From the mouth of a seven year old, reacting to a “fish story”: “I don’t know you, but I trust you. Would you take me fishing?”
If you wondered why I suddenly stopped posting on this blog, the answer is simple. I couldn’t gain access to my own blog! The worst thing is we can’t get in touch with anybody to find out if it’s us or them. I don’t have the slightest. Mr. WordPress, can you please provide some reasonable and understandable way of contacting you for help? I guess you can chalk this post up to venting. It’s kind of like barking at the moon. You do it. You know it’s foolish and will accomplish nothing. But, you do it anyway. We’re back posting, but in a tortuous, round-about method.
Venting over! Many things are going on. My newest mystery/suspense book, “Turtle Point” is released. It is available on Amazon and Kindle. Pub folks always preach you should be able to describe your book in 20 words or less. Okay, here goes. “Can a good man literally bury a bad past event in his life?” Count them, that’s thirteen! #Turtle Point is set in Southwest Florida’s barrier islands, contains a lot of info about sea turtles, and introduces the heroine of my “Iron Lady” series, Harper Sturgis. (No shrinking violet she!)
For the many who have attended my historical presentations and bug me about the “Clayton’s Chronicles” series (Florida’s history in novel form – think “A Land Remembered”) the first book is complete, it’s edited, and it’s ready for the publisher. Fall of this year? Hopefully.
I’ll end with some TRULY GREAT NEWS for authors, writers, and writer-want-to-be’s in the southwest Florida area (That area from Sarasota to Marco Island and inland across the state.). ABC Books 4 Children and Adults is sponsoring a full-scale writers conference in April 2019 (Saturday the 13th). It’s titled, “The Hudson comes to the Peace” (Referring to rivers in each area) and will feature 16 of New York’s top agents and editors. The theme is “Possibilities”. That’s all the many ways you can improve your writing talent by working with newspapers, magazines, TV, electronic media and many more. It’s a full day of education that is available at a fraction of the cost of equivalent events in other venues.
The key I most frequently use
This has been an especially busy winter season for me. Most have been very good. Some … Well, there’s always some rain to make you appreciate beautiful sunny days.
As has to be apparent, one of those rainy day events has been my inability to post to this and my other blogs. To compound the problem, I found in the six week period of time between posts, WordPress decided to make everything I knew about getting into to post obsolete. It was changed, or gone, or I simply don’t know. I’m still not able to post, but this will be my first one when I finally can get some help from this organization.
Technology is a good thing? Certainly … in many respects it is. But, I sometimes wonder if many changes in technology are made for that sake alone. Some require us all to relearn what we do when the changes are unwanted and in lots of cases less than useless to many users. Hopefully this post will find its way to the I-net sooner than later.
As a friend once said, “Oh, I long for the days of the slate, chisel, and hammer.”
That’s where I’ll be this weekend. The #Crowley Museum is one of those places that few folks know about and that lots of people should. It’s a living photo of history within a two-and-a-half hour drive for those living in communities from Marco Island to Clearwater and into the center of south Florida.
The Crowley is a late 1800’s frontier town that’s been restored to preserve the area’s heritage. It even has some of the cattle breed the Spanish brought with them in the 1500s that was the foundation for Florida’s first important industry, “ranch herding.”
The event for this weekend is the Southwest Florida Heritage Festival. There will be all kinds of demonstrations like squeezing sugar cane and making syrup from the juice just like Florida Crackers did using draft animals and wood fires. Other exhibitions include spinning, whip making, bee keeping, noodle making, pioneer cooking and more! Here are a few pictures.
Irma was rough on this wonderful example of Florida history. It has just recently been reopened after the extensive work done to put it back as it was! I highly recommend you stop by and see this fascinating bit of Americana. I’ll be presenting two historical talks at the Crowley Learning Center. “The Loyal 14th Colony: Florida in the Revolutionary War” will presented Saturday (2/24) at 11:00 AM. I’ll talk about “Florida: The Forgotten Years – 1865 to 1920” on Sunday (2/25) also at 11:00 AM. Both presentations have power point programs with them and I’ll stick around to answer questions and chat afterwards. In fact, I’ll be there both days open to close. Instructions to get to the Learning Center are available on line and will be at the event.
The Crowley Museum is located very near Sarasota. Exit I-75 on to Fruitville Road East. Fruitville dead ends into Myakka Road. Turn right. The road twists and turns for a few miles to 16405 Myakka. That’s about 13 miles from the #210 exit off I-75. It’s on the left side of the road traveling east. There is a website with more info. It’s http://www.crowleyfl.org . GPS should get you there. Come see me this weekend!
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One football helmet. Used. Scared. Priceless!
Yesterday, my wife found a package that had been delivered by UPS. We evidently weren’t home when it was delivered for the delivery man placed it in a place where it would be safe from the weather. It was in plain sight, nestled in a group of boxes of similar size and shape. Obviously, it went undetected for a few days. In the box were Christmas presents sent from my daughter and her family.
My daughter is a busy sales executive (V.P.), but she manages to take the time each Christmas to find a gift that transcends the obligatory … her gifts are personal. I’ve come to expect and look forward to their arrival. But this year … this year, I received a priceless gift in that plain brown corrugated box. However, it was not from her.
You see it pictured above. It is a football helmet, one worn by my Grandson Brad. With it was a note, a note I choose to selfishly keep as one of those objects that is of the “heart,” private. It is for me to savor and for me alone. That’s one of the things that makes it so special. As we age we appreciate life landmarks more; we know life’s important issues because we have lived it.
As a grandparent of four marvelous young adults, I have been blessed. Like all grandparents, I want to do what I can to make each one successful and, most importantly, happy. When I looked at my inventory of items I might share with Brad, my experience coaching football was something I believed would help him. He was an eager learner. He never lost the flex in his knees, kept his toes in so he could start quickly in any direction, kept his power line low, and never let a blocker get to his outside leg when he played outside linebacker. He was a very good player.
As satisfying as seeing him play successfully was, receiving the helmet is an indication that he learned things that transcend the physical skills he was taught. The greater values a sport teaches us are values that are retained and used as we go through our lives. Brad values our relationship on a deep level; it is one of those lessons. The value of team work, personal sacrifices required to attain a goal, embracing hard work, learning that we are a victim if we choose to remain one, and the concept of loyalty to ideas, to organizations, and to people are notches on a person’s character belt. Thanks for a priceless gift, Brad. I’ll sleep well tonight.
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With very few exceptions, Christmas has been a season when people in this country put aside our differences both petty … and not so petty.
We’ve welcomed each other in thought, in presence, – we’ve done so without reservations – no identity relationship has mattered, no visible difference, no qualification as to where we live, no reservation based on ideology.
It’s been a time when we all can look at our fellow humans with understanding, kindness, charity and dare I say it … love?
Isn’t it sad?
There is pressure to put an end to this season of good will.
It comes from all around us and inundates us like a tsunami destroying that feeling of happiness and peace that accompanies the magic I associate with a simple phrase … “Merry Christmas.”
What I see on TV, what I read, what I hear, and worse, how I see us treat each other during this season … what I see as a period of truce … convinces me that there are those who wish to steal from us, the most valuable thing we have.
Our collective humanity.
Listening to TV commentators and politicians this morning occasioned a thought.
I refuse to allow others to rob my sense of humanity. I will NOT reject people who differ from me in any way based on narrowness of vision and selfish views of life.
Humanity’s laws do not require that we think the same.
Because someone doesn’t agree with my political outlook, social values or other personal beliefs, doesn’t give me the right to value them any less as a human.
Certainly the reverse is true.
My personal set of values does not devalue me.
With this thought in mind, I’ve decided I won’t allow the rhetoric of division and derision to destroy my enjoyment of fellow human beings this Christmas. I hope I have the wisdom to maintain this state of mind far past this season of goodwill.
I will not assign a negative value to a person with whom I disagree most vehemently. I will proudly retain my thoughts, understanding that people will differ. Disagreement with another simply means I have to be tolerant of them. I’ll strive to remember those who see only one point of view … those who resort to labels and vitriol in response to opposing ideas … lack the intelligence to reason and refute. I’ll react to them with the pity and understanding those with such narrow intellect require.
I will put the atmosphere of recrimination aside, hope they will, and if not, ignore the “slings and arrows.”
Can I persuade some of you who read this to adopt this thought? Let’s make this a “Merry Christmas!”
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The Holidays are HERE. I hope that the following season is a happy one for each of you.
May your disappointments be few –
May your successes be many –
May your opportunities be plentiful –
May your readers be enthusiastic –
May your critics be gentle –
May you enjoy good health –
May your football, basketball, and baseball teams win –
May the “calorie sucker” do a good job on all the goodies you’ll eat today –
May we all understand the blessings we have and be thankful –
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