Last year Pattie and I moved to a small town. one hour north of Tampa, with the fun name of Weeki Wachee.
Located on the Gulf, the area is known as Florida’s “Nature Coast.” Why? Because between us and the warm, clear blue water lies thousands of acres of low land and salt marsh. It’s beautiful with lots of wildlife. But not much sand beach–those are farther south near Clearwater and St. Pete.
Fortunately, we live a short ten minutes from a beach on Pine Island. Most of the beaches within an hour of us are on islands. You drive across winding causeways and across acres of marsh grass in order to reach a sliver of sand.
The “world famous” Weeki Wachee Springs are within walking distance of our home. In the 1940’s, a mermaid show was created, combining the crystal clear water of the Weeki Wachee river with young female swimmers from the area, dressed as mermaids. The original worn and sagging amphitheater is still used to view the “mermaids” swimming in thirty feet of water, using air hoses to breath. Patrons sit on bench style seats behind a large glass wall.
This was a hot show in it’s day! But you can guess attendance is way down with so much competition for tourists dollars. So last year the State of Florida purchased this small, historic theme park and added it to the Florida State Park system–preserving a taste of “old Florida–sitting right next to the new water park, of course!
Nice area. Shopping nearby. Two small cities, Spring Hill and Brooksville, are also within a ten minute drive.
Most of the residents are transplants from the East coast–New York, New Jersey and Boston. Go to any area restaurant or store and chances are the person helping you speaks with an impossible to miss, over-the-top “Jersey” accent.
There are also many, many, many, many retired folks. Did I mention there are a lot of older people here–not that there’s anything wrong with that! I’m 54 and on chemotherapy. In my neighborhood, I’m the young, spry, new kid on the block!
Moving here has been a surreal experience. We are in the south, but no one has a southern accent. It’s like we were dropped right in the middle of an episode of Jersey Shore–Senior Edition!
Weeki Wachee, Spring Hill, Homosassa and Brooksville are all located in Hernando County. The closest established multiple myeloma support group meets in Clearwater, which is over an hour away. With a population of close to 300,000 people–many of them over 65–you can guess there are a number of myeloma patients living here. It’s a good news/bad news thing–at least I’m not alone!
So we decided to organize our own IMF sanctioned support group. The first monthly meeting of the Hernando County Multiple Myleloma Support Group will meet next Wednesday, September 15th in the Spring Hill Enrichment Center, located behind Oak Hill Hospital just west of Brooksville. It will be a dinner meeting. There is no cost for you and/or your caregiver to attend–and you don’t even have to live in Hernadco County!
Meetings will be held on the third Wednesday of each month. Two representatives from Millennium, makers of Velcade, will be speaking to our group in October. No speaker this month–more of a “get to know each other” organizational meeting.
Feel free to e-mail me or call with questions, suggestions or if you need directions: Pat@HelpWithCancer.org – 866-336-1696.
Hope to see you there! Feel good and keep smiling! Pat