I just got the picture for my Christmas greeting today. We were at the RV park clubhouse on Christmas eve. The fire truck, loaded with revelers and Santa on top, came by right on schedule. Santa came down to greet the crowd, especially the children. Teresa Scott snapped this photo just before Santa climbed back up to his chair atop the fire truck. Late, but I hope your holidays were merry.
I finished another read-through of Big Creek this morning. We celebrated by picking up sandwiches at Subway and going to Oceanfront Park to eat them. There was a strong wind from the east so we found a table with a little protection from the mangroves. This was our view:
An older man and woman sat at the other table, but left after a few minutes. We had the pavilion to ourselves.
After eating, I walked out on the little pier and saw a huge patch of sea grass blown up against the shore. This is a common thing here in the keys. Depending on the wind, the grass will accumulate along the shore, in canals, and in marinas. If it stays there too long, it will stink to high heaven when it rots. That is why our RV park canal has those ugly floating barriers and bubblers, to keep the grass out.
Andy watched me from our picnic table.
Then we took our walk around the park perimeter. A group of Cubans was in the larger pavilion. They talk very loud. No, they yell their conversations. They were having a good time and we didn’t mind. But, then they turned up the music from the car. We could hear it all over the park. I don’t know why the guy isn’t deaf by now. But, then, maybe he is deaf from listening to loud music and that is why he has to have such large speakers.
At this point in the book writing process, I have put in enough hours that, even if I sell some books, I’ll probably earn about twenty-five cents an hour. I made fifty cents an hour babysitting in the sixties. Lucky, I’m not writing to make a living; I just want to share the experience.
Like the last go-around, I am appalled at the number of errors still in the text. As the world’s worst proofreader, I accepted offers of help. Sheila, Dawn, and Joyce are all proofreading Big Creek. And, they are all finding plenty of errors. I’m finding them myself too. (How did I miss them in the past?) It is an interesting experience. The four of us all find some errors, but then, each of us finds things the others missed.
It feels like an obsession. I’m at the computer most of the day. Andy drags me outside for a walk periodically to relieve some stress. Sometimes I remember to take the camera. We walked around to the far side of the canal in our RV park and sat at the water’s edge for a while. this is the pavilion that is in many of the pictures I take from our side of the canal.
It was late in the afternoon and there was a nice moon in the sky.
One day we went to Subway and took our sandwiches to Oceanfront Park behind city hall. It is one of our favorite picnic spots. After eating, we took a walk around the park perimeter.
I took a lot of pictures of this Great White Heron, but most of them were out of focus. I really need to get the camera into the shop for a tune-up.
Here is a profile portrait.
We climbed up to the viewing platform at the end of the canal and got a closeup view of some ibis. These two kept and eye on us, but did not fly away.
The papaya tree is blooming and growing little papayas. Andy checks their progress every day.
Editor Patricia sent me a draft of Big Creek labeled “Final copy edits”. I have found so many more errors, I can hardly believe it can be final. A few weeks ago in Wildwood, Dawn offered to proofread it for me. Maybe she didn’t expect me to take her up on that offer, but I did. Sheila also offered to proofread it a week or so back. I really didn’t expect her to be willing to right now, with Dan’s health issues. She has convinced me that I don’t know how to proofread, with all the errors she has found so far. I’m even considering whether I should even try to write! Gosh, it sure is embarrassing.
Today was a bad day in my book-writing journey. I don’t know how it happened. I am one of those people who hits “save” every few minutes. However, I managed to lose all the edits I have made over the past five or six days. Poof! They all disappeared. I could blame it on the computer. It has been acting up lately and I called the Geek Squad this morning for a tune up and fix up. It took a while, and when I got back to it in the afternoon, I could not find the latest version with all my edits. I didn’t cry; I just started over.
Andy suggested a short walk in the late afternoon. We went to the dumpster and then the waterfront. The no-see-ums were ferocious. We didn’t stay long, just long enough for me to snap a couple of pictures of a tri-colored heron on the grass barrier at the end of the canal. Only one of my pictures came out in focus.
I noticed that the blossoms on the century plant are quite large now. This one is huge maybe like those football mums.
Then we scurried back to the motorhome before we were eaten alive.
We have been worried sick about our friends in the Smokies this week. Fortunately, I got emails. Ranger Heath, who lives in Gatlinburg up against the park border, is fine. He and Dana are staying in a hotel until their power and water are turned back on.
Boss Larry and Kristen are also fine, except that he has two ear infections.
We had a slow day today and did not go anywhere. Except to the waterfront for an afternoon walk. The tide was fairly low and half-a-dozen or so egrets were stalking fish on the shoal (actually a mud flat at low tide).
This one caught a fish as the tern looked on from its perch.
We spotted this huge iguana on the pier across the canal. It was several feet long.
The weather is glorious, in the 70s these past few days, with blue skies and a nice breeze. We invited RV park neighbors, Bill and Mary to go to Bahia Honda State Park with us as they had never been there.
First, we took them to the Old Bahia Honda bridge for the view from the top. The path to the bridge is through a tunnel of Sea Grapes and is nice and shady. Mary led the way.
The view from the top is nice. This is the gulf side.
Mary spotted a nurse shark swimming close to the bridge on the ocean side.
Then we walked beside the bridge on the ocean side and crossed underneath it.
The breeze was nicer on the gulf side as we walked back to the car.
We drove to the beach on the east end of the park.
Then we walked up the beach to the far end of the island.
I asked Bill and Mary to pose for me next to some driftwood.
Someone had gathered enough shells to make a shell heart on the beach. It was two-feet wide.
This great tree is at the east end of the beach. It doesn’t look too healthy.