Ahh, The Beach

When Studly Doright came to me one chilly spring day in Illinois and told me he’d been tagged for a position in Florida, I was elated. We’d lived in Melbourne, FL, for four years before the company transferred us to Illinois, and I’d fallen in love with the white sand beaches that were only ten minutes from our Florida home.

It wasn’t until I started searching online for homes in or near Studly’s new office in Tallahassee that I realized we weren’t going to be very close to a beach. I was a bit dismayed.

Studly was already in Florida living in an extended stay hotel when I called him from Champaign, Illinois, to ask, “Where the heck is the nearest beach?”

He hemmed and hawed a bit and finally admitted that he wasn’t sure. Certainly if our positions had been reversed locating the nearest beach would have been at the top of my list of priorities. Alas, Studly isn’t a beach person. The only sand he cares about is in the traps he tries to avoid on the golf course.

Once our home sold in Illinois and I joined my husband in Florida I had two urgent tasks: find a home and find the beach. It took me awhile to find Doright Manor, but just a week to discover the beach at St. George Island. And while it’s an hour and a half drive from our house, it is a lovely place.

Yesterday I drove down through the towns of Crawfordville and Sopchoppy, Lenark Village and Carabelle. I turned left in Eastpoint and over the bridge to paradise.

St. George Island’s residents don’t allow big chains to operate on their turf, so the hotels and restaurants are mom and pop businesses.

I enjoyed a lunch of grilled mahi mahi tacos at the Blue Parrot overlooking the beach.

Then I changed into my bathing suit and set up a spot on the beach just short of the lapping waves.

The heat of the June sun was intense on my super pale body, but every now and then the clouds provided some relief. And when things got too hot, hot, hot, I waded out into the water to cool off.

I took a horrible selfie. I had on my dark sunglasses and couldn’t actually see what the picture looked like until I returned home and began editing my photos. Is it just me or is my face crooked? Also, I need cheekbones.

We’ll call this one “I Think Chipmunk Cheeks Needs a Bigger Hat.”

The photo below is my favorite of the day. I really needed an umbrella like the one pictured.

I didn’t stay too long on the beach for fear I’d get a sunburn even with SPF 50 slathered on my lily white limbs, but my brief visit to the sand and the sea restored me. I returned to Doright Manor feeling better for having made the drive. I guess it’s not all that far away after all.

Peace, people.

Timberrr Update

A few days ago I posted a photo of a tree that had fallen during a thunderstorm on Sunday. This happened just a couple of houses from Doright Manor.

The route I normally take out of our neighborhood is in the opposite direction of the fallen tree, but I’m a curious sort and took the long way ’round yesterday morning so I could check out the situation.

Part of the tree has been been cut into pieces so that it now only blocks half of the road; although, the bulk of it remains in the front yard of a neighbor’s home.

Thank goodness it fell into the road and not onto their home.

Although, this trailer felt the full brunt of the fall:

Again, it could’ve been much worse. The tree could’ve easily landed instead on the pickup truck to which the trailer had been hitched.

Rivertown Mercantile

On Thursday afternoon I drove the 45 minutes to the small town of Blountstown to get my hair cut and colored. My stylist, Genia Burke at Head 2 Toe, worked her magic and I look human again.

My trips to Blountstown are never complete, though, without a stop at Rivertown Mercantile. I’m in search of a bedside table for one of our guest bedrooms, and thought I might find one here. I didn’t find one that met my needs, but I enjoyed looking all the same.

I got a kick out of their sidewalk advertisement:

I love the displays of antiques and vintage items for sale.

On past visits I’ve bought some vintage botanical prints as well as some fun knick knacks and old books. Alas, I am still a bit puny and didn’t have the stamina to shop until I dropped. Actually I was a little worried that dropping might’ve been an unintended outcome, and I still had to drive home. I’ll be back in a month or so, and indulge myself further then.

By the way, I don’t receive any type of compensation for mentioning these businesses. I just like spreading the word.

Peace, people.

Waiting on the Rain; Tired of the Pain

Early Saturday morning I took Studly Doright to the local emergency room. Nothing critical, but the nerve pain resulting from his recent surgery had gotten out of control, and nothing we tried could make him comfortable. His surgeon had told us that it would take six to eight weeks for the nerve pain to ease off. I sure hope it’s closer to the six week estimate. He’s miserable, and I’ve never felt so helpless.

We were impressed with the efficiency of the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital’s ER staff. Studly was taken to a room immediately and we were headed home within an hour. They were able to get his pain under control and while it’s still a factor, he can manage it now.

As for me, I’m feeling better every day. The diverticulitis seems to be under control. I’m still eating carefully, though. I’ve completely cut caffeine out of my diet, and now that the headaches have stopped I can tell a real difference. I’m sleeping better and all of those “sinus” headaches I’ve suffered from have become very rare. Something tells me those weren’t sinus headaches after all. I’m still avoiding alcohol, as well. I sure miss my wine, but I think I feel better without it.

Gosh, we sound like a couple of old farts. If the shoe fits, I suppose we should wear it.

Finally, a tropical storm is headed our way this afternoon. Our area is expected to get high winds and quite a bit of much needed rain. I’m really not ready for hurricane season, but hurricane season is ready for me.

My Morning View

Our little piece of the lake behind Doright Manor is my happy place. From my favorite spot on the sofa I watch the day unfold.

If you look closely you can see one of two fairy houses in the bottom right hand corner. The fairies are stealthy, though, and we only get glimpses of their daily activities.

Occasionally a snowy egret sweeps low over the lake. A pair has nested here every year since we moved in, and most likely long before that.

We haven’t spotted an alligator yet this year, but I’m always watching for the telltale bubbles.

Fish jump, turtles perch on logs, and frogs, who are quiet right now, have a concert scheduled tonight and every night this summer.

Lizards provide entertainment for my cats. They climb the window screens, secure in the knowledge that their furry nemeses are stuck inside on this late spring morning.

Oh, let’s not forget the snakes. We’ve seen a few this year, but the birds and the squirrels give us warning. I click to the squirrels and whistle to the birds.

Who’d have ever thought a girl who grew up in the dry, dusty Texas panhandle would ever get to live in such a place? Certainly not me. It’s heaven.

Peace, people.

Carabelle

At this time of year in the Florida panhandle there seems to be something fun going on every weekend. On Saturday morning I had a tough time choosing between events, but decided I needed a bit of the coast, which led me to Carabelle, Florida’s Riverfront Festival.

Usually Carabelle is just a place I pass through on my way to St. George Island or Apalachicola. Maybe I’ve purchased gas there, but that’s about it. Today I walked around and sampled some of the foods and did a bit of shopping before returning home to Doright Manor.

The engineer discouraged me from riding the train.

I intended to bring Studly some kettle corn, but forgot. Maybe a photo will suffice.

Fried foods and more fried foods:

A beer bottle cap lobster:

Nothing exciting happened, but it was a pleasant way to spend my day.

Peace, people!

A Snore Thang

I flew home from Austin yesterday. My original flight, scheduled to leave the Texas capital at noon was cancelled, and I ended up on an earlier flight. My 5 a.m. alarm came much too early, especially since I hadn’t slept much anyway.

Not long into the first brief leg of my flight from Austin to Houston I must’ve dozed off, something I’m rarely able to do on a plane. Unfortunately some pesky person near me jarred me awake with their snoring. The same thing happened on the flight from Houston to Dallas. Just my luck to get stuck by two snorers the one time I’m able to catch a few much needed zzzz’s.

It wasn’t until the third leg of the trip from Dallas to Panama City Beach, when once again my sleep was interrupted by snoring, that I realized the culprit was me. I guess the drool on my chin was the giveaway.

At least my seat mates were different on all three flights so my embarrassment was diffused. I do so hope my snores were ladylike.

Peace, people.

March for Our Lives in Tallahassee

On Saturday I joined more than 2,500 people marching for common sense gun control in Tallahassee, FL. We gathered in front of Ruby Diamond Concert Hall and marched to the steps of the historic state Capitol building where more supporters awaited.

Young and old, we chanted for the entire length of the route. When one lead voice failed, another took up the chant. I cried more than once.

My back has been out of sorts lately, and I came close to staying home. In the end I said, “Screw it; I’m doing this.” Sometimes I make really great decisions. This was one of those times.

Peace, people.

Before Marching Today

People from every continent on earth, except for Antarctica, are marching today for common sense gun control. I’m joining the march in Tallahassee, Florida. We’ll start at Ruby Diamond Auditorium and march to the historic Florida Capitol building.

Right now I’m taking advantage of a bench beneath the spreading arms of a graceful oak tree in front of Ruby Diamond. Hundreds of folks are milling around, carrying signs, discussing the possibilities for real change in our gun laws.

Are you marching today? If so, where?

Peace, people.

Mississippi River by Morning

After two full days on the road, navigating crazy interstate traffic I am safely home, and can honestly say, “There’s no place like Doright Manor!”

Yes, I’ll miss my grandkids and my daughter, but I was really glad to be reunited with my husband and my shower, my cats, and my own bed, not necessarily in that order. It is good to be home.

The last thing I did before leaving Port Byron, Illinois, early Sunday morning was to drive down the Main Street of the small town to take a picture or two of the mighty Mississippi River that divides Illinois from Iowa.

Across the river one can see a portion of Le Claire, Iowa, reflected perfectly in the still water.

And here the mist partially obscures the bridge connecting the two states.

Moody, right? I just couldn’t leave without trying to capture the Mississippi in the morning.

Peace, people.