Tuesday March 22, 2022
From Then to Now
I’m sure by now a lot of people have probably given up on this blog. I can’t say that I blame them. I’ve sort of lost my direction and my desire. Hopefully, that is all about to change. Once I asked and answered the question “Who am I writing for” the way forward became crystal clear. I’m writing solely for myself. My blog is my way of reminding myself of the many wonderful and fantastic times, experiences and memories of our life both home and on the road. So, time to get back in it.
I’ll begin by going back a bit and sharing what’s been going on from “then to now”.
Friday, March 11th
We said “till we meet again” to Isaac and Sheila who are now back on the road as full-timers. Isaac has become “my brother from another mother”. It was tough seeing them go but we knew it had to be. Hopefully, we’ll see each other again this summer and if the planets align just right hopefully next winter here in Mount Olive Shores.
Saturday, March 12th
They came from the North. They came in force. And we welcomed them with open arms.
They being Adam and his son, and our grandson, Jarrett.
Adam’s girlfriend, Joanna also came with them. They would all stay for the week. And oh what a wonderful week it turned out to be. Sightseeing, card games and dominoes often late into the night. How glad we are indeed that we decided to settle in Florida and not Arizona. Had we not, visits like this probably would have never happened.
That evening we decided – on one of the coldest nights in Florida – to go the
Auburndale Speedway. The temperature by race time was down to 45 degrees with a stiff wind from the north. Hot chocolate was the called for beverage once we got back home. No matter the frigid weather boy oh boy did we have a great time! It’s been a long time since any of us had gone to the stock car races and we can’t wait to go again. This time, though, on a much warmer night.
Monday, March 14th
On Monday we took a trip to the visitor center for Florida’s Natural Orange Juice. It is the only juice that uses 100% Florida oranges. It is, by the way, the only juice this family will drink.
It is not a big museum but it is full of all kinds of history and so many wonderful facts about the citrus industry and oranges in general.
We learned about labels and packaging.
We learned how the extraction of juice has evolved over the years.
We learned that even today 95% of oranges are still hand picked.
We also learned, unfortunately, that the blight that began to decimate the orange groves some ten years ago still continues today unchecked. The cause of it and ways to halt its spread have still not been discovered.
Tuesday, March 15th
On Tuesday we took a day trip to Silver Springs in Ocala. Once known as Wild Waters it was once the premier tourist attraction in Florida. September 2013 was the last month that the park operated as a private entity. The State then took over with the stated goal of returning it to its natural glory.
Even if you’ve never visited Silver Springs, perhaps you have seen it on TV. The TV show Sea Hunt filmed 100 episodes here as were numerous movies, including Tarzan, Creature From The Black Lagoon, and the James Bond movie Thunderball.
The best way to see the beauty of the springs is still aboard a glass bottom boat. The first glass bottom boats, actually row boats with small port holes in the bottom, began tours in 1878.
Jarrett, Joanna and Adam waiting to board. It was wonderful beyond words being with the three of them throughout the week. I look forward to many, many more times together in the future. This is truly what life is really all about, spending time with family.
Looking down the river.
That “stick” down there is an ancient dugout canoe that once belonged to the Timucuan tribe.
Three of six statues left over from the filming of I Spy. After filming all six statues were slated to be removed but through some good fortune three were left behind.
Wednesday, March 16th
Wednesday was Barb’s birthday. Well, all she has talked about since we moved here is going to Disney Springs. Can you guess where we took her for her birthday?
A glorified outdoor mall? A playground for kids? A place to take an afternoon stroll? A place where you had best hang on tight to your wallet! It’s all this and more.
One thing I’m sure of, they have some fine places to eat. This being one of them.
What a place for lunch. Heaping sandwiches at a bargain price. What more could one ask for. I would come back here again if the circumstances were right.
A perfect pair!
Like cookies? Then this is the place for you.
Cakes and cookies for one and all.
The end of a long day for the birthday girl. She is already making plans to visit again.
OK, we have more catching up to do but that is for tomorrow.
Thanks again for stopping by today We always appreciate your company, and your comments and suggestions. Keep safe, keep healthy, live to the fullest the days that God gives you.
Our continuing mission remains the same: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before