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I’m a Floridian and fortunate enough to live a five minute car ride away from the ICW, aka the Intracoastal Waterway. For the uninformed, the ICW is a 3,000 mile inland waterway along the Atlantic, running from Boston MA southward, around the southern tip of Florida to follow the Gulf Coast to Brownsville TX. Some sections are natural inlets, rivers, and bays etc. which are connected by artificial canals.

When home, my morning walk with the dogs loops the ICW. The raised path runs parallel to the water and meanders and curves below grand old trees, forming a canopy of shade. Squirrels abound and twitter away, (I wonder if they have individual or a group account) looking for treats.

Mikhail.B, my Lhasa Apso metamorphoses into a hunting dog and patiently stalks, complete with one front paw in the air, then the other, slowly advancing on the squirrel that sits waiting, little head cocked, eyes fixed on this non-threatening furry apparition, still twittering and tweeting only to finally make a dash for the nearest tree as Mikhail.B decides to make a break. He sprints the full length of his lead, ending up on hind legs, front paws on the tree trunk, staring at the squirrel, just out of reach and swearing at him.

Birds abound, from the regal Blue Heron fishing to the flocks of Egrets congregating on the grass. For some reason the Cormorants usually keep to themselves. And, of course, the famous Florida alligator. No, they do not stroll along the paths and most times there’s not a single one to be seen. If around, they are way down on the water’s edge. Sometimes all you see are the little ridges above their eyes, the rest completely submerged. On a nice day it would lie stretched out on a muddy bank, looking as evil as it is. I’ve always wondered why the alligators don’t bother the birds and decided they probably don’t like all those feathers in their teeth.

On this particular day I’d just parked and was in the process of extracting two excited dogs from the car when movement in my peripheral vision had me stop and look up and OH MY WORD! I’m old but not too old to appreciate what can be termed SUPER HUNK.

You know the type? Lean, athletic, thick dark curly hair, designer stubble, bedroom eyes, a wide smiling mouth, firm lips. Also, nothing below his knees. He was running on blades. And, arms that ended at his elbows.I told him he was wonderful and asked if he was former military. Not so. He told me he was born like that and nothing stops him.

Humbled beyond words I continued on my walk as he got in his car, ready to drive away.

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