2/07/2017

Florida Agrees with Me, Still

I am finding living in Florida quite agrees with me. I am still lost once I leave our community pretty
easily and would be SOL without a GPS and a cell phone. But luckily, with Jim retired, most of the
time, we are together. And yes, we actually find we do get along, better now than ever. Without the
stress of a job, life seems easier to take. And so, here are some updates on our life in the land of palm trees and a much closer drive to the beach!

Jim has been a part of a horseshoe team. He and the guys bond over twice a week practices and then competing with other communities in the area once a week. He started off feeling inadequate as some of these men are quite good!  One of them has won huge prize winnings over the years at nationwide competitions.  His name is Daniel Jack. The way we remember his name is it sounds like a drink, Jack Daniels, Tennessee Whiskey.  He is French and speaks with quite an accent, at times hard to understand.  He has taken a liking to my husband as if Jim is under his wing in the area of horseshoes. Jim says it is because he is so poor at it! But, he is getting much better, the more he plays!

I have gone up before, on an off day, when Jim has been practicing and, as luck would have it, Daniel is there to give Jim advice. At first it made him quite nervous. Did I mention Daniel has been known to throw 298 out of 300 ringers? Well, that didn’t happen the day he was paired with Jim! But Jim played his best 8 games ever so now apparently the advice is paying dividends!  Maybe one day Jim will go on the national circuit and you will hear of him in the news for horseshoe champ! (Don’t bet on it just yet!)

I have been busy volunteering at Thomas Promise. This is a program that packs lunch packs for the needy children in the area to take home on Fridays to help get them thru the weekend. I go up on Mon. and Tues. mornings with a group of women and men to work on this and thoroughly enjoy being a part of this project that started about 4 years ago. If it sounds easy, about the time I go home, I feel like I need a nap! I have never seen so many Ramen noodles, spaghetti o’s, oatmeal packages and cracker snack packs in my life. They get several things, some volunteered and some have to be bought. I wish more folks understood the need for these types of programs.  Some of the schools in this county aren’t served due to lack of funds and space.  But I feel pretty blessed to be able to do my part.

We still manage fun times for just us. One of the beaches we hit one afternoon we had packed lunches to eat.  Our plan was to just sit out and soak up the sun and read. A seagull swoops down and while the sandwich is in Jim’s mouth it literally pulls it out of Jim’s mouth. Another one comes from the other side of his head, honking and screeching at the other bird, extremely agitated because he thought he had eyed the sandwich first. The sandwich hit the ground as did my chair when I bounded out of it flying towards the water screaming. All I could think of was the movie The Birds and running for cover.

Now I have learned, since that day, seagulls, that I use to enjoy on the beach on leisurely trips to Florida, are a pain. Anytime they see food, they want to become your BFF and hang onto you like a
vulture does to roadkill and you literally can’t shake them off. You can wave things at them, and they keep coming back. We eat on shifts, one to flag them away while the other eats, or stay covered. 

I cannot believe our orange tree is showing signs of producing orange oranges, verses green ones! 
They had been green fruit that turned to blackish and fell off up to now. It has proven to both of us
that we were not green thumbs at anything.  We actually have had a few, meaning 2. But it is a start so I am overjoyed! I feel like a fruit tree grower. Don’t burst my bubble; it has taken me 10 months to get here!


In remembrance of our dear Charley, we have a statue out front in our landscaping of him. We don’t
see it, obviously, when we are in the house, but when we come home from anywhere or walk, we spot it. It is welcoming to see the reminder and sad at the same time, that he won’t be inside the door wagging his tail. We needed to let him know that our home is not our home without him guarding it. Our neighbors, even though it is somewhat hidden on the side of a bush, have all commented on Charley out there which warms our hearts that they care and miss him too.

We found ourselves finally at Busch Gardens and bought our annual pass so we will be going frequently, time permitting. It is so much nicer than we thought it would be. I have never been a bird person but the ones there are unreal, types I have never seen, exotic, some making weird noises, colorful, and you’re able to see some birds without cages. 

There were many of other activities, shows, animals too. All the roller coasters were just not going to
go well with my migraine that day.  I can't imagine flipping upside down with a throbbing head pain! We are  going to love being close to the Park with free entry now. Already too, first time in, we got over the experience of getting separated and lost. He calling me, me texting him, missing where we were suppose to meet up, its my fault not describing it well enough, his fault for not being there at the right time, etc and you both land up mad over a half hour or more later! You know the drill, don't say you don't!By the time you do, neither is talking to the other! And then, you land up laughing about it!

Florida is sunny so much of the time that it makes it impossible to go around with a frown on. The weather simply won’t let you do that. So regardless of what is going on, health wise or otherwise, we find the palm trees keep us looking up, the ocean waves keep us looking outward and the warm weather keeps us moving forward with happiness.
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