The Land

Another view of our campsite

Daddy’s land.  I can’t stay here without being transported back to when he lived on and loved this place.

Grape vines

He grew up in the Depression, so had a powerful need to make sure his family would never go hungry.  He planted fruit trees of all kinds, pecan trees, two grape arbors, and always had a vegetable garden.  He also enjoyed canning what his land produced.  For a while he raised a few calves.  He kept goats.  I don’t remember his having chickens except for pets.

Bird’s nest in the grapevines

He always told us that if times got hard, any of us who were willing to work could come live here.  That gave me a deep-seated sense of security.

But times change.  Zoning laws are enforced now.  Several of the fruit trees have gotten diseased and have been cut down. The feeling of having a safety net is gone.  But the incredible sense of peace remains.

He was also a WWII Marine.  101st Marine Division.  Guadalcanal.  He truly loved God, country and freedom more than life.  They don’t make men like him anymore.

Pears. We used to make a wonderful pear cobbler with Dad’s canned pears.

I love my Mom.  She was a teenage bride, and I was born a year after she and Dad were married.  Mom always says that she and I grew up together.  It is kind of strange being close enough in age to your mom to watch her grow up, too.  🙂

We went by Daddy’s grave today.  Then shopping.

She has several beautiful Mother’s Day arrangements — gorgeous flowers.

But the screen door on her back porch needs repair.  She had the screen very neatly duct taped into place.  So instead of buying  more flowers, I bought materials to fix her screen door.  I’ll do that Monday, and that will be my Mother’s Day gift to her.

Pecan tree

There is a pine tree in her front yard that has been killed by pine bark beetles.  The base of the tree is mostly rotten sawdust.  It’s a danger to the house.

I asked Ron today if he and Cecil would cut the tree down.  No response.  So I asked Mom if she would call someone to come cut it down for her.  But tree surgeons are expensive and she is reluctant to spend that much.

Where Dad had his vegetable garden

I would call someone and pay them to cut it down if I could.  But I have other obligations, and can’t really afford it either.

So the tree remains, a ticking time bomb.  It will not last through the coming hurricane season.  All I can do is pray that it falls away from the house instead of onto it.

Goat pen area

Tomorrow Ann is cooking a Mother’s Day/birthday dinner for us.  I’m really looking forward to that!

We were planning to camp somewhere in Central Florida after we leave Mom’s place.  But Ron and I both want to head north instead of south.  So we’ll find a nice COE campground in Georgia and stay there for a few days.

Hope fixed us a wonderful chocolate pudding today.

The old barn

AND she taught Sheba to sit!  She has an incredible way with animals.  Sheba is so puppy squirmy and excitable when I try to teach her.  But she calms down and listens to Hope.  By the end of the day today, she was sitting on command for us, too.

She is such a sweet, adorable, good puppy.  Except for the digging, of course.  🙂

The old goat barn

I’ve posted similar photos and sentiments about this place before.   One advantage to getting older is that you kind of enjoy retelling your stories, and it’s okay.  🙂

Mimosas blooming — a little past their prime

The rotten tree base

The horse pasture on one side of the property

Cattle on the other side

Hope teaching Sheba to SIT!

It’s HOT in Florida!

Mom

Gail and Mike joined us here at Mom’s to help celebrate Mom’s 80th birthday tomorrow.

We have had an absolutely wonderful time here — at least until the intense heat moved in.  Yesterday Gail and I went to Lake City to shop.  The heat drained and exhausted us.  Today was supposed to be in the low 90’s, but when we were in town today, the bank thermometer read 97.  It was almost more than we could handle.

Gail bought a cargo van and started renovating it into a camper van.  She didn’t have time to finish it before the trip, but we are all amazed at what a fantastic job she has done on it so far.  She had installed an air conditioner with a vent through the floor.  But the heat didn’t exhaust properly and it got

Guys picking magnolias for Mom

dangerously hot, so she had to disconnect it.  Needless to say, camping in 97 degree weather with no air conditioner is beyond miserable.

The nights are cooling off enough that they can sleep with fans.  But the heat is taking a toll on all of us.  We have decided not to ever come to Florida between April and November again unless it is an absolute emergency.

Bouquet of wild phlox with magnolia

It was such a joy to see the wild phlox carpeting the sides of the roads here.  I’ve never seen that anywhere else except Florida.  Mike picked a bouquet of them yesterday for Gail.

And the magnolias are blooming.  Such magnificent flowers with a heavenly, sweet scent.  The guys picked some for Mom, as they are too high for her to reach, and she gave us each one to put in our campers.

Tomorrow is her birthday. I’ll try to upload more people pictures tomorrow.  My cell signal is very weak tonight and it’s taking forever.

Gail's van

Interior of Gail's van so far

Family Fish Fry

Mom with the fish that didn't get away!

We had another memorable day yesterday when Jeannie, Darrel and the boys arrived at Mom’s and cooked a fish feast for us!

Darrel and DW caught the fish, Jeannie dredged them in seasoned corn meal, and DW manned the fish cooker.

It was the most delicious fish I’ve ever eaten… and the company was priceless.

DW, the chef!

DW and Mom

Hope

Jeannie

Jesse

Another chef photo

Sunny, who is demoted to a yard dog at Grandma's house!

Perfect Day Today!

Today was one of those rare, absolutely perfect days.  The weather was sunny and warm — short sleeves warm — with just enough of a breeze to keep it from being hot.

We went to Mom’s church with her this morning.  It was their 91st homecoming.  They had a Southern Gospel group with okay music, and they presented a nice sermon, too.  It was especially good seeing Mom’s pastor again.  He has been there for 26 years.  So he has married, buried, dedicated babies, counseled, visited hospitals, and been an integral part of the congregation’s lives for a long time.

His wife died a while back.  He remarried a widow whose husband had been a pastor, and I was thrilled to see that they appear happy together.

I had a precious visit with my sister Hope this afternoon.  She had the windows open.  We could hear a neighbor using a chainsaw in the distance, and it was such a pleasant sound to us.  It reminded of other sounds that we love.  One of our favorites was Grandpa Mayo’s tractor during drowsy summer afternoon nap times  when we were kids.

Then this evening we watched The Sound of Music at Mom’s.  It had been so many years (decades) since I had seen it that I had forgotten a lot of it.  So it was almost like seeing it new again.

After that, I went back over to Hope’s and we watched TV together for a while.

I am feeling GREAT for the first time in a long time, so everything is fun again.

Tonight there is a beautiful full moon.   It couldn’t be a more perfect ending to a perfect day.

I have been working on my shuttle tatting.  I have started one project over three times, and finally have a good start on it.  But I am doing just as much retro-tatting (picking out mistakes) as I am constructing the piece!

Once in a while I ask myself if it is worth it, when needle tatting is so much faster and easier.  But the feel and quality of shuttle tatting is so much nicer.  So yes, I think it is worth it.  And I keep plodding away at it.

At Mom’s Place

The Aliner at Mom's place

We are camped at Mom’s place now.  It’s pretty quiet here.

The goat pen area where Daddy kept goats years ago.

Grape vine area

Mom's house and Sunny

The view from the Aliner's front door

As usual at Mom’s, there are just scenery photos because Mom doesn’t like to have her picture taken.  Maybe I can get one of her dressed for church in the morning… although she always looks like she stepped out of a bandbox. (Wow, that phrase sure dates me!)  🙂

Regular followers of this blog have seen photos of Mom’s property before, so I’ll just post a few without comment.

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