horrible for the negative comments my birthday blog post yielded in its remarks section. I changed the post as a result, and will be more mindful of the perception of my comments.

We rode in the rain from Marianna to Chipley and hunkered down at the Executive Inn. We walked in the rain to the Cancun Mexican Grill restaurant up the street, and the kids helped me make up a marching duck family song. On the walk back to the hotel a family in a car stopped and offered to give us a ride. People are so kind.

Our hotel room clotheslines dripped and we slept in beds, safe from the flooding streets.

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