Showing posts from November, 2020

Guide to a Caring Return

It is that time of year again.  Snowbirds and others who have homes elsewhere are returning to their south Florida abodes.  Those of us who are here year-round notice the change in traffic and general business of everything.  This ebb and flow of population is nothing new to us. But this year of the pandemic is different, and calls for new considerations. For those who are returning, here are some suggestions.   Just the very fact that you have traveled from here to your summer place and back means that you have been more at risk of COVID exposure than those of us who did not go anywhere at all other than a couple doctor appointments.   Some of you have traveled far more.   I’m sure that wasn’t easy. First of all, when you talk to us, please do not imply that our measure of isolation is too extreme.   Our degree of isolation may be due to an underlying medical condition that you don’t know about.   Risk taking for you might not be the same for us.   White Pelicans returning

When the Vendée Came to Captiva

 The Vendée is a department of France that has a few things in common with Sanibel and Captiva; the most obvious is beautiful sandy beaches.  Tourists from everywhere visit these beaches.  Birds nest in nearby mangroves along the coast of the Vendée, just like they do on our islands. However, the Vendée produces fine chicken, duck, lamb, brioche, a well-known raw cured ham, corn, wheat, and sunflowers – ah, those beautiful fields of sunflowers!   As you would expect for a coastal area, oysters and mussels are exported from the Vendée, too.   Ham with white beans is a famous dish from the Vendée, as is a garlic bread called préfou .   And of course, the Vendée produces wine. While Sanibel and Captiva long ago lost their agricultural economies, the islands did experience, for a couple glorious years, the talents of Chef Jean Grondin, another product of the Vendée.   From 1985 until his untimely death in 1987 at age 37, Chef Grondin lived on Sanibel and ruled the kitchen of a restaura