Tuesday, June 11, 2024

There's No Place Like...Family

"There's No Place Like...Family"

Since Mike and I married, I don’t get to see my side of the family that often. My mom, children and grands are at least an airplane ride away. But this past week was an exception. My oldest daughter and oldest grandson drove from Ohio to Florida for a short visit…With My Mama! The visit was brief, but a wonderful experience for this girl. 

They had all heard us describe our Florida home and looked at the pictures on the internet when it was on the market in 2023. We’ve changed nearly everything in the house since then. Roof to floors. Inside and out. But the big draw for us…and them? The outdoor space. The lake. You can go to Lowes or Home Depot all you like, but you can’t improve that view.

We took the boat out on the lake, marveled at the wildlife, fed some fish and watched the glow of the sunset dissolve into night. 


My Mom and Grandson
With Mike at the Helm

We took the boat to one of our favorite restaurants, The Cove. Delicious and fun.

We connected with family. Mike’s son and younger sister got to meet Allison and Joshua for the for the first time. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law on the Waters side came for dinner on Sunday after our visit to the Stable Faith Cowboy Church. 

Three days doesn’t sound like much, but we made the most of it. Allison had to get back to work. Joshua had to get back to college. 

We tried to coax Mom into staying a bit longer, but no. She also “needed to get back.”

I love my family. Mike and I are carving out a new life and new routine. It includes our lake life here in Florida and trips to Ohio. 

I was fearful I might feel empty when that car pulled out of the driveway taking members of my family back north, but I didn’t. I feel full. Complete. Happy. 

It isn’t proximity to our family and friends that makes us happy. It is love. 

There is a passage in the Bible many call “the love chapter.” You can read the entire passage in I Corinthians, chapter 13. It’s online, if you don’t have a Bible.

Part of that chapter basically says, “Love doesn’t insist on having its own way…and…Love never ends.”

Yep, I have lived in many places. I have lived with my family and apart from my family. But God is right (again…still…). “Love never ends.”

No matter where I live.

 

 

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Living Now in the Good Ol' Days

 Living Now in the Good Ol' Days!

Some people live in the past. They long for the “good old days.” I lived those good old days. Some were better than others. Plus, I’m fully aware I am currently living in the “good ol' days” right now….except that will be later, uh…well, I think you get it. Right? 

Some people live in the here and now. What it is the saying…”Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you shall die…” ? 

I'm pretty sure that’s a pirate motto or something. 

Then of course there are those longing for the future. The “someday.” Or the “one day, I’ll be able to …” You hear it all the time.

I generally try to find balance. I hold onto the good memories of the past, enjoy the life Mike and I are carving out now, and look forward to new adventures tomorrow. 

Actually, I am a bit in “Tomorrowland” as I write this. I am living in great anticipation. My oldest daughter and either one or both of her boys…my grandsons….will be heading this way from Ohio in a few days. That’s the big anticipation. I love my family and I love sharing our little corner of Florida sunshine with all of them.

Mike and I are both from a small town in Florida just north of Tampa called Lutz. Well, it used to be a small town. We have good memories of the area, but as Tampa continues to grow, so does Lutz with new construction taking over orange groves and four lane highways cutting through what we knew as farms and ranches. 

When we married, Mike sold his house in Lutz and we headed north. No, not THAT “North”. 

We landed in Citrus County, Florida in a small town called Inverness. Mike’s house in Lutz was next door to his family home. He was used to having eleven acres to roam with another undeveloped twenty acres or so behind him. 

We found a house in Inverness that is close to town. There is a small 55+ community across the street from our place so it is a quiet neighborhood. Here, Mike has less than an acre to mow. When friends wonder how we managed moving to a much a smaller place, I need only to take them to the deck overlooking our heavily shaded backyard. 



I point to the lake beyond the trees and explain, “Those four hundred plus acres there are unbuildable. All under water. But it sure makes for a cool breeze, lots of wildlife, and easy living.”

So for today’s post I decided to share a few pictures of our little neck of the woods…so to speak.  Finding balance for today, appreciating yesterday, and anticipating tomorrow! 



Our backyard at sunset

A blue heron one morning.

An Owl on Our Dock


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My Outside Office....What do you think? Hope you are enjoying the here and now...