Zany copy editor and writer with more than 25 years’ experience in everything from advertising to petting zoos! Am I meticulous? Heck, I get on my own nerves sometimes, that’s how much attention I pay to details. "I am not making this up" – Dave Barry

Archive for the ‘Small Towns’ Category

It’s a Beautiful Time of Year in Alachua County

Yesterday, I set out. A left turn here, a right turn a few miles later, then a U-turn to take a dirt road. I found abandoned/invisible communities, energetic streams, eccentricities. If you click the link below, you SHOULD find yourself at Google’s version of the photos I took as I meandered, with no idea where I was. I love those days. Imagine setting out with no destination, not even a plan to turn onto a road until you see it. Thus was my day.

Let me know if the link works, and if you have a minute, let me know what you think about a one-day trip along a dirt road.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107423373563189064334/stories/b3a46c52-75c2-3ff3-8ec1-bbace75db7eb14b80dd9206?cfem=1

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New Genre?

Being new to this part of the state, I don’t know if the rain we’ve had is normal or more than normal. It doesn’t bother me, anyway, since the weather is not the boss of me. I do, though, like to get out often to drive the back roads and photograph  secret spots here and yon. It’s a great way to get my imagine headed towards writing. This is a hobby best practiced when the sky is blue, but lately, the sky has not favored this wandering photographer. And so, to see our cloudy days through different eyes, I decided to play up the gloom. I’m now taking rainy-day pictures and categorizing them as Southern Goth. Here are some examples. Expect more as I hone my craft. Stories to follow.Sit a Spell (2) IMG_20150103_160008509_HDR 101_9128 Frowning Church (2) The Sad ChurchIMG_20150103_141856130

Remembering those who are gone

Last night, in my first volunteer assignment for our lovely Hospice, I helped at the group’s annual Renewal event. It was a time for people to remember those they’ve lost. We opened with a prayer and introduction, and then the hospice grief counselor sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”  Next, attendees had an opportunity to say a few words about their loved ones, if they felt like talking (some didn’t). Then they lit a small candle and placed an ornament on the tree in memory of their loved one/s.

Then Brian lit four special candles.

1. For grief, which we all experience, even if we’ve been fortunate and have not yet lost                       someone dear.

2. For courage, which we need to keep going after a loss.

3. For memory, which will never leave us; those we love will always be with us.

4. For love, which does not fail. “Three things will last forever — faith, hope, and love — and the             greatest of these is love.”  1 Corinthians 13:13

We sang again, then stood, and held hands to form a never-ending circle, while Brian said another prayer.  Hug all around after that, followed by some refreshments.

I was there as a volunteer, so no one knew I was also there because I lost a loved one this year, and I miss her more than ever during this, my first Christmas in High Springs. I think about her all the time, especially on days like today – the air is crisp, the temperature is in the 40’s, and there are all sorts of places to explore and “sniff.” She loved the cold weather.

This morning, I’d planned to do my Christmas cards. I went to the drawer where I’d stored them for the move. They are sweet little cards, but I cannot send them because the image makes me cry. It’s a painting Christmas 2005 2 (2)of all types of dogs and puppies, dancing around a snowman. The littlest things just bring me to my knees with missing her.

I guess what I want to say is that if you know someone who has lost a human or “animal” loved one, please don’t be afraid to talk about it. Don’t think, “Well, maybe she’s not thinking about that right now,” or “I don’t want to bring it up; it will just upset her.” Trust me; we’re all thinking about it right now, and maybe we’d like to know that you care. Maybe we’d like a hug or just a few words so we know you recognize what we’re going through.

I lost my son 27 years ago, and my dad passed in 1994. I still think about them. And I still think about my sweet, precious Barbara, whose joyous spirit and unconditional love embodied what we need to remember at this time of year.

Small Towns

A Hero Celebrates

Sunday, we had the good fortune to be in Micanopy, FL for a most auspicious occasion.

We stopped to get sweet tea and to listen to some music. A sign on a large table outside read, “Reserved for Ed.” People gathered. Music filled the air, and folks sang along.

The excited anticipation was palpable. After all, it was Ed’s 92nd birthday. After a brief wait, the birthday boy‒a true hero‒arrived.

This proud Marine served in the “Fighting Fourth,” which served 63 days in combat, earning one of the highest reputations for combat. More than 80 percent gave their lives. This unit was active in the Assault on Roi-Namur, Capture and Occupation of Saipan, Capture and Occupation of Tinian, and the Assault and Occupation of Iwo Jima.

Ed’s uniform was crowded with medals and ribbons I didn’t recognize. One I saw and knew right away: The Purple Heart.

I felt honored to shake this man’s hand and thank him for his selfless service to our country. 92 years old. A generation of heroes is dying, but we met one who’s happy to be alive and celebrating in the little town of Micanopy.

Ed's ~ 92nd birthday, Micanopy Florida 2014

Ed’s ~ 92nd birthday, Micanopy Florida 2014