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Tag Archives: FLORIDA

Just When You Think You’ve Seen It All…

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Float and Eat

I was born and raised in New York City, so when I tell you; “I’ve seen it all”…I probably have.  That is what I thought until recently.  I now know you have never seen it all.

Yesterday was eventful in this area.  We had nine tornadoes in the immediate area, a few were very close to our home.  One tornado hit the businesses adjacent to my wife’s store, at the Largo Mall.  She was working from home, so she was not in danger.  We have had many tornado scares in the twenty plus years I’ve lived in Florida, but never this many at one time.  We have seen this before.

It was a beautiful day here in Madeira Beach.  The sun was shinning, the breeze was blowing, it was about 80 and I was working.  I decided to take a meal break, something I rarely do, but I did not want to miss out on the entire day.  I am fortunate to have a few food options all within walking distance.  It also means I get to walk off my meal.  I decided to make the unhealthy choice and walk to the McDonald’s across the parking lot.

I ordered my meal and went out to the McDonald’s pier to eat my meal.  Yes I said the McDonald’s pier.  Our local McDonald’s has a pier.  You can float up, dock and come in and eat.  That’s not the strange part, although unusual.  I was sitting there, on the pier, when a homeless man rowed up to me and asked me for spare change.  I knew he was homeless by the contents of the rowboat.  I told the man I would not give him any money but he could have my untouched french fries.  He said he would accept them.  I proceeded to hand them down to him, when out of the sky swooped down a seagull and stole them and flew off to share them with his posse.  That is when I realized I had not seen it all.


I Love My Life

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I Love My Life

As I start to feel at-ease in our new home…..


I am starting to feel a renewed sense of vitality, hope and anticipation.  I’m starting to feel a little artistic, creative and appreciative.  I look around me with a sense of wonder.  I start to look back at the recent past and look in anticipation, to the near future.  I am entering a new phase in my life.  I love my life.

I start my mornings, on one of our balconies facing the Gulf, a cup a coffee/tea or orange juice in my hand and anticipation in my mind.  The sea salts filling my lungs, a perfect view of the sea-gulls shitting on our cars, or my wayward cat making friends with the wildlife..snakes, gulls, armadillos, and raccoons.  It’s a good thing he doesn’t have to earn his keep. I have a front seat to the sun, both morning and evenings.  I count my blessings, dawn to dusk.  I end my days as I’ve started them.

I am starting to count every minute of the day as my salary, and I’m willing to work for half as much.  It is amazing how our lives can change by just separating ourselves from the “toxic jobs, lifestyles or friends and family”.  A good “house cleaning” is needed every once in a while.  If there is a God, He smiles on me daily, and I smile in appreciation.

My life is not perfect, but I have the ingredients to make it so.

Back to the Real World

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My vacation ends in the morning.  It was a working vacation, because I spent most of it moving into our new place.  A couple hundred boxes later I am ready to get back to a regular work week.

We are all starting to get comfortable in our new place.  We’ve moved most of the trash out of our way, set up most of the rooms, turned on the utilities and essentials.  The groceries have been bought, the cats and fish have been relocated.  It’s starting to feel like home.The neighborhood has been explored and the neighbors vetted.  We’ve mapped our routes, to our jobs as well as the most important retail locations.

We have had our share of getting lost and learned not to trust our navigation systems.  The car compass and knowing where we are heading, has been the most reliable.  You are never truly lost, if you’re happy with your final destination.

It took us two months, to make the move.  Cathy and the handbook from her employer, made the logistics seem effortless, it wasn’t.  Cathy did a terrific job.  The moving company was awesome.  Our employers were cooperative, on the most part.  It was the perfect storm of fortunate events.

I was twenty years in my previous home.  I never planed to move again.  The economic realities changed things.  We are very happy with our new reality.

We’ve Moved On

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Well we are in our new home.  We are 80% through unpacking twenty years of memories.

It has gone as smooth as we could have hoped.  I’m not going to say there were not moments, when we would have thrown each other into a packing box and mailed it to a far-way destination.  We didn’t.  We pulled together and made it work.  In five days we packed-up our house and moved it clear across this state and unpacked it.  It has been an amazing week.

The week was filled with some interesting twist.  I wasn’t sure about my transfer.  Cathy had to attend her AT&T annual two-day conference, in the middle of the move.  Meow, our beloved 18-year-old cat had to be put to sleep, and Kilo had to be “fixed” and d-clawed.  We had to figure a way to move, a 50 gallon fish tank and 35 fish (only lost 3 fish), not to mention the four cats.  The execution of the logistics (thanks to Cathy) would have made NASA proud.

I had a moment when a bucket lid and a fish hit me in the head during a very short stop on I-4, when I asked myself WTF.  We moved on.  Unwrapping a drain cover, the movers had wrapped in a half-dozen sheets of paper, made me scratch my head more than once.  We moved on.  Knowing that the neighborhood gathers across the street on the beach, to watch the sunset, every night makes me feel as warm as the sunset.  We’ve moved on.

Change It May Be Good For You

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I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately, big life altering change, smaller daily impacting change, minor physical change.  As a species we change or we cease to exist, we must evolve, adapt and overcome our environment.  Life comes at you from all directions…change does not always come from where or how expect.

As a family we’ve come to a cross-road.  Collectively we have a few major decisions to make.  A “not very small question”, we will have to answer is; where we will be living in the next year.  Geographical location is important to survival of the family unit.  Perhaps it’s time for that change.  It’s not a small decision, not to be taken lightly but one that many families have and do daily.


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The New Year is here and I am in a reflective mood.  I could write a really long blog, and just call it a memoir, or I could just tell you what makes me thankful this year.  I’m sure you prefer the latter, so here we go.

Christmas 2010

Thirty years ago I was in a near fatal encounter with a locomotive.  I’ll start with …. Thank God It Was Not Fatal!  The BUTTERFLY EFFECT….is the reason I have a healthy fish tank.  I guess everything-in-between is the “nut” of the story.

If I had died that day, I would not be happily married with children. If I had died that day, I would not be living in “sunny Florida”, if I had died that day, I would not have a tropical fish tank, therefore these fish may not be alive today, in a clean healthy tank. Read the rest of this entry




I was reading some “posts” on face book recently, and was intrigued by what I read. I saw where “DOWNTOWN TITUSVILLE” was encouraging its residents to come re-discover the down-town shops and restaurants.  I thought that would be a great thing to do for a Saturday off from work during this holiday season.  It turned out to be a very pleasant day.

My wife Cathy and I decided we would spend a few minutes exploring the shops, I would take a few photographs and we would move on to some other holiday activity.  Titusville is trying to re-build the downtown area.  It’s been slow and our residents have not really supported the area shops and restaurants in a meaningful way.  We were pleasantly surprised by some of the newer shops.

Soup and A Sandwich

Cathy wanted to step into Cafe Chocolate and buy some fudge, we did not realize it was both a chocolate shop and a cafe.  It was a nice surprise.  We bought some candy and decided to return at another time for lunch.  We walked around the streets for a short time and found ourselves in the Sunrise Bakery, where we bought some bread and breakfast scones.  We took a few more photographs and were ready to head somewhere else when we came across some people setting themselves up, curb-side, with some folding chairs and card tables.  Brief inquiries revealed, to our surprise,  the Christmas Parade would be starting in a couple of hours.

Browsing the Bakery

Cathy and I decided we could go back to Cafe Chocolate, eat a light brunch, then come out and watch the parade.  We called the kids, and they agreed to come down and meet us, after we ate.  Suddenly the afternoon was developing into a Christmas outing.  Lunch was good even if our soups, “french onion”, were a little disappointing.  I make better.

French Onion Soup

The parade started late and it was a little cold, so we kept warm in the car, we were parked just a few feet from the parade route.  The warm car and a “coffee to go” made the wait worth it.  We ran into a few friends, visited with others.  We waved to a few participants we recognized and shouted Merry Christmas to the ones we didn’t, we laughed and carried on like little kids amazed by the wonder of a “small town Christmas Parade.  I’ve posted some of the photographs on the Christmas Page and hope You enjoy them as much as we enjoyed taken them.

We didn’t go out looking for Christmas, but happily it found us, right here in our backyard.  The cost was small but the reward was great.  To paraphrase Tiny Tim, God Bless us one and all!