What keeps me so darned busy?

December 8, 2014 – With each passing week, my Google calendar is filled with more and more colored blocks, some of them overlapping.  ‘Tis the season.
Tom has joined another band.  This is number 5 or 6, I think.  It is a concert band that actually rehearses (!) and he attended one of the rehearsals, at Whiskey Creek, two days before Thanksgiving. 
He forgot to pick up the Thanksgiving pie on his way home from that, so we hopped in the van together and went to pick it up on that Tuesday, late afternoon.
One of the island real estate, McCallion & McCallion, was giving the pies away to all of their customers and colleagues.  When we arrived at that time of day, the place was busy with people popping in to say hello and get a pie.  It turned out to be a pleasant, short social occasion, and we had a nice opportunity to chat with Andy, the surveyor. 
We really need for Andy to go back and re-stake our home site at Cooley Hammock, because when the first load of fill dirt arrived for the house pad, the workers obliterated the stakes that mark where the house goes.  New dirt was soon to arrive, and new stakes are needed.  Andy promised to do the work soon.
The pies were homemade creations by a woman in Cape Coral.  We selected apple, and it was good.
Since there were only five of us for Thanksgiving, I’d opted for an organic turkey, which I picked up from the butchers at Bailey’s General Store the day before the feast.  I thought the turkey was a bit tough, so I probably won’t do that again.  Organic chicken is good, but turkey, maybe not so much.
My mom’s birthday was also on Thanksgiving day, so she also received a piece of cake with a lighted candle for dessert. 
My brother and sister-in-law from Iowa were in town, and they were the family present to help us celebrate.  After dinner, we went for a little outing to Cooley Hammock.  Mom then treated us to dinner at Shell Point, where she lives, two nights later.  There’s a good restaurant there called the Palm Grill, and they serve an excellent prime rib special on Saturday evenings.
Even though I met my term limits as president of Committee of the Islands, I’m still on the board and the executive committee, and so I still have plenty of meetings to attend.  I had one of those on that Saturday morning, in preparation for the Sanibel city council meeting on the following Tuesday.
But the next day, we had another fun social occasion, a Sunday brunch with friends at Neal and Sherry’s condo by the sea.  This was a group of Francophiles who’d all been to France this past summer.  We had plenty to talk about, and so the brunch went on for hours.  We enjoyed that time immensely.
On Monday, I got to work on planning the COTI 40th anniversary party, which will be in mid-January.  There is so much to do, so many details to arrange!  Later in the afternoon, I was fooling around with my smart phone while waiting to get my annual mammogram, and I inadvertently did a Facebook check-in at the HealthPark outpatient clinic, where I was sitting at the time.  Oh, did that ever cause a flurry of concern among my friends.  They thought I might be sick, because I’d been so quiet on Facebook, and voila!  Now I was at a medical clinic!  I had to assure them that I was only there for routine matters.
I made a mental note to beware of that check-in button.
The Tuesday city council meeting was long, as usual, but full of interesting and some disturbing items of discussion.  The meeting started out very pleasantly, however, because the council did a proclamation in support of Zonta International’s Just Say No to Violence Against Women campaign.  I and a number of my Zonta sisters were there, wearing orange, and some carrying Just Say NO signs.  The city manager took a photo of us receiving the proclamation, and immediately posted it on Facebook while the meeting was in progress.  What a multi-tasker!
City Manager Judie Zimomra's photo of our Zonta Club receiving a proclamation from Mayor Kevin Ruane.
I’ll write more about the important issues that were before the council at a later time, because I know they will be coming up again.
That Tuesday evening, we were invited to dinner at our next-door neighbors’ home, and once again, we had a great time with friends.  This couple is only here seasonally; otherwise, they live in Kansas City.  He’s been retired for a couple years, and she is just now retiring from the Kansas City Star.
Wednesday was a big meeting day, starting off bright and early with the regular Zonta business meeting at 7:30AM.  Needless to say, it is a breakfast meeting, and the catering is done by Chef Karl Hamme of Bailey’s.
Karl is a multi-talented young man whose many abilities include playing the saxophone.  His dad, Al Hamme, is a well-known saxophone (and other woodwinds) player who founded the jazz program at Binghamton University in New York state in 1964.
So I always have plenty to chat about with Karl when I see him – food, and jazz.
The afternoon was taken up by a meeting of the membership committee at my church. There I showed the others my latest compilation of recent home buyers on Sanibel, to whom we are sending a nice, warm welcome letter and information about the happenings at Sanibel Congregational Church.  I get the data from the Lee County Property Appraiser web site, but then I have to do quite a bit of editing, weeding, and re-typing to get it into shape for the office manager to send the letters out.  This most recent batch, covering the period from June through September, included 136 new homeowners!  The island’s citizens are changing.
The final meeting of the day was to plan yet another party, the Mardi Gras fundraiser for the below-market-rate housing program on Sanibel.  My job is “music and sound,” which entails bringing the popular Blue Dirt Dixieland Jazz band to play at the event and overseeing the set-up and use of a bigger sound system than was used at last year’s party.
Our party planning meetings are on the site of the party, The Dunes Golf Club House, where I was delighted to find that recent upgrades have included lots of new electric outlets on the posts of the picnic shelter where the band will be playing.  Life will be so much easier with juice on every post!
The next day, Thursday, I had a grueling, tedious, time-consuming, and fascinating task:  proofreading and copyediting the book of biosketches – one for each member of our Zonta Club.  I thought I knew this group of smart, friendly women pretty well, but I know so much more now that I’ve thoroughly read each biosketch.
Tom had a gig to play that evening, and so I met my friend Sally-Jane at Il Cielo for a drink and a bite to eat.  We didn’t stay long, but we did have a fun conversation with Neal Griffin, the chef, who, like Sally-Jane, is from New York City.

On Friday and Saturday, I had plenty of work to do at my desk.  But as always, I make time for a one-hour workout every day.  Usually, it is swimming two kilometers.  But I mix it up a bit with power-walking or running in the deep end of the pool, suspended vertically in the water.  Try that sometime, and do it for an hour.  You’ll be amazed.

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