Monday, January 13, 2014

Greeting the new year and seizing the day

January 5-12, 2013
Cortez, Florida
Holiday Cove RV Resort

One of the things I really enjoy about this area is the easy access to outdoor activities such as beachcombing, biking, and kayaking. I also joined a local gym just three miles from here for Zumba classes. The park we are in also has a Walk Off Pounds group that meets five mornings a week in the clubhouse for a DVD workout. Even with some of the rain and cool weather we have been experiencing here, I have no excuse for not being active. A good thing. . . .

The night before last we had quite a rainstorm complete with thunder and lightning, but the morning brought sunshine and temperatures predicted to be in the low 70s. Vic and I knew we would be watching a fair amount of television yesterday with the two NFL playoff games and Golden Globes, so we decided to get in a couple hours on the bikes in the morning. Our new favorite route is to head south along the Gulf towards Longboat Key as there is a bike path along most of the way and it is full of beautiful scenery. Today seemed especially lovely and invigorating with a cool breeze the freshly washed sea air and a cool breeze.

We saw a first today—a large group of surfers!  At first I thought it was a pod of dolphins in the water, but then they started standing up.

The Gulf is not known for its waves. Perhaps the storm surge created better conditions for surfing, but the waves still seemed pretty wimpy. I guess if you are an avid surfer, any waves would be an attraction.

I wish I could say I was one of the surfers in the photos as these waves looked like they would be good for beginners.  I have always wanted to learn to surf, but only tried one time in Southern California when I was much younger. I remember wanting to be just like Gidget in all those surfer movies. Hold on to that dream.
Here are a few more photos from our scenic bike ride of about twelve miles yesterday.

We took a little side ride near the village of Longboat Key and happened upon a yard full of peacocks. Quite an unexpected surprise.

peacock feathers

I also was finally able to take a good photo of a little house on the water that captures my imagination each time we drive past it.  I would like to know the history of this place called Lands End.

Other events of our first full week in January included joining Dave and Suzi (of Beluga’s Excellent Adventure) to see The Wolf of Wall Street—a Martin Scorsese film with impressive performances from Leonardo de Caprio and Jonah Hill. The film is not for the faint of heart especially in terms of sex, drug use, and profanity. It is quite intense and the most amazing thing is that it is based on a true story. The film definitely had us talking! 

Another highlight of the week was the return of our friends Mike and BJ from their holiday trip back to their hometown in South Central Illinois. Since they returned, we managed to play cards together one night (a new game called Golf and a few rounds of Hearts) and share a potluck meal another night followed by a game of Mexican Train dominoes.  Fun times.

One thing we haven’t been doing is checking off the list of touristy things we plan to do while we are in this area (Ringling Bros Museum, Mote Aquarium, Marie Selby Botanical Garden, etc.).  With our departure to the Keys for the month of February, we may end up with quite a list of things to do when we return here in March. C’est la vie.

Somehow the dawning of the new year has me looking harder at my someday list—not so much in terms of places to go, but things I have always wanted to learn how to do. Two of those are painting and knitting. I went to a knitting group here at the park on Friday and learned how to cast on and do simple stitches for making a dish cloth. I also bought some acrylic paint and small canvases to practice some simple still lifes. I also just learned there is a good bead shop on the island that offers jewelry-making classes—something else I would like to do. Never too late to keep learning. . . .

A few events this past week have influenced my new zeal for transforming somedays into now. The obvious one is the dawning of a New Year, or as one blogger (I think it was Sherry) reminded us: “New Year’s Day is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

More dramatic news was learning that my nephew is battling cancer that was determined to be inoperable. Hearing my brother tell me this news about his son shook me to the core. My niece, his sister, is looking into all possible treatments and we are holding strong for miracles and the power of medical science. I am grateful to be in Florida during this challenging time as my nephew and brother are only about 70 miles away in Zephyrhills and am on my way there just as soon as I finish this post.

I was also reminded that yesterday was the seventh anniversary of a close friend’s death. She died of a brain tumor at age 54 after a courageous eight-month battle.  A rare snowstorm occurred at the Oregon coast the day she died and her husband took this photo of their two empty cedar lounge chairs covered with snow.  

sky photo

Carpe Diem.


  1. Seize the day is it exactly! My heart goes out to your nephew and to your friend's husband. We are in the midst of it again and it is very difficult. But, I am planning as usual and am very interested in your winter spot. Hope we can get together to talk about it and perhaps we can see it. These great pictures are just more encouragement that it might be a place we would like and could stay for more than 2 weeks. Moving is getting tiring. But then I guess it helps keep us warm in the winter! :-) You are such a busy bee....good luck with all these many endeavors.

    1. So sorry to hear you are "in the midst of it" again. Sending positive vibes your way.

  2. What a nice post Pam. You and Vic are sure staying busy. We, too, have been hit with the seize the day now attitude. A dear friend has a tumor on each of his kidneys and is undergoing surgery and treatment. Miracles do happen. Our prayers and positive thoughts for your nephew, your brother and family, and you and Vic are coming your way!

    I will be very interested in your painting. I have always wanted to try water's my favorite medium.

    The peacock pictures are very pretty.....what wonderful colors!

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I guess we can all benefit from reminders to appreciate the power of now.

      I too would love to try watercolors. . . .

  3. Please know that your nephew and family are in our prayers for comfort and healing.

    The peacocks photos are outstanding.

  4. I am so sorry about your nephew. Hopefully a cure will be found. We return to the same 55+ RV park every year for winter. Each year we see the decline in some of our neighbors, and it does send the message that time is not to be wasted. That little house at Lands End is beyond cute. Wonder what the story is.

  5. Your Monday was much like ours. After two football games and pizza on Sunday, a long bike ride was in order to take off the added calories. Thank goodness it was a nice day.

    So sorry to read about your nephew. Hopefully his sister can find some new treatment programs. There are so many trials for various cancers. It is a blessing you are so close.

    Aren't the peacocks so cool! We rode over two years ago to look for them and happened to come upon a male with his tail all up and just strutting his stuff for a female that could have cared. We watched for the longest time...quite a show.

    1. We didn't know about the peacocks beforehand. Now I am curious about their story as there were at least a dozen of them strutting around.

  6. Carpe Diem ... something we all need to do ... we never know what's just around the corner. So, so sorry to hear about your nephew's cancer; any words will be trite.

  7. It is a good thing there are no laws about "having too much fun", or you and Vic would be in jail!!

    PS - Judy and I got the job with PGE for the Pelton Park CG near Madras. We will be in Oregon around the first week of April.

    1. Great news for you two! Oregon in April is not too far off. Sorry we missed seeing you at the RV show.


Don't be shy. We would love to hear your comments!