Thursday, February 25, 2010


For being in Florida out of the lousy weather that all of my friends and family are experiencing. The weather here has not been perfect as expected but 60 degrees isn't bad. We've had a few days in the 70s and we were able to walk down the beautiful sandy beach with our feet in the mild surf. Do you realize how hard it is to walk on sand? I'm really not complaining because it was the first time in many years that my wife and I could do this together.

We went to St. Augustine for 3 days to shop the discount malls and more of the BEALLS stores. I did my fair share because some of the stores were going out of business and were having 75 off sales and yes, I took advantage as did the others in our party. We met a friend of Irene's one night for dinner in Ponte Vedra Beach and had an absolutely fantastic experience at a restaurant there by the name of AQUA GRILL. The manager Cary Paige and the staff were great. The food was spectacular and the ambience was beautiful. Recommend it with 5 belches.

We also did all the touristy things, even visiting the Fountain of Youth and drinking some of the water, which tasted like it was left over from the 1400s. Didn't notice any immediate changes but when showering I did notice some black hairs that I don't believe were there before, probably just my imagination. We did a lot of walking and heard the history of the oldest European settlement in the United States. It's worth a visit if you're ever in the area.

I know for a fact that the six of us have added considerably to the economy of the area. Returning to the condo we ran into the heaviest rain storm I have ever seen. The Florida turnpike almost came to a complete halt. It was impossible to see ten feet in front of you since it was coming down so hard and fast. We had to slow down from 70 mph to 25 to keep from running up on the car in front of us, but thankfully, we arrived home safe, probably due to the experience of my fabulous driving.

Our group is getting along so well that the trip will be one to remember. All we do is laugh, shop and eat, not necessarily in that order and each night before retiring we have our domino or shanghai game. Isn't that what all old people do before hitting the sack. When we get up in the morning you can hear the Oy Veys throughout the condo.

I'll try to keep you updated on what we're doing but again, I apologize for not being able to share this wonderful experience with you all.

Friday, February 19, 2010


But not that bad. Missing the cold and snow of Kansas City is good for my aching bones. The weather here is nicer than Kansas City but only in the 60s. This weekend it's going into the 70s so it's getting back to near normal for Florida. It seems that all we've been doing is eating, going shopping, playing dominos or shanghai rummy. But mostly, enjoying the beautiful condo of Irene's.  What a great hostess.

I spent part of yesterday sitting out on her patio overlooking the ocean and watching 30 plus boats right in front of the building throwing out their nets and bringing in large amounts of fish. I don't know what kind but they look about 12" average, could be great bait fish. I read my book and soaked up some sun and was in my own zone for a couple of hours. It's not too hard to relax in this setting. I wish everyone could enjoy this peace and solitude.

I've been going down to the building's fitness center each morning and putting in 30 minutes on the bike while reading a book. That half hour really flies by while reading during pedaling. I feel that I can enjoy the food that much more since I'm burning so many calories each morning. The shots I received before leaving town have given quite a bit of relief to my FFA***. It's so great to enjoy a vacation with friends that get along so well and can talk about everything with each other without hurting anyone's feelings, at least, none tthat are here.

We lost our good friend George earlier this week and our thoughts go out to Judy and her family. He suffered way too long and now he has peace. As we all age, the loss of friends is happening too often. We must treasure our times together and celebrate every day that we spend together.

I'll leave you with a photo taken this morning at sunrise. Don't be upset with me for sharing that beautiful moment.

***F........g falling apart.

Friday, February 12, 2010


My honey has only been gone a couple of days and I'm already an old lonely soul. She's enjoying herself with five of her friends in Florida playing a lot of Pan and unstoppable shopping. I'll be joining her next week when  some of the girls will be returning home and we'll spend the next couple of weeks enjoying the hospitality of the former Ms. Cruel, who no longer owns that title. Our friend Irene opens up her beautiful Florida home to family and friends for all of us to enjoy. A very big thank you.

I'm driving down with two other gentlemen and should be there in a couple of days providing we don't run into inclement weather. If we do, we'll try to take another route. I hope the weather is better than we've experienced over the past month with temperatures extremely cold and way too much snow. Anything warmer than 45 degrees will be acceptable.

This afternoon my friends have invited me to join them at a ROMEOS luncheon which is always very interesting. For those of you that don't recognize the name it means "Retired old mens eating organization", I believe. It's truly an amazing group that averages over 75 in attendance every Friday. I'm hoping that in the near future I'll be able to do a presentation of my memoir, MAKING HAPPY. Sales have been steady but slowing down a bit, at least I exceeded my breakeven point.

It's really funny, but many nights my wife does her internet scrabble while I watch sports on TV and the only conversation is when one of us gets up and asks the other "What can I get you" or "are you ready for bed?" So last night, not to break with tradition. I asked her chair, "Can I bring you anything?" and I'll be damned if the chair didn't answer, "Can't you see I'm not being used, you lonely old man." Maybe it's just the Valentine weekend but I truly can say, "I miss her being here." Her being gone has taught me one thing. It's OK to talk to yourself, but to a chair?

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I'm talking about snow. Yesterday it started out slow and continued throughout the day. It was beautiful to watch. Soft flakes floating lazily to the ground covering the grass and sidewalks but luckily not the streets. It was above freezing so ice would not be a problem. I think we ended up with over six inches by nightfall but it kept us inside for the evening playing dominoes for about five plus hours. We'll be leaving shortly to vacation in Florida with Ms. Cruel and a few of our friends so we're watching the snowfall in anticipation of our upcoming trip south.

It's really nice that our friend likes company and is willing to share her space for a few weeks. I know that she receives a small stipend from the malls in the area for all the people she brings for shopping. The outlet malls, I hear, pay large commissions for sending customers their way. In rain hats alone the payments have to be handled by Brinks. You've heard of the Singer Island Sharks, it's not a basketball team, it's really the shuttle that travels the outlet mall route.

Next week five more shoppers will land in Florida to do their share of boosting the economy in the area. In the past I've always thought that tourism was the biggest earner in the state. Not so, when these ladies span out across mall land the sound you hear will be of cards sliding through credit card machines. The store I pity the most is Chico's. I actually believe that their merchandise is worn for a few days and then returned, what a great store. They should open an outlet, probably already have one, for those slightly used items that may have been worn only once. Too bad there is not a men's store that operates the same as Chico's. Just think, you can wear new clothes every week without actually spending any money.

Looking out my window, I'm enjoying the snow covered ground and picturing the green grass growing beneath. There is probably enough moisture in the ground to last the rest of the year. I have to get back to work watching three basketball games today. I call it work because it's my only form of exercise, jumping up and down on every alley oop or three pointer. Stay well, smell the flowers and enjoy all around you.