Showing posts from April, 2015

Change in abundance

April 28, 2015 -- At about 1PM, the thermometer on the back porch announced that the outdoor temperature was a mere 84 degrees.  But humidity wrapped me in a warm, damp blanket.  For about 20 minutes, I read the Sunday paper on the divan on that porch.  This was my meager reward for doing tedious work at the computer for a few hours.  In that short 20 minutes, the temperature dropped 8 degrees.  Large, dark clouds swept by overhead, but only a little rain fell.  The change in the weather was rapid.

At the same time, in the heart of Sanibel, a well-known author sat in the office of a real estate title company.  He was in a hurry.  He said he just wanted to sign the papers and be on his way.  Just like that, he and his wife (a composer) bought Cooley Hammock from us.  So that 3.5 acres is no longer Cooley Hammock.  Change happens fast.
Ah, now the rain is pouring.  The plants outside my window are visibly relieved.  Tom’s car, somewhere in South Fort Myers, must be receiving a much need…

In hot water again

April 27, 2015 -- About four and a half years ago, a young guy named Fran Crippen died because he swam a race in water that was too warm.
I learned that from the internet after I returned from my 2-kilometer swim today.  Record-breaking heat has struck Florida; the weather is unusually hot for April.  Consequently, the pool in my neighborhood is warmer and warmer every day.  Today, the water was 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
Still, it felt cooler than the air, which was about 90 with about 80 percent humidity.  The sun was high in the blue sky; the clock said 1:25pm when I began swimming laps.
I told myself that if I started to feel poorly, I would stop swimming; I promised myself that I wouldn’t let the compulsive swimmer in me do something crazy.  And yes, I do drink plenty of water.
I felt fine during the entire swim, but I was wondering, the whole time, about how the body can take working out in such heat, with no evaporation to cool the body surface?  Normally, the water would take th…

Field trips

April 23, 2015 – Dick, who is one of our neighbors on Pine Avenue (a neighbor to the land we own that we had planned to build upon), had graciously offered to take us out in his boat so we could see the house we are buying from the back – that is, from the water.  On Tuesday, Tom and I took him up on his generous offer.

We’d just had lunch with my mom at Cip’s.  Back at our house, we donned hats and sunglasses; then the three of us went to Dick’s place on Dinken Bayou. The bayou is a super-slow, no wake zone for boats because manatees like to be there – and so do dolphins.  We didn’t see those creatures on Tuesday, but we saw plenty of interesting houses from the water.
We pulled out into the bayou from the end of the canal that parallels Pine Avenue, then proceeded north, passing the houses of Harbour Lane and Coconut Drive on the bayou side.  The second to the last house on that side of Coconut is the one where we will be living soon.  It is a sort-of Spanishy thing, designed by th…

Music in the air

April 21, 2015 -- For the first time in ten years, I missed an Island Jazz performance.  On Sunday afternoon, I opted instead to attend the Fort Myers Mastersingers performance on Sanibel, at the Community Church.
The music was thrilling and beautiful.  It was performed by the full Mastersingers chorus, including its chamber chorus and the regular chorus.  A chamber orchestra from the Naples Philharmonic accompanied them; this group consisted of two flutes, two violins, a viola, a cello and a bass.  The program included Shubert’s Mass in G, Lewandowski’s Hallelujah (Psalm 150), the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah, the Kyrie from Verdi’s Requiem, Bach’s Gloria in Excelsis, a spiritual called Ride On, King Jesus, and a modern piece called Gloria that was written by a chorus member, Jason Bahr.
Jason wasn’t present because he was in New York City, where another one of his works was being performed.  He is a professor of music at Florida Gulf Coast University.
The artistic direct…


April 18, 2015 -- The hoards are gone.  The traffic jams are almost nonexistent.  There’s still plenty of humanity around, but the ridiculous level of overcrowdedness has left southwest Florida and won’t return until the end of the year.

So I left the island for a while yesterday.  Without concern about traffic delays, I found it easier now to plan a trip to the mainland with a sense of vague accuracy about time.  While it is nice to patronize island businesses, in such a small town it is impossible to find everything we need. 
On the mainland, I visited my favorite shoe store, another specialty store, and an outlet store; then it was time to attend the open house at Lee County’s Planned Parenthood clinic.  I served on the advisory panel for this local Planned Parenthood years ago, and I knew that the clinic had undergone a major remodeling.  Yesterday, I was able to see the transformation.
I met a new friend who is in the process of reviving the local chapter of NOW (National Organi…

Thoughts from the deep end

April 17, 2015 -- On October 28, I mentioned running in the deep end of the pool.  That was my one-hour workout yesterday.  My workouts clarify my thoughts.  I can see why the experts are now saying that regular aerobic exercise is a way to help ward off dementia.
I solve problems in the deep end.  I gain a more serene outlook than I had before I entered the pool.  Unless . . . .
Yesterday, a couple was at the pool while I was there.  They are acquaintances whom I’ll call Dr. and Mrs. Z.  She is a pleasant, quiet person, but he loves to pontificate, loudly, in his extreme northern Midwestern accent.
Dr. Z was reading Mike Huckabee’s book yesterday.  He’d read a passage out loud to his wife, then he’d pontificate about it for a while.  She listened in silence, or responded in a whisper.
If it had been a day when I was swimming two kilometers of laps, I would hardly have noticed.  But yesterday was a day for running in the deep end, so my head was above water and I could hear every ble…

Horrendous history of the land of flowers

April 15, 2015 -- I’m taking a class on the history of Florida, taught by John Danner, who happens to be the pastor at my church.  He is quite the scholar, and a darned good teacher.  At the end of this morning’s session, I, and several others, were feeling shocked at the bloody violence of Florida’s tale.
Much of the horror had to do with the Spanish.  As John pointed out, the Spanish flag has flown over Florida for 30 years more than the American flag has.  After the Spanish repeatedly tried to establish a permanent settlement in Florida, and after settlements repeatedly failed, a guy named Pedro Menendez de Aviles finally succeeded by founding St. Augustine – the first permanent European settlement in America, pre-dating Plymouth and Jamestown.
It was in March 1565 that he started St. Augustine, and you’d think that given the apparent difficulty of the task, he would have had his hands full.  But no, in September of that first year, Pedro had to go attack the French Huguenot settl…

Say what?

April 14, 2015 -- Say the word “writer,” and most people think of an author of fiction.  But there are many kinds of writers, aren’t there?  Authors of fiction and nonfiction, poets, lyricists, composers, science writers, journalists, academic writers, literary critics, theater critics, art critics, textbook writers, screenwriters, playwrights, essayists, technical writers – I could go on and on.
As a blogger, I’m keenly sensitive to others’ rights to privacy, and that sensitivity severely restricts what I write about when blogging.  For my husband and me, the main events in our lives this past winter and early spring have involved important events for others, and so I just could not very well blog about those events without violating others’ privacy – hence the big gap in this blog.  
Now I will say this.  My husband (who is a writer of textbooks and academic books) and I (a science writer and blogger) are buying a house from a woman (an academic writer of some renown in her field) and…