Mother Nature and Normal

 Back To Normal

We were lucky not to be hard hit by hurricane Ian. That is not the case for much of Florida and many west coast areas will never be the same. We were without power for one day due to heavy rains and wind. But any down tree branches were easily hauled to the street by us.

It is with great angst that I post the picture of clean-up in our neighborhood.

The pictures for Sanibel Island and Fort Worth are devastating. The death toll for Florida was high, seventy-seven. A few of those deaths were in our area. One, a man in his seventies, attempted to empty water from his pool (to avoid flooding into his home) slipped down an embankment into a pond and drowned.

A sixty-eight-year-old woman tourist went to the beach to view Ian and while standing on A1A was swept away by a swell; into the ocean, and dragged out to sea. That’s how powerful the surge was.

Newly restored Flager Beach Pier was swept sideways and under water. New Smyrna beach and Port Orange had extreme flooding, loss of power and business in their area are just now starting to open.

My heart breaks for those who did not fare well.

Today the weather is perfect. No humidity, temperatures below normal and sunny. I wonder what Mother Nature is thinking.

(The pictures below were in today’s newspaper and show the damage south of us in Daytona Beach and Port Orange.)

                                                                                      . . . just saying

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No Worries Hurricane Ian

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Please don’t think I’m being cavalier with the title. Tampa, the West Coast, and Central Florida will be impacted. Thankfully they are preparing and ready to evacuate. We live on the east coast of Florida, between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, in new construction. Our outside walls are cinder block. The house has few windows. Building codes do not permit windows (tiny panes of glass) on garage doors.

We won’t evacuate, there isn’t any safer place within driving distance.

We will probably loose electricity and not able to cook the food that is defrosting in the freezer and refrigerator. I’ll freeze 16 oz bottles of water then put them in the refrigerator so things don’t rot, if we do. 

We will need flashlights and candles to see after 7pm and the toilets will not flush. I’ll be prepared by filling up the bathtub with water ahead of time. One bucket of water will flush things down.  

We won’t open the windows. The air inside will be cooler than outside despite no air conditioning.

All outdoor and furniture will be brought indoors. Last time our living area resembled a hotel lobby with seating for twenty-four.

I believe we’ll be okay and pray the rest of Florida and the surrounding states will be as well.

. . . just saying

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What’s In Your Future?

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A Tiny House

I’ve heard (can’t remember where or by whom), that the trouble with aging is we think more about the past, worry about the present, and think little of the future. At my age, seventy-four, even in the best of health, the next ten to twenty years will be entirely different than the past twenty. It’s a different time in my life and I can be grumpy and mad, or think about the future.

Recently my horoscope said, “You have to go to where the light is.”

I live in Florida. There is plenty of light and wear sunglasses to take out the garbage.

The advice, by Holiday Mathis, who writes the syndicated daily horoscope column for hundreds of newspapers, is the author of several books, and a multi-platinum songwriter (her songs have been recorded by Miley Cyrus, Emma Roberts and others), made sense.

References to moving into the light, implies embracing spirituality.

Perhaps I should attend church more.

Moving into the light suggest death or afterlife.

I’m not ready to die, but. . . maybe I need to avoid route 95 and look 20, instead of 10 times, before backing out of a parking space.

Although. . . It could mean; avoid negativity and surround myself with bright cheery people, places and things.

If I close my eyes and dream about the future, what do I see? A tiny house with lots of windows and a river view. The above picture doesn’t truly capture the picture in my head. I’m thinking more like this.

. . . just saying

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Doing Nothing

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Searching For a Four-Leaf Clover

“Do you like doing nothing?” The question, posed by fellow blogger Kim is intriguing and 67 people commented.

Kim said, if you’d like to do more of nothing; start small, plan unstructured vacations, and choose soft fascination, aka go for a walk. She quotes three University of Michigan psychologists to support the point that nature heals.

Most comments favored doing nothing, I disagree.

Once I start doing nothing, I’m stuck and can’t return to doing something. However, my nothing was not their nothing and many comments addressed the definition of nothing.

The doing nothing discussion was really about the self-imposed lack of unstructured vacations or leisure time.

I can remember only one unstructured vacation for our family of ten.

What I do remember is being sent outside to play after breakfast with strict orders to be home for lunch. Playing cards under our Weeping Willow tree and walking to the pool by ourselves in the afternoon. If I really had nothing to do I’d search for a four-leaf clover.

 

. . . just saying

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Goodbye/Word Prompt

Word prompt ; use the following words in a descriptive paragraph: needles, breath, river, touch, swallows, summer, humble, paper, simple, bend, beams, crowd

The bend in the river cascaded into a water fall. The summer air was hot and heavy. Sun beams faded and a crowd of swallows flew in the distant sky. I remembered your touch and how it had taken my breathe away. Like the pine needles that poked my bare feet, the simple paper note in my hand pierced my heart. Its thin texture a reminder of our humble beginnings. I didn’t have to read it to know you were saying goodbye.

* * * just saying

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Where Are You Going?

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My brain is fried.

I simply cannot think, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Bob and I have “Binge Watched” Virgin River.

Now that we are finished, I’m in withdrawal and miss Doc and Mel every day. We haven’t a clue if or when season five will be release, and I worry about Preacher when I go to sleep, and pray Jack isn’t alcoholic.

Meanwhile, I introduced Bob to Frankie and Grace. It’s in its thirteenth season so there will be lots of binging, and no worries about Jane Fonda; she knows the best plastic surgeon around.

Today I thought this is ridiculous, and grabbed a book that wasn’t a book club selection.

Sacred Contracts Awakening Your Divine Potential by Caroline Myss is a heavy read. Forget fretting about why we are here. The spiritual path to wellness and a happy life is purpose and Myss has a processes to get us there.

My head was spinning from the Acknowledgements and Appreciation sections, but I pushed through my lack of comprehension to read page one where things started to make sense.

Myss, referenced Howard Thurman, a late theologian, mystic and Harvard professor who had two questions he said to ask ourselves.

“The first is ‘Where am I going?’ and the second is “Who will go with me?”

Now, that’s what I’m thinking about.

Travel!

So, where am I going?

Well . . . I’ve visited the White House at Christmas before, but want to go again.

Who will go with me?

I’m unsure.

This is a link to my December 2012 visit, A White House Christmas

. . . just saying

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Today is Thursday

How did it get to be Thursday?

It was just Sunday!

It’s hard to believe five days have passed since I watched Jane Pauley on Sunday Morning and planned to blog about what is happening with Libraries when. . .  there was a knock on our door.

As Amazon promised our new television was delivered. Yes, we fell victim to their Tech Sale and Janine’s power of persuasion. Although I never wanted a TV smarter than me, the price was right.

We luckily were able to slide the very large box inside.

Still committed to writing every day, I was on the way to my office when the phone rang. My brother wanted an update on Bob’s recovery. Victor was pleased to hear Bob was doing well; that he had resumed his morning chore of emptying the dishwasher, but not that he won’t be able to move his arm until an x-ray says so.

Now I’m was at least an hour behind of schedule, so instead of my office, I headed to the kitchen and dinner preparation; cutting up onions and peppers, dicing and marinating the chicken and making a spinach quiche. Things took longer than anticipated because I did a wash and set the table in between while seriously thinking . . I’d write, later.

But everyone arrived early, and before I blinked; Marcela was cooking rice and beans, Marie was sautéing the peppers and onions, Janine was mixing drinks and helping Dominic set up the new television.

Bob? He hid in the guest TV room.

I won’t bore you with how Monday and Tuesday got away; but you need to know I have a legitimate excuse for Wednesday because I baked zucchini bread.

Now, what’s of interest regarding libraries? Well, those library cards with the metal clips and card catalogs are obsolete. Wall murals, tech centers, game rooms and coffee lounges are in.

. . . just saying

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Murphy Brown

Ask Me if I Care

The answer? Yes, I do!

Recently I listened to Hoda Kotb’s 2017 interview with Candace Bergan in which she claimed repeatedly; “I don’t care!” Although the quote is five years old, I paused to think hard about why I still do. Evidently her appearance on NBC was to promote the romantic movie, Home Again, starring Reese Witherspoon.

It was entertaining.

However, let me be clear, Candace was not talking about politics, environmental issues, poverty or medical insurance. Candace was talking about that stage in a woman’s life when she stops censuring what she says to family and friends, applying mascara and changing clothes numerous times before she goes out the door.

In her memoir, A Fine Romance, she happily acknowledged and embraced her weight gain and in a magazine article said, “Let me just come right out and say it: I am fat.”

She sounded as though this acceptance of self happens automatically, like your wisdom teeth coming in between the ages of 18 and 21.

Well, I have news for Murphy Brown, some women never get wisdom teeth and many, have to have them pulled.  

. . . just saying

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Flash Fiction

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Short Cut to Love

Tanya Templeton’s slender fingers grip the dirty door handle to the Last Chance Corral. She yanks the door open. It slams behind her.

Heads turn to watch her long blonde hair sway as she wiggles across the room and sits at the bar. Her piercing blue eyes study other patrons whose elbows rest on the hard surface.  

“The usual?” Kurt, the bartender, asks grabbing a glass.

“Yea, a double. Who’s the dude?”

“You mean, the guy hound dogging you?”

Tanya smiles, shoots a look the man’s way, and runs her tongue around her lips like she’s ready to lick a lollipop.

 “Don’t get carried away, it’s early you know,” says Kurt.

“Not early enough?” Tanya laments. “What’s vibrating? Oh, my cell. . .”  She tosses her streaked hair, and checks the phone screen.

“It’s not love calling,” she says, then squeezes the phone back into her pant pocket.

When she slides the bar stool in closer, the metal scrapes the floor with an alarming sound.

“What’s his name wants to buy you drinks.” The bartender points his chin in the right direction. “Or are you running a tap?”

“Does he have a name?”

Instead of listen to Kurt’s reply, she slaps a ten-dollar bill on the bar like a husband slamming a pink slip down on the kitchen table, and sashays across the room, thumbs inside her belt loops.

“I’m Tanya, you must be . . .?”

“Damn woman, looking at you I can’t remember much, especially my name.”

“Well, you don’t mind being called Dean, do you? I once had a boyfriend named Dean, lived in the panhandle. . . Apalachicola. . . ever been there? You gotta love oysters to live there.”

She studies the creases in his worn jeans.

“Dean suits me fine. I’ve passed through Apalachicola many times hauling lumber. These days’ runs keep me traveling the interstate.” He smiles with his eyes. “I’ve been dreaming about oysters.”

Tanya toys with his body using her mind and quips, “Glad you have a sense of humor. You’ll need one.”

 After the small talk and learning nothing about themselves or each other, they saunter out together looking for the short cut to love.

The End

. . . just saying

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Poetry and Tidying Up

Summer in Florida is like winter in the north, Floridians stay indoors. It’s a time to get organized and tidy up. So, I went through my writing stuff, and discovered some poetry. This one was inspired by social media in November of 2012.

Sharing

By Claudiajustsaying

We publicly post our words

Text, twitter and talk.

Likes keep us playing the game

Comments share a thought.

Then, tease each other about being friends

“Tell me a secret and I’ll tell you mine.”

Social media is a push pull effect . . .

But, what is a friend?

. . . just saying

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