Words of wisdom

Words of wisdom

Monday, November 30, 2009


The sun was shinning and the skies were a bright blue on Thanksgiving Day, with temps in the mid-60's. My dear friends, Don & Carrie drove 518 miles up from Ft. Myers to spend the holiday with me.

Neighbors from the park arrived and we started the day at Winnie with Bloody Mary's, quiche, a strudel & fresh fruit - enough to tide us over until the big turkey dinner at 3p.m.

Emerald Coast provides the turkeys and mashed potatoes & gravy (all prepared by residents) and then everyone brings a dish to pass. Attendance was limited to 56 - and the trestle tables groaned under the many choices of salads, veggies & dressing. My desk was turned into the desert table. Pumpkin, apple & cherry pie; brownies, cookies and chocolate cake - Yum-Yum!

Of course football was also on the menu, as well a a Netflix movie to end the evening. Don & Carrie headed back south on Friday morning after breakfast and I went back to work.

Saturday one of the work/camping wife's and I headed over to Rosemary Beach and Seaside. These were two of the first completely 'designed communities' built on the beach. The houses are all beautiful pastels and each very unique. Common areas with gazebos and parks off-set the fact that they are built on zero-lot lines.

Rosemary Beach was having their outdoor holiday art fair, so we braked quickly, found a parking spot and wandered from booth-to-booth enjoying the beautiful day and finding some nice Christmas gifts. Once we arrived in Seaside, we parked in the little square and had a ball shopping at all the quaint little shops and enjoying a great lunch overlooking the water. The town, including their itty-bitty post office was decorated for the holidays. What I loved the most was a line-up of little Airstream's that were set up as coffee, sandwich & drink shops. This was so much more fun than running out at 4 a.m. on Black Friday to fight the crowds and find a bargain.

Sunday was spent cleaning, doing laundry and getting text messages from #1 son who loves it when "his Vikes" beat Mom's Bears.

Today I start the countdown to Christmas. I'm so excited to be going to California to spend the holidays with Tobin and Courtney and see their new home in Sacramento. The plan is to drive up the CA/OR border to the little town of McCloud, where Courtney's family is from. It's located right under Mt. Shasta and Tobin keeps telling me to bring winter clothes as there is likely to be large amounts of snow! I keep reminding him I haven't got one single item of winter clothing in my wardrobe - not a heavy coat or even closed-toed shoes! It should be a fun-filled, if chilly holiday.

Until next time....take care of each other. Wishing you and yours a blessed and joyous Christmas.


Monday, November 16, 2009

The Florida Keys & Hurricane Ida!

My friend John and I drove down to the Florida Keys last week for a few days of fun in the sun! Instead we found ourselves on the far side of Hurricane Ida as it came barreling into the Gulf of Mexico. Though we didn't have the rains, we had lots and lots of wind (look at the palm trees in the pic with the pool) and the sun was not seen for the entire time we were there. But the temps were in the mid 80's and we had a great time.

My dear friends, Laura & John Radke, from Chicago, were very generous and offered us their beautiful home on Colony Key Beach (Marathon) during our stay. How nice to be in a 'real house' for a change, with room to spread out and move around. Though I love my Winnie, I do miss the space of a house.

We ate some wonderful seafood, spent a whole day down on Key West wandering up and down Duval Street, and of course had pictures taken at Mile Marker "0" at the Southern most point in the US, ate some more seafood and drank a few rum punches, relaxed and got to the clubhouse and pool one afternoon to try and see the sun - not!

The only thing wrong with the entire trip was the distance. 718 miles from Panama City Beach - and Florida is a flat, boring state to drive through. We took the tollway down the East side and came back up the West. We decided to take the 'back road' home along the coast, even though it added another hour and a half in travel time. It was fun to drive through all the little seaside towns and villages, stopping along the way for...some great seafood!

Back home I was thrilled that my neighbors had rolled in Winnie's awning and took down my twinkle lights and wind chimes. Though Ida had been predicted to come ashore as a hurricane, it had dropped off to tropical storm level when it came in at Mobile. We got rain and some winds, but nothing that caused any damage. The Northeast got hit a whole lot harder than we did.

The day after I returned, I worked the Emerald Coast Cruzin' Antique, Street & Hot Rod Car Show, which we sponsor. Had a booth outside at Frank Brown Park for 3 full days. What a hoot! I was next to the registration booth and all the cars had to parade directly in front of our booth. Besides the cars, the people-watching was fantastic! So fun not to sit behind a desk and a computer all day. The weather cooperated and it was sunny and bright all 3 days.

Yesterday good friends Don & Carrie stopped in for lunch on their way to their winter home in Ft. Myers, and this morning John started his return trip to KS... and I came back to work!

So life continues here on the coast of Florida and I'm enjoying every minute of my time here.

Until next time...take care of each other.