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Dawn along the boardwalk

Dawn along the boardwalk

When we were kids, my brothers and I used to play a game.  When we left home or my grandparent’s cottage up on Lake Huron, we began a litany of “goodbyes”.  Goodbye house.  Goodbye bikes.  Goodbye cottage.  Goodbye lake.  And we especially always said goodbye to a blue-painted barn about a mile north of our small town in the Thumb of Michigan.

This morning, as dawn stained the horizon lemon chiffon, I took a cup of coffee down to the boardwalk.  Today’s outdoor commitment had to happen early.  The car leaves for the airport in a couple hours and the plane wings northward to Detroit, and on to Marquette.  If all transpires smoothly, I should be home by 9:30 p.m. to view the melting snow and (of course) dear Barry.

So it’s time to say goodbye to southern Florida.  I’m ready to go home, even though it’s been a magnificent week.

Goodbye, Vibrant Colors.  (Please come visit us up north soon.)

Oh color!  What gifts you share with us...

Oh color! What gifts you share with us...

Goodbye, pool.  Goodbye, canals.  Goodbye low tides and high tides.  Goodbye rolling surf of the Gulf of Mexico.  Goodbye beautiful Back Bay.  Goodbye seaweed and beach grasses and creatures large and small.

Beach beauty

Beach beauty

Goodbye, Mom and Dad.  I love you guys so much.  You are the best parents in the Universe.  Thank you for sharing this beauty with all of your children.

OK, there’s probably six milion other things to which to bid farewell.  Enough of this!  It’s merely a prayer to fare-thee-well until we meet again, if the Universe so desires.

But shall we just offer one more goodbye to the mostly-invisible dolphins and manatee?  They’re camera-shy.  Or perhaps wanting to show themselves as an unexpected gift on another trip.  Blessings to you in the deep waters!  May you continue to inspire and heal our planet and consciousness.

BUT, never despair, dear readers!  I saw a leaping pair of dolphins last night down in Naples.  Are you ready for this amazing shot…?

How did these dolphins leap from the water into the streets of Naples?

How did these dolphins leap from the water into the streets of Naples?

See you in Snow Country tomorrow.  Can’t wait to say Hello snow, Hello spruce tree, Hello red berries growing in the woods.

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Dad and Mom

Dad and Mom

Would you like to meet my mom and dad?  Readers, these are my beloved parents.  Mom and Dad, please meet my readers, many of whom are dear friends. 

My dad is the skipper of the above deck boat, which we were fortunately able to navigate out on the Back Bay late this morning.  The wind has been howling something fierce.  It’s prevented much boating this trip.  Usually we ride the boat down to Parrot Key or Matanzas for lunch.  Parrot Key has the best sweet potato fries. (We went there yesterday, by car rather than boat, and we nibbled some of Dad’s fries, as Mom and I ordered delicious salads instead.)

Off we went today out on the bay today!  I must sadly report, once again, that no dolphins leaped out of the water in perfect curvature for a photo.  One dolphin’s fin did surface, and it may have even leaped, but it quickly and stubbornly slid back into the waters to fish for lunch.  I pleaded, I begged, I appealed to its loving and compassionate nature…but it did not comply.  Some boat trips we’ve been surrounded by the silvery leaping creatures.  Apparently, they’re playing shy this week, at least to us.

Captain Dale (with our condo directly behind the boat)

Captain Dale (with our condo directly behind the boat)

Dad navigated us over to New Pass and Dog Beach.  At first the wind whipped up the waves and rocked the deck boat a little vigorously.  My mom held on to her golf hat, fearing it would fly in the bay.  It began to feel a tiny wee bit chilly.  But as we slowed down to motor under the bridge, the wind abated and felt comfortable again.

Dog Beach.  Anyone with dogs loves this popular destination.  Can you imagine a beach where dogs run free, barking and scurrying and socializing with other dog-folk?  We wanted to get a clear close-up photo for you, but the boat’s depth-finder read “eight feet” and Dad decided to turn back toward deeper waters.  Can you see the dogs frolicking?

Dog Beach (take out your magnifying glasses & view the dogs)

Dog Beach (take out your magnifying glasses & view the dogs)

It proved a little interesting maneuvering the boat back into its slip.  The wind prevented a faultless docking.  But Dad did it!  Mom helped with a long stick-like plastic pole which assisted in guiding and pulling the boat back onto the lift.  I stood around rather helplessly, not much help to these seasoned boaters.  Instead, I took pictures of pretty leaves floating near the dock.

Leaves floating in water near boat

Leaves floating in water near boat

Finally, a promised photo for my daughter.  She begged for a picture of the lanai in the condo.  How many mornings have we sat out on the chairs sipping coffee and eating my mom’s prized “Fruit Bowl” filled with papaya, mango, grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, grapes and kiwi? Oh joy!!  We didn’t eat the standard Fruit Bowl this trip, a fact my daughter is lamenting even though she’s up in New York City (because she loves it so much).  Instead we enjoyed honeydew, strawberries, grapes and kiwi.  Delicious!

(I am not 100% sure if the lanai should be included in an outdoor blog.  Are decks and lanais “outdoors”?  Yes, there’s a door you close between the condo and the lanai.  But there are also windows with screens which can be closed, to keep out the wind, sun and temperature.  Anyone have an opinion?)

Lanai in condo looking out over Back Bay where we boated

Lanai in condo looking out over Back Bay where we boated

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