Monday, February 15, 2010
Lynne and I did get to saunter on the boardwalk through a Florida forest at Erna Nixon Nature Preserve, where we were greeted by the sight of about 30 volunteers making artificial oyster beds by cable tying oyster shells to plastic mats which will then be dropped in a bay to encourage the return of oysters to the ecosystem. Past the tables where they were working was a boardwalk that led us through a grove of live oak trees covered with Spanish moss (above), and by the colorful and muscular bark of Simpson's Stopper (right), a native tree that I was pleased to meet. Lynne paid the price for the plane ride by coming down with a nasty rendition of a cold that kept her in bed for the rest of the week.
The warmth we missed in terms of temperature we got instead from visiting with my two oldest brothers and their wives. We cooked up some epic meals, including pompano (a fish native to Florida), bananas foster and paella with tons of fresh seafood. Weather doesn't really interfere with time spent with my mother. The formula for fun includes time together, going to church, and a visit to her favorite restaurant: Friendly's. My mother is 93 and has found a good home for herself in an independent living facility where she can walk down the hall to physical therapy, or to play Bingo, or to eat dinner. Now that she is in her second year there, she has friends to chat with too. Her best friend, Connie, is from her church. Connie is the angel who drives my mother to many church activities and to the grocery store, so the good news is that my mother is doing well for herself in Florida.
We miss our Kentucky friends and hope that you will enjoy some time with us in this beautiful corner of the world.