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TideWriters Tales
Green Flies and Inner Tubes
By Blanche Scharf

     I remember the green flies. Every time we have anchored near a marsh, we have dealt with those buzzing, fluttering, annoying critters. So today, when we anchored behind Cow Island and the Wildlife Refuge in Floyd’s Bay, Poquoson, Virginia, the green flies didn’t surprise me. 

     “Poquoson” means “Great Marsh” and was named by the Indians who lived here before the English settled in this area. It is also the oldest continuously named town in Virginia. I was looking forward to this visit and seeing what I read was the largest salt marsh on the Chesapeake Bay.

     As I sat in the cockpit trying to arrange myself so the breeze was in my face to give me relief from the heat, I was pleased to see white egrets stepping tentatively along the edges of the marsh. Terns glided and squawked. And then, the unexpected happened. The quietude of the marsh was disrupted.

     The deck and dock of a two-story home on the opposite shore, beyond the sea grass and tall pines, became the center of activity for what appeared to be a teenage party. It was a pleasure to hear and see happy youngsters enjoying their surroundings. 

     I heard the laughter and the giggles and saw bikini-clad girls and admiring boys strutting along the dock that crossed the wetlands. How perfect! The sun shone, water invited, breeze wafted and all the toys one could imagine were at their disposal. As I watched the youth of today, I remembered the pleasure I derived from my growing years on the Hudson River in New York State. Instead of using specially purchased tubes to be towed behind a motorboat, we cavorted in truck tire inner tubes. I remember the squeaky, shiny glisten of the wet black rubber. It was a challenge to watch out for the valve so as not to get poked or scratched. We enjoyed finding every way possible to enjoy that tube—diving through it, seesawing with my sister on top of it, sitting in it with head and knees resting atop.

     That inner tube was a treat and I guess I expected it would always be.

     But the world has changed. Inner tubes are hard to find and no longer exciting. Sea-Doos® and motorboats must go fast, spray water and provide a thrill.

     Is there something wrong with that? I was pleased with simpler things. But now, I enjoy a computer and its capabilities that didn’t exist at the time of my inner tube follies. We didn’t have color TV.

     It seems to me there’s a place for all of this. Technology and toys have made the world faster-paced. The simple values of enjoying time with friends and making childhood memories still prevail. I watched these youngsters play. They had fun. I had fun, too…remembering the past and praying for their future. It was a wonderful evening on Floyd’s Bay. 

© 2002 Blanche Herring Scharf All Rights Reserved

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