Monday, July 30, 2012

the locals

One of my fellow Library friends; photos taken at the North County Regional Library, Palm Beach Gardens:

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Being back in Florida is a little like being a tourist on vacation.  Things look different and unfamiliar for awhile.  It took a few days to adjust to the climate and for Jubilee’s raging allergies to come to some kind of tolerable level, but we are getting there.  And as long as you stay out of the direct sun in midday and the breeze comes in off the ocean there is a wonderful balminess to the tropical summer warmth.

The bougainvillea are thriving ...
Jubilee and I have settled into a little routine as I wait for my surgery on August 8th.

We go for a walk first thing in the morning when it is just getting light.  This is sometimes the only time of day that Jubilee will walk the neighborhood.  I guess she has her reasons.  I can walk her off the leash because there is almost no traffic.  After our walk I do my yoga and meditating, usually in the back by the pool unless there is no breeze and it is so sweltering that I can’t stand it.  Then we go inside where the air conditioning, set at 78 degrees, feels heavenly.   Breakfast and then swimming - serious lap swimming that is making me feel as healthy as a jogger. (I once figured that 40 double laps of our 30 foot pool makes almost 1/2 mile of swimming.) Jubilee joins me for much of it, so I have to maneuver around her and the ball, but it works.  I go to the library to check my email, update my blogs and websites and whatever else I have going.  I sometimes bring home a movie from the library (or go to the Mos’art!).  Later in the afternoon I try to take Jubilee for a walk, and read or putz around with one of my home projects (like cleaning out the desk and file cabinets).  Then just before bed we try to walk again.  I say “try” because Jubilee can be a real mule about these things.  I think she got too spoiled running free through the woods in PA.  Funny (as in weird) dog.

It’s rather delightful.  I don’t miss not having constant internet one bit.

My notion about living in extreme climates comes down to: don’t fight it and you will come to find its treasures.

Living in an extreme climate - like the tropics or arctic - requires little adjustments.  Like clothing.  You have to dress for the climate.  And knowing how to alternate your inside and outside times.  You really can’t hole yourself up inside just because it’s too hot (or cold) outside.  There are ways to enjoy the outside without becoming overwhelmed.   You also have to make use of the ways that you can cool down, like swimming pools and oceans. 

As for the living with cold, I already know that, like the right coat, a good down comforter for the bed makes a big difference.

Here are some scenes from around town.
I try not to go to Whole Foods too much (or when I’m hungry) because you can easily spend a lot more on food than is necessary.  But it’s so close and convenient that it’s hard to avoid.  The quality of the vegetables and fruit is much better than the regular grocery store.
The library is special.  All kinds of people here - kids, teenagers, retirees, everyone deep into a pursuit of some kind.  I love the mix of races, ages and nationalities.  They are hard (impossible) to categorize - people of all stripes and from everywhere, finding themselves in Palm Beach County in the summertime and knowing the specialness of the library.  Sometimes I look up from whatever I’m doing and wonder about all the stories that each of these people tell, and I’m glad to be amongst them. 

This is the Mos’Art,  a little art movie house in Lake Park (next town south).  I went on Saturday afternoon for a movie and loved the ambiance and the friendliness of everyone.   There were a lot of “singles” like me.  I saw the movie “Samaritan”, which was good, the preview for another movie I intrigued me so I guess I’ll go back today.

Monday, July 23, 2012

one more time ...

I'm safely tucked into my corner at the library, rather enjoying not having internet at home.  There are a lot of people here today because it has been raining, raining, raining!

Here is my account of the trip South.  Jubilee and I have it down to a science.  Alternating between 2 audio books - Herman Wouk's "Winds of War", and Rolling Stone Keith Richard's "Life" - we sailed down the highways in our little Yaris.
Before we left on Saturday morning, John joined us for one last walk in the wood.  Then we got a big latte at Starbuck's and were on the road by 9:30AM.
 Coming across the Ohio River in Pittsburgh ...
 Rainy and a little foggy coming through Southwestern PA ...
 Ah - West Virginia!
 Dunno ... seem to be taking photos of bridges ....
 The familiar rocks in West Virginia (everything about this drive is getting familiar!)
 Coming to the first tunnel ...

 ... the other side of which is the state of Virginia!
 And then the 2nd tunnel ...
 The skies became bluer in Southwestern VA ..
 More VA ...
 And then all of a sudden we're crossing the line into NC ...
... and then SC!  The only real "traffic" that we ran into was just north of Charlotte.  I thought we would avoid that by traveling on the weekend, but traffic snarls can happen anytime.
 We made our way all the way to the same flea bag/trucker Days Inn in Orangeburg SC where we've stayed many times.  I like it because it has a big field where Jubilee can run free.  I think they give us the same room (#146) every time we stay there.  650 miles the first day with 500 to go!
 Up early Sunday morning, we headed further South ...  That's my new GPS system in the photo below, bought it the day before I left.  Someone stole my other one!  I couldn't believe it, in the parking lot of our apartment complex.  Anyway, I'm trying to change my ways and lock the car when I leave it.

Crossing the Savannah River, we were in Georgia!

 Love the low country scenes from the this part of the country ...
Needed to stop for gas, and recognized the place!  Liberty Georgia.  It's amazing that along this 1150 miles, I tend to need gas at the same places.  I think I have these same photos back on one of the other trips ...

 And well before noon, we cross the last state line into Florida ...
 ... A bridge in Jacksonville, I think.  It was one of these walkways that go from building to building across about 12 lanes of traffic!
 Hi to Tony in Daytona ...
 Somewhere around Fort Pierce the sky darkened, and from there on in we drove through driving wind and torrential rain!  The kind of rain where you can barely see the car in front of you, and you're using his tail lights to guide you. 
 Anyway, we made it home a little after 3 in the afternoon.  The house was quiet as a monastery.  Dark and rainy.  A wonderful thunder and lightning storm this morning, when I woke up and didn't know where I was.  Jubilee is still a little dazed (me too) and follows me everywhere.  We both swam a lot of laps this morning.  The climate feels very different, with deep, rich wind.  Ocean air.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Jubilee's last walk

 Saying goodbye to the girls ...
... and a thistle for good luck ....

Link to Jubilee Video

Check out this great MSN video: Cute Dog Looking For His Owner

In case the imbedded video below doesn't work, try the link above ...


John made me watch this video this morning while I was doing my yoga. The top video on MSN - looks (and acts) just like our Jube. Sorry about the advertizement that comes first.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

mid-summer walks

 These photos are for Eric, who checks this blog every morning at 4:30 AM before he goes to his job at the TV station, and again at 9:30AM, when he gets a break.  I feel amiss that I haven't had anything for him the last few days.
 This is the beginning of our walk.  Jubilee has a little "trick" that she does here.  As I go down this path, she heads off in another direction where she has found an alternate trail.  By the time I get up to the point below, she has already gotten well ahead of me and is coming back to greet me, feeling very clever and proud of herself!
 Some interesting mid-summer sights ...
 Somehow the shadow of leaves on the tree seem ominous or something.  It's always about 10 degrees cooler in these woods than everywhere else.  Sometime when it seems too hot to walk around the apartment complex, we come over here.  Regardless of the weather, though, wecome here at least once a day for the sheer joy and peace of it.  Jubilee always takes a little swim in the creek and none of it bothers her allergies.  She barely scratches at all this summer.  
Meanwhile we are packing up.  This time for sure.  Jubilee and I will head south on Saturday, where I expect (hope) to have some medical problems taken care of.  If John isn't back by September, we'll head back up here.  I'm not sure how long John will be here, or if we will be back, so we're packing the car as full as we can!  Pictures, pottery, and all of my clothes.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

a rainy day

A rainy Saturday and John needed a new pair of shoes so we headed down to a place called "Waterfront" the other side of Pittsburgh.  On the site of the old Homestead Steel Mills is an outdoor shopping mall, the likes of which we have near our home in Florida.  

There's not much left of the massive Steel Works other than these chimneys.  For more than a century this steel-making site was one of the most important in the United States, producing rolled armor plate for ships and tanks, beams and steel pilings for buildings, locks, dams and bridges,  and axels and wheels.  From what I understand these mills were also responsible for much of the pollution that marked Pittsburgh during those days.  When the Homestead Steel Works shut down in 1986, it occupied more than 430 acres and 450 buildings.  

The USA imports most of its steel now because it is cheaper to import than to make. (There goes those good American jobs.)

There was a little bridge from the shopping area to the river (though this photo is looking from the river back to the shopping area).
 We guess that this is the Monongahela River.  It looks clean here, a paddling of ducks were swimming down river.
 John didn't find the shoes that he wanted, and we couldn't think of anything else that we need.  It seems that we have everything we need.  We had lunch at P.F. Changs, but there was a problem in the kitchen and the delay was so long that the manager gave us our salads for free.  Good salads, too.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bemus Point at Chautauqua Lake

On the way back to Pittsburgh we stopped off at Chautauqua Lake for lunch.  It was a sunny, Sunday afternoon and the streets were full of tourists while the lake was busy with boaters.  A good Italian Fish place right on the lake at Bemus Point, with a floating stage right next to it ...
 Good music.  We had fish sandwiches on the deck.  Great breeze coming off the water.
 Looks like a good line up of musicians all summer ...
 Lots of knick knack and ice cream stores ...
 ... and stately old hotels ...