My baptism in Florida’s healing waters happened one late July afternoon when I was traveling with a fellow teacher to interview a paleontologist. I owe my transformative moment to my daughters, ages 6 and 12, who whined about spending a summer afternoon in a natural science lab. My friend, who taught middle school, quickly deployed a bribe. She suggested that we go tubing down the Ichetucknee River after the interview. I’d never tubed before, but I was game, except we hadn’t packed swimsuits. Not a problem, she said, we’ll all go down the river in our shorts and T-shirts. Bribe accepted!
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