Friday, August 31, 2018

I Got Away


A few days in Boston, a few days in New Hampshire, and a hundred fun travel stories! So glad I made it happen before the summer got away -- just barely!

This kind of roadside beauty -- seen along NH 118 -- is the icing on this vacation cake. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Firsts

Things I'd never done until yesterday:

1. Bought 2 pool noodles and promptly destroyed them.

2. Created makeshift roof rack pads to carry my kayak (see Item 1).

3. Loaded my kayak all by myself, using a technique I learned from a YouTube video. It was shockingly easy.

4. Sweated through my clothes 3 times in one day.

5. Had to take a shower in order to be clean enough to go kayaking with friends.

6. Stopped to check the kayak on the side of I-95 and stood in black ants while checking. My kayak was fine and my feet were okay eventually. (Thank goodness they weren't fire ants!)

7. Saw a bright and prolonged shooting star traverse half the sky, while floating under the moon, planets, and stars on a beautiful estuary.

8. Ran off the road on the way home, I guess because of inattention on a dark, sparsely marked remote roadway. The road turned and I didn't. The next thing I knew, I was driving on grass. Fortunately there was no ditch or culvert to fall into. (You can bet I slowed down after that.)

Like the song says, "When was the last time you did something for the first time?"

It feels good And even if it didn't feel good, I survived!







Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Time Well Spent

I spent a very long day at a county commission hearing yesterday. More than 80 residents and organization representatives spoke in opposition to plans for a mega-development that would fundamentally change the rural lifestyle that area residents love and irreparably alter an environmentally valuable piece of property composed of wetlands, floodplains, and uplands.

One of the most eloquent speeches was made by the president of the historical society for one of the little towns in the vicinity. She showed many pictures of the community engaged in various small-town activities, and ended up by saying it's just fine the way it is.

She wasn't the only speaker who made me get a little teary, listening to her profess her love for the tangible and intangible treasures endangered by "progress" and -- dare I say it -- greed. So much of Florida is under attack for cash and falls without this kind of heartfelt opposition, when only the land and the creatures are there to appreciate the magic and the function of wild places.

When the county commissioners finally voted the development plan down, after 8 hours of considering the matter, there was a huge sigh of relief and some celebration. This fight isn't over -- the developer vowed to appeal -- but it's a victory for now.

I'm glad that the country folks get to keep their farms, their slower pace, their dark nights, and their quiet, and that all these other-than-human beings can remain at peace, too, at least for a while.

Photo: Joanne Bolemon

Photo: Joanne Bolemon

Photo: Joanne Bolemon

Monday, August 13, 2018

Hard to Say

My friend Karen's partner Glenda recently retired. Glenda has worked for many years in emergency services, accustomed to a tight schedule and being very structured and productive in her off hours.

Karen, on the other hand, pursues multiple occupations with aplomb, flowing fluidly from one to the other while always saving some time for life's finer pursuits.

As an introduction to retirement, Karen convinced Glenda to spend some time sitting on the back deck, watching the sunset. After a few minutes, Glenda turned to Karen and asked, "How long is this gonna take?"

Friday, August 10, 2018

One More Thing for the To Do List

Recently I discovered a big gap in my education.

A few friends and I were planning a pontoon boat trip to do some very special birdwatching in a location that can only be reached via water. Our only question was: Who's going to drive the pontoon boat?

Now, we're all adult ladies of varied ages and impressive accomplishments. We collectively found it pretty embarrassing that none of us was confident enough to say we'd drive without a certain degree of hesitation. I finally said I'd drive, just to move the process along. 

I confessed my lack of experience to the young woman who was taking my reservation and she assured me they'd show and tell me everything I needed to know. I mean, I consider myself a decent car driver and I should be able to handle it, right?

I told her the thing that worried me the most was that last 10 feet before you reach the dock. She promised they'd come out and catch me.

She was really nice about it.

What stung was the remark of my friendly handyman, who I'd recruited to find me a boat driver, just in case that was an option. If he can't do the work himself, he always seems to "know a guy" who can do whatever I need done around the house, so I asked him.

And he said, in his distinctively Southern good ol' boy way, "I thought everyone knew how to drive a boat."

Damn.

I never considered it a deficit before, but I do now.