Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The New Year

Turtles at the Six Mile Cypress Slough...other than birds and squirrels, we didn't see much. Had a great walk.

Had a great opportunity to speak Spanish...the parking meter didn't work for dollars and so we needed to use a debit card. There was a Spanish speaking man in the line which was growing quickly and clearly, he didn't understand what was up. He had his dollars out to get his parking ticket, so I asked the man in back of him if he would buy the guy a ticket on his debit card, because Spanish man didn't have one and ours was now back in the car. Then I explained the process to the man and he touched my back as I was leaving and said, "hay personas amistosas aqui en su pais" and I was left thinking he must have had some ugly SW Florida experiences.

This new year has started with a bang. Right now, our house is full of laughing playing grandchildren, and their parents, Kristin and Pat. Now, the "bang" part is that shortly after their arrival, Addison became ill and puked all over two rooms. That was followed by Alex doing the same but this time all over the sofa, pillows, floors and whatnot. Rugs a mess, beds a mess and the house filthy. Loving it at various levels. Today, we are off to the beach to make sand castles....but the weather is not co-operating: only 70 as a high today!

We have also gone to the Slough and to Manatee Park. Because it was so cold, we didn't see any alligators but we were in turtle heaven. Addison is writing a paper for her first grade class...yup, a paper!

And then, last week, my sister, Sheryl and I went to Huntsville, Alabama to see my elderly aunts and uncle...the last remaining part of my mom's sibling group. Aunt Shirley is in the hospital and shortly will go to a nursing home. Aunt Opal is almost totally blind and Uncle Ernie is blind in one eye, very hard of hearing and all appear frail. Just not ready for their decline...yet, as a friend said, it is the cycle of life. And we are enjoying that cycle with Layne Kathleen, seven weeks old. Here she and her daddy are.

I have been boring everyone with my concerns regarding work...no ticket in my pocket which makes me rather cranky. I like to plan ahead. Yesterday, the census called about a supervisory position which they may offer me and I also am confirmed, with ticket bought, to go back to Cartagena in February which makes me smile continuously. As I have probably said a million times, this is a place I could live and work forever. Alex told me yesterday if x person, that we both know there, wants a mistress, I should become one!! I think NOT.
Talking with people in Uganda at a paper I visited in July to see if I will go back...sent the proposal and also talking with IREX in Rwanda about opportunities with them. Would love to go there to see my friend, Eddie who works at the US Embassy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2010...a new beginning

2010 blew in with record breaking cold weather. Left Michigan thinking we would finally warm up. Atlanta was freezing and onward we drove only to find Florida in a record breaking cold wave also. 10 days so far wearing two pair of socks, sweats and snuggling down in blankies. The dogs are not happy and we are weary of this climate...if we have to freeze, we should be up north with our family.

No travel on the horizon though I am ready to go whenever and wherever. Talking with Rwanda and hoping to go back soon to Colombia. I need to hear and use my Spanish.

My two aunts and uncle on my mother's side of the family live in Huntsville, Alabama and one aunt is hospitalized. What no work does, is allow me to drive up to Atlanta, pick up my sister, Sheryl and we will drive over to visit the older generation. They are all getting older and less sprightly...want to see them and can, so will.

Alex and Richard are working on putting items on Craig's List to sell. Downsizing makes sense and we are quickly getting drawings and bids from builders up north. We want to add on to our house up there so we can live on the lower level IF we need to and to provide more room for visitors.

Alabama photos coming...family photos also. Welcome to the new year and I pray that all I know will have a happy, healthy 2010!