Tuesday, June 27, 2023

The Cool Kids

 Out to Eat With “The Cool Kids”


My husband, Mike, and I attended the same high school. We graduated the same year. We knew many of the same people. 

Some of our fellow students were “cool kids.” Some of the “cool kids” were friends of mine, though I never was what I would call “cool.” 

Mike says he wasn’t one of the cool kids either. 


Not being one of the “cool kids” didn’t matter to us. Though the two of us never dated each other in school or even traveled much in the same social circles back then, we were both people who pretty much accepted ourselves for who we were. We were alike in that way.


Then, this past April, we married.  I’ll put a link in at the bottom of this post about our wedding.


We bought a house and moved to Inverness. Our house is on the Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes. We are loving it! 


ü The view is beautiful.

ü  I’m learning to really fish. (Not just throw a line in the water with a worm on the other end.)

ü  There is an unequaled peacefulness about this place.

ü  It is fun to pick out furniture and make this our home.


Those are only a few reasons we wake up each morning feeling blessed beyond measure.


Recently, Mike suggested we go out for lunch. It had been a rough week. My car had to spend over a week in the shop. Life without wheels is tough. Sure, I drove the truck to the store, but I was still frustrated without my own little car. There were computer issues as well. That is never a good thing. My sleep was off, so I was tired.


When Mike suggested we go out for lunch, my spirits lifted. A mid-week date? Now that’s fun. 

He gave me two choices. Both were great venues, but one was one I’d only heard of, never tried. The other, Lollygaggers, is a favorite of ours, but we had just been there after church on Sunday.


I chose the new one. It’s called The Cove. It isn’t far from our house.


The Cove is a great restaurant with a comfortable atmosphere and delicious food. I was excited to try it. Mike had been there one other time right after we bought the house, but before our wedding. I was still in Ohio. 


We climbed into the boat and took off. The sun was shining. The breeze was blowing. 

As we skimmed across the water to the restaurant, I turned to Mike and said, “I don’t know about you, but I feel like one of the “cool kids.”


We slowed down to pull into the waterway leading to the restaurant. Actually, there are two water routes. One is for airboats and one for powerboats. You can get to the waterfront venue by car as well, but where’s the fun in that? 


Our "Road" to the Cove Restaurant

We “parked” the boat, tying it to a cypress root and hiked the shady path to the restaurant. The atmosphere was fun and the food delicious. 

We Were Early, So Parking Wasn't a Problem

I can’t think of anything better than a lunch date at “The Cove” via a boat ride.


It took us less than ten minutes or so to get there…and only some fifty years or so become the “cool kids.” 

But the wait was worth it.

Yep, that's the restaurant
peeking through the Cypress Trees

Here's that link I promised about our wedding: CLICK HERE There are a few pictures from the event at the end of that post.



Tuesday, June 20, 2023

It's Called Fishin'

 It’s Called Fishin’


My first memory of fishing was with my grandpa and grandma in a pond on their farm. I was seven years old. I remember the cane pole and line with a worm on the end. I remember the little red and white bobber I watched patiently until it ducked under and I jerked the pole to catch my first fish.


I didn’t really fish again until my family moved to Florida. My mom and dad both loved to fish the lake where we lived in a little town called Lutz.  On occasion, especially if we had friends or family visiting from the north, we joined a charter boat out of Tarpon Springs to go deep sea fishing. That was fun, but I was a teenager by then and found the boat ride, sun, and tan Greek boys about my age more entertaining than dropping a line in the water. 


My late husband, Tom, liked to fish but he enjoyed water skiing more. I tried my hand at fishing a few times at his family’s lake house using a Zebco reel and a rod Tom gave me. I never felt as if I were a true fisherman… uh…fisherwoman…whatever..., though I liked the water and the sunshine.


In April of this year, I married an honest to goodness fisherman. Mike has fished all over Florida. He won tournaments with big prizes, like money and boats. He considered trying the professional tour, but it’s a hard life with no guarantees. Still, the man knows fishing.


Mike and I bought a home on a beautiful Florida lake. Actually, he toured it while I was still living in Ohio. We made the offer and bought it. (If you missed the post how we bought the house without me there, I’ll post a link to “Sight Unseen” at the end of this one.)


Our home is on a big…make that… BIG lake. After the offer was accepted, Mike took a boat to the public ramp and toured the lake. He called me and sounded like a kid at Christmas. 


“Becky, this lake is beautiful!” He told me about the areas he explored and how he ate lunch at a restaurant on the lake “only seven minutes from our house by boat…idling!”


I knew he was happy and that made me happy. I envisioned every cove and tree, bridge and boat ramp as he described his journey over the phone. A couple of hours later, Mike called me back from his house in Lutz with exciting news. The rods and reels he ordered for me had arrived! 


I didn’t even know he ordered fishing equipment for me. It was an unexpected gift. He bought a Zebco reel with a rod and a spinner reel as well. He bought the Zebco because he knew I had used one before. He wanted me to have success with my casting. The spinner is there when I’m ready.


We’ve now enjoyed several evenings standing on the dock casting a line in the water. I’m okay at casting, but I have yet to hook a fish. Mike catches a little bass nearly every time we try. He makes it look easy. He throws them back. I would, too…If I ever managed to catch one. 


One of Mike's First Catches Off Our Dock

I’m learning though. I’m learning there is much more to fishing than catching fish.  I’m learning to be patient. Fishing is learning to relax and enjoy the peacefulness of the evening sun on the water.


I told Mike what I was learning. He just grinned and said, “Yep, it’s called fishin'. It’s not called catching.”

I didn't catch it,
but Mike let me
reel this little guy in...:)

Here is the link to "Sight Unseen." And yes, we did buy the house without me seeing it in person.




Wednesday, June 14, 2023

One Teaspoon At A Time

One Teaspoon at a Time

Ever play the game “telephone” or “gossip” where one person whispers a sentence to another person next to him or her and it goes around a circle? In the end, the sentence is generally distorted. It’s fun to see how the words or meaning change. This post may be a bit like that game.


My father told me a story once about a conversation between Churchill and Stalin. That was long before the internet. I can’t find any reference to it at all. But the story has guided me through many daunting tasks in life. So, in the spirit of trying to pass on a bit of good advice, I’m sharing it here.


As the story goes, Churchill and Stalin met. They were walking by a pool of water left from a fountain. Stalin purportedly challenged the Prime Minister of England by saying, “You are such a small country. How do you propose to win such a big war?”


Churchill sat down by the pool and pulled out a teaspoon. (I guess tea drinkers carry their own spoons…uh…back to the story… )


Anyway, Churchill pulled out the teaspoon, dipped it in the pool, and poured the water on the ground. He looked up at Stalin and said “One teaspoon at a time.”


I’ve leaned into that story often. 


Getting through college? One semester at a time. Sometimes one assignment at a time…or simply one lecture.


Raising a family? One moment at a time. One school year. One crisis at a time.


Writing a book? Same thing. One word at a time. Writing for me starts with a simple idea. The idea is captured in a single sentence. Soon, I’m crafting characters to carry out the notion I’ve set forth. They, like real people, run into obstacles and I have to bail them out…one paragraph at a time.


You get the idea. Whether it is planting a garden, building a dollhouse …no, make that three dollhouses …for my granddaughters, crocheting an afghan, or writing a novel, life is a step-by-step, moment-by-moment process.

Inspire me...and others. Share your own "one teaspoon at a time experience." We'll let Winston keep his. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Plodding Along at a Gallop

Plodding Along at a Gallop 

It is Tuesday evening. It has been a busy week. I should be going to bed, but here I sit trying to create a blog post. For tomorrow. Yes, I said tomorrow. It’s not that I don’t have plenty to write about. As I said, it has been a busy week.


This is the first week since the wedding I have been back in Ohio to see my family here. I arrived a week ago and Mike joined me on Friday.

It has been a good week.


We were able to time our visit so that we could celebrate my grandson’s graduation with family and friends. 

We took the opportunity to go to my youngest daughter’s house and see the progress she and her husband have made on their remodeling (read: rebuilding) project. 

We enjoyed a “pizza night” with my mom.

We saw a few friends at our Ohio church.


Connecting with our Ohio family and friends is good, but we had work to do as well. 


Now that we have a home in Florida, we knew there were a few items we needed to bring from the Ohio house to our new house on the lake. It has been a week to sort and pack and rethink our needs. 


I had to go to the bank and a few other places to change my name. Officially.


Mike was busy, too. He fixed the riding lawn mower and cut the tall grass. Even that small project involved a trip to a couple of stores for parts. We had some other maintenance projects to address, so our few days in Ohio have been packed with activity.


Isn’t it the way of life? If we are moving forward, we are in a constant state of change. It can be tiring or invigorating, depending on your viewpoint.


As I type this, I am looking forward to a sound night of sleep before we begin our trek back to Florida, yet, I am energized. 


We are not plodding along in life waiting for whatever happens next. We are taking steps forward. Like my grandson, Spencer, we have “graduated” from one phase of life experiences and are taking on new challenges as we build a life together.

The year ahead is filled with promise. 

What will the rest of 2023 bring? I don't know, but each day I pray for the challenges to become positive experiences. How about you?