Thursday, December 02, 2010


all the grandkids and great grandkids

Saturday, July 04, 2009

A Fourth of July Escape

With memories of Memorial Day fresh in my mind, a Fourth of July Escape seemed more than plausible. It was truly needed. As nice as the throngs of campers are, I had no desire to inch my way through a sea of kids and dogs every time Scully heard nature calling. Although it can be quite interesting, all those beer-induced lapses in trailer parking, boat landing and fishing expertise.
So here we are in Delightful Deland, watching the new nursery fall into shape and catching up with the comings and goings of central Florida like a drive by shooting a couple of blocks away. We live in a good part of town so this is totally bizarre. Otherwise, all is stiflingly calm. No news is supposedly good news. Cookout and fireworks are on for tonight. Hopefully they won't land on a neighbor's house this year. Then tomorrow, we'll be getting ready to return to the panhandle where I am missing the beach. Just wish everyone were there with us.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Candy Jars

I am totally blessed. I live in a candy jar full of delectable treats for my eyes. Everywhere I turn there is something gorgeous for them to feast on. Early morning calm river waters, with gulls and egrets fishing for breakfast and dolphins cruising toward the gulf, greet Scully and me each day. The sand is usually fresh and our footprints are the first. I love that. By mid morning the summer heat haze has set in. Everything is foggy and visibility limited, but shells hiding in the shallow water are waiting to become some child's treasure and ghost crabs dart about oblivious to scorching temperatures. The pure stillness of it all makes this the perfect time to be on the beach. It makes the cool gulf water feel like heaven and your skin taste like a salty delicacy. When you are sure that it doesn't get any better, dusk falls, breezes start to cool the earth and the sun turns to orange and gold over the sprawling salt marshes. The sky blends into the water and slowly night leaves only shadows of trees and stars lighting the waves and sand. Yep, the Lord made a world full of eye candy and lucky me, this jar is overflowing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Scully's morning walk/wade evolved into a swimming, bird and crab chase this morning. While she played, my mind wandered. There are so many interesting people and things in our "new life." I should definitely write about some of them. The people we meet must have interesting stories that I don't know, but they also have the stories I imagine. So realize, most of what I say about these characters comes from my mind as much as their life.

I love rural north Florida. It is a little bit modern and a little bit stuck in a time warp of yesteryear. Living in a campground makes this even more true. We are not tourists moving from spot to spot around the country; that would be fun, too. We are more like part local, part voyeur. So watching all the passing tourists and weekend campers provides a world of entertainment. Watching all the locals provides even more. Here in the campground, there is about an equal mix of people passing through, people here for a vacation month or week or repeated weekends and permanent residents.

One Night Stands

The one-night buses come in late. They do not un-hook the car. They rarely leave the bus. Occasionally, someone comes out to empty the tanks and walk the dogs. That's it. They may speak as they hurry back into their huge buses and they are nice enough, just busy. Busy and waiting for morning so they can be on their way. The overnight bus travellers don't always dress like campers. The men are coordinated and the women have their make-up done. No one ever knows much about them. We watch them pull in and hear the diesel motors warming up before they leave. They are like shadows passing in the night, keeping all their stories behind the dark tinted bus windows. Still, I wonder where they are going because, I know, there is some idyllic campground they are heading to or from.

Other campers stop for one night and go to the complete opposite extreme. Whether in a luxury bus or pop-up, these guys are going to get everything possible out of their stay. Arriving in the early afternoon, these campers start getting their site ready immediately. First, they put a rope out for the dog and hook up the water, sewer and cable. Internet is wifi. Next the awning comes out. Now realize, these are things everyone would do. It is the only sensible way to operate. It is what comes next that is amazing. The outdoor rug comes out and the chairs are arranged in a conversational circle. Don't forget the plant. Now, someone gets the ladder and the cute little awning lights are strung around the awning. I really do like these and keep thinking about getting some, but you have to take them down to close the awning in a storm. That is a lot of work and this is Florida--storm central. Next they add the nice little wind chimes that sound so pleasant in the coastal breezes.

Most campers have pick up trucks although suvs work well, too. They need them to pull the campers. They also carry the grills, floats, fishing poles, etc. Jet skis come on a trailer and bikes are mostly tied to the camper. These overnighters get them all unpacked. They gather wood (in our case pine cones and twigs) for the campfire. Then it is time to head for the pier to catch dinner or at least enjoy trying. When that is done, the pool is a nice place to cool off. After a hardy meal, they light the campfire and delight in the view. These campers are fun and friendly. They will talk to you and talk to your dog as they walk their's. They want to tell you where they've been and where they are going. I like them for the most part. They just confuse me. After all this, they are spending one night. They are up before the sun, breaking camp and packing all that stuff so they are ready to leave by eight or nine. There have been a few that really go above and beyond. One unloaded a small chest freezer for one night. The other outlined their campsite with light-up pink flamingoes. One night, I don't get it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hey, Easter Pictures are Here!

The photos are not in order and have not been edited yet. They are a compilation of three cameras but hopefully I can get them in order soon. Easter was fun. Saturday night we dyed eggs. Cooper and I have decided Ben is no longer allowed to participate since he gets all artistic and makes our eggs look dumb. Sunday, we got up and went to church and then came home where the boys awaited Debi and Dakota's arrival. Dakota had plans to soak them as soon as he arrived and sent Debi in to get the boys because Dak had brought them Easter "presents". Micah and Xavier had the same plan for Dak and the war began. It was a blast (a super soaked blast) and has to become a tradition since Easter egg hunts aren't so thrilling when the kids get older.

Then it was lunch, after which Ben and Cooper hid eggs. It was Isaac's first egg hunt and he liked the idea that candy was hiding in the eggs--even if he couldn't eat it. Ben, being a smarty-pants put a carrot in one egg but that did not bother Micah who is a carrot freak. After the proper amount of "where did we put that one?" all the eggs were found. Tanya and the boys left to see Joel's family and Cooper and Ben went to his family's Easter. All in all a very nice day. Enjoy the pictures. See them at My pictures: Holidays, Easter 2008.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bits and Pieces

A lot has been going on and nothing has been happening at all. It is all about the summer state of mind. Every day is a party or should be because I certainly cannot get motivated to do anything constructive, much less ambitious. One summer discovery...Whisky is a water dog. We got a wading pool to cool off in, after reading or tanning or whatever we do in the sun. It turns out if the kids are playing in it, Whisky has to join them. He especially likes to "take a dip" if he has been dashing about the yard chasing lizards or snakes (yes, snakes...the woods next door are starting to be cleared.) It is really funny to see this wimpy little yipper sailing into the water and just seeming to smile as he saunters around the pool. It is too deep for him to lay down and too shallow to swim, so he strolls. An added perk to this is that he wears himself out and has been to tired to participate in his nightly 5 to 8 barking ritual.

Tanya and Joel are en route to Michigan. They left Tuesday and will probably get there Thursday. They will be living in or near Fremont. This should be quite an adventure and quite a rode trip.