Archives for posts with tag: Florida

It was wonderful being with my daughter’s dear friend of eighteen years and her precious baby who celebrated her first birthday recently. They live in Florida, and, anytime I’m on the west coast, it gives me a good excuse to go to my favorite beach. I can’t tell you the name because it’ll become my hated beach…too many people will show up and ruin it for me!

Where's Montana? On the beach!

Where’s Montana? On the beach!

As I was drooling over the small black line roads everyone tries to avoid, I found a new treasure. There’s no using the GPS when you’re going back roads. It’s map all the way!

Florida back road through Three Rivers State Park. Ponds loaded with wildlife and  fishing lakes.

Florida back road through Three Rivers State Park. Ponds loaded with wildlife and fishing lakes.

Back roads lined with blooming bright red clover and thistle!

Back roads lined with blooming bright red clover and thistle!

Lily Pads floating lazily in the ponds.

Lily Pads floating lazily in the ponds.

Blooming thistle.

Blooming thistle.

Beautiful Spanish Moss draped oaks and mysterious dwellings tickling one’s imagination about who lives/lived there and where in the world did they work? There’s nothing for miles!

What a view!

What a view!

Then you cross the Georgia State line and the terrain switches to commercial pine thickets and agricultural fields.

Then you cross the Georgia State line and the terrain switches to commercial pine thickets and agricultural fields.

Fields and old houses of a different nature.

Fields and old houses of a different nature.

I've passed by this State Park a million times over the last 45 years of taking back roads to my favorite beach but I'd never taken the time to go to it. This time I did. Kolomoki Mounds was intriguing and I'll go back.

I’ve passed by this State Park a million times over the years of taking back roads but I’d never taken the time to go to it. This time I did. Kolomoki Mounds was intriguing and I’ll go back.

Then civilization! I just love this beautiful south Georgia town. Blakely, Georgia is so very quaint.

Driving by Quail Motel has been part of my back roads experience for over 45 years. I never see cars there!

Driving by Quail Motel has been part of my back roads experience for years. I never see cars there! Bates Motel?

At the red light near Quail Motel looking toward the square in downtown Blakely.

At the red light near Quail Motel looking toward the square in downtown Blakely.

Early County Courthouse in Blakely, Georgia.

Early County Courthouse in Blakely, Georgia completed in 1905.

Early County shows off their history on the side of their downtown buildings.

Early County shows off their history on the side of their downtown buildings.

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And the last thing you see as you leave Blakely, is beautiful roses planted along the sidewalks instead of trees! They were in full bloom!

And the last thing you see as you leave Blakely, is beautiful roses planted along the sidewalks instead of trees! They were in full bloom!

Even though I’ve traversed this route for many years, I never get tired of the quaint small town feel as you weave around the squares and watch the locals chatting as they walk along the sidewalks. It’s just southern and I’ll continue celebrating my history and the joys my parents gave me by taking me on this roads as a child.

Happy trails!

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Yes. 2012 was incredible…incredible loss, incredible growth, incredible pain, incredible gain, incredible on so many levels I can’t even list them all here. I ran away for this first holiday season to save my soul from anticipated emptiness and loss during this first hallmark and it worked thanks to the love and support of Kimber, Angela, my friends, chirrens and family. Thank you all for standing by me when I was lost and loving me back into being found.

New Year’s Eve was scary. I’m still processing what triggered me into talking to myself out loud as I struggled with purchasing the one thing I wanted for my New Year’s Eve celebration…a small package of NutterButters. I found myself uttering sounds of disappointment and frustration which felt more like Ava than me which I couldn’t get rid of all night. It wasn’t until I saw her spouse’s announcement that he is now engaged to the woman who moved into Ava’s house just a couple of months after her death that helped me realize what was going on. I now know it was Ava’s way of letting me know of what was to come. The good news is that I didn’t have internet most of this week so I didn’t get the Facebook instant message. I got it twenty-four hours after the fact and one tortured night of wondering if I was losing my mind. The good news is that I usually know when she’s “visiting” me but because I was arm-wrestling with my brain over the events of last year, it threw me off a bit I cleared my head until to see what she was trying to say.

If this is your first time hearing about her visitations, I know it comes as a surprise. It doesn’t to me because we had a pact after Carl’s disappearance that we would maintain communication with each other after the first of us passed. She certainly has kept her promise. And, as long as she doesn’t scare me like she did in July, I’m good with it. I even look forward to it because it’s how she’s going to help me write the third portion of their book…the one about Carl, Ava and the hereafter.

On a lighter note, I wanted to share some photos from my trip.

Montana bird dogging a Blue Herron on New Year's Eve.

Montana bird dogging a Blue Herron on New Year’s Eve.

Last Florida sunset of 2012.

Last Florida sunset of 2012.

Think I wanna' do this every year!

Think I wanna’ do this every year!

First Florida sunset of 2013

First Florida sunset of 2013

Each year I get a message as to the challenges of the year. Last year was “faith” and, boy, was mine ever tested. “They” say that this year is “change” which doesn’t surprise me at all. After all, that’s life. I’m just trying to continue to work on my faith to help me get through the changes coming this year.

Happy New Year and Happy Trails.

I love this area of Florida so much that I’ve tried to buy a place every time I come down but things are just never right…either timing, or kids or work or money. Now it’s just money but I still look. I don’t even want to be on the beach…just close enough to smell the fresh salt air and feel it on my face.

First, however, I went to a little-known place called Cedar Key. It used to be a covey of very talented artists about twenty years ago. Now it’s just another snow bird nest. Lots and lots of condos have been built and they certainly cater to the winter flying birds. It’s still a nice place, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just not what I hoped it was. It had changed and I’m grieving over the loss of such a cozy community of varied talent.

Cedar Key

Cedar Key

You probably can't see them but there are HUNDREDS of pelicans perched on the pier just outside this restaurant in Cedar Key.

You probably can’t see them but there are HUNDREDS of pelicans perched on the pier just outside this restaurant in Cedar Key.

Montana didn’t know they were birds for the first few seconds during this shot…but…

Birds?

Birds?

We stayed one night only because we were ready to get some sugar white sand in between our toes! Whooohooo!

Where's Montana? On the beach!

Where’s Montana? On the beach!

Quit? Now? But there are more birds to bark at!

Quit? Now? But there are more birds to bark at!

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Montana running in the Gulf to chase down some birds!

Montana running in the Gulf to chase down some birds!

I have more of sunsets but can’t download them right now. They’ll be in the next post! We’re smiling!

Happy Trails!