The good ole summertime or dog days, which is it? People dread it or love it! Some of that depends on the location of your doghouse. If you’re in the mountains of North Carolina or along the Montana – Canadian border, it’s like Hammerstein’s lyrics from Porky and Bess, “Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” Not so if you’re sweltering in the desert southwest or in Florida’s everglades. Give it six months – those songs will change 180°. I like the summer for another reason. My humans are home more, and when they do travel, they’re much more likely to take me along.
Example, I went up into the cool mountain air a couple of weeks ago. The Geezer’s best friend was celebrating a special birthday in the beautiful town of Burnsville, NC. Ah! The mountains! Plenty of deer to chase. Flowers to sniff in the mountain meadows. Crystal waters to drink from spring fed “branches.” The luxury of watching time rock by. What a trip for relieving the tension created by the tortuous times we live in.
The difference in the two summers was driven home to me when we were returning. Driving south on Interstate 26, we stopped at a rest area, still in the Hendersonville mountain area, so I could sprinkle the grass. The temperature was pleasant, the humidity low. An hour-and-a-half later Mrs. G needed to find a used coffee disposal device (that’s a Geezerism). Hopping out of the car was like jumping into a Swedish sauna with palmettos and pines as decor.
Summer is baby manatee season – Mama & offspring relax in our canal
Summer is when life renews itself. The proof is in our back yard … in the canal and bushes behind it. Two exhibits are placed in evidence. Matilda the Manatee is shown here with her latest young ‘un. Our resident night herons have had their nests in full operation. The next squadron is already flying. Our canal’s air traffic rivals O’hare at times.
I get to go to more of the Geezer’s book events and presentations in the summer. One thing about this season is the drastic difference in outdoor and indoor events. He has two coming up in the next couple weeks. The Geezer will be presenting programs for Master the Possibilities this fall. He’ll be in Ocala for a kick-off meet and greet at 8415 SW 80th Street, in Ocala, FL this coming Friday the 24th at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. It’s in the Cypress and Live Oak’s AC. He’ll also be at Englewood Florida’s Pioneer Days in Pioneer Park on Dearborn Street, September 2nd & 3rd where he’ll be doing some MCing of the program and signing books. It’s outside … it is hot, but it’s fun!
Don’t forget to check out “Possibilities! The Hudson comes to the Peace” writers conference at http://www.southwestfloridawritersconference.com . This is going to be a premier conference. If you want to improve your skills, determine if writing is for you, or GET THE RARE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE NEW YORK AGENTS & EDITORS VIEW YOUR WORK you need to be there!
# # #
It’s all about friends. The Geezer is off to North Carolina to help his best friend celebrate #80! I get to go too. Humans don’t often get things right from my point of view. One of those “spot on” things they do is to value friendships.
The Geezer often holds five fingers up and says, “A wise friend of mine once told me, ‘If you have a truly good friend for each of those fingers, you are a very fortunate human being.'” The man he’s going to visit is the author of that sage wisdom.
According to the Geezer a friend is there for you, if you’re right or if you’re wrong. They know your deepest secrets and share them with no one. They tell you the truth when no one else will. They support you when all others disappear. They brake the fall when your plunging. They boost you when you need a step to rise. Their affection, loyalty, and respect is a constant that never wavers.
Happy Birthday Coach!
# # # # #
July is here! In Florida that means it’s hot, and humid, and hot, and buggy, and HOT! For the Geezer and me that means early morning walks. The sun isn’t at full broil at that time. We’re sure we leave the house just after the mosquitoes and sand flies have finished breakfast. Even at 9 AM the sun is beating down … it doesn’t take much time before I’m in full pant mode.
The Geezer says I become a “shady lady” this time of year. It has nothing to do with a break-down in my impeccable morals. It has to do with the route I choose when we take our walks. The Geezer chooses to walk along the road in a straight line. I, however, am smarter. I go from one patch of shade to the next. Yes, I zig and zag a lot, but I stay cooler! That’s just one more piece of evidence that canine’s are intellectually superior to humans.
Even though it is a hot walk during the summer months, the route we take is so relaxing and beautiful it makes the heat bearable. If there’s any breeze at all, we get it as we walk along the bay front. Bokeelia is an enclave of “old Florida,” a place resisting the encroachment of huge development. We love that. The picture below illustrates what our community is like.
One of the structures we pass is indicative of the place and its people. We have our own “Little Free Library.” If you have a book you want to share, you can place it there. If you need something to read, you can pick up a novel or a book on Florida’s history. The Geezer says “readers are thinkers” and that “open minds, open books.” The community, though small, reflects that profile. The lettering on our library’s gable says it all.
Our community “Little Free Library” in Bokeelia
Our library is representative of Bokeelia’s inhabitants prospective. We like to do it ourselves. We like to work together. We live within our means. We prefer the functional over the grandiose. We find a way to get it done. The picture of our library confirms that.
For all you writers! The Geezer is chairperson for a major writer’s conference to be held in April of 2019 here in SW Florida! You can learn more about it by visiting these sites:
# # #
The Geezer took me to an early 4th of July parade. I always ask lots of questions. Watching the parade pass prompted many. Our conversation, part of it, was as follows:
I asked, “Geezer, are fire engines painted red because that’s the color of fire?
The Geezer answered. “No, but I’ve heard two reasons why fire-engines are painted red. One is that early firemen were proud of their trucks and so they painted them the most expensive color available in the late 1800’s. But … The reason I think makes more sense was that most early automobiles were painted black. Firemen in the late 1800’s wanted it to be easy for people to see them coming when they raced to a fire so they painted their trucks red, a color not used on cars back then.
That was good info for my next trivia contest. I decided to ask a question I knew the answer to just to hear the old boy pontificate, “Geezer, why do you humans have fire-engines in a parade, play all that Souza music, and set off fireworks, and wave all those flags, on the 4th of July?”
Geezer grinned and said, “The 4th of July is our country’s birthday so we Americans celebrate it just like we celebrate your birthday on January 18th. But, you knew that, Sandy.”
I complained, “It’s different. My birthday only rates a bluegrass band and the parade consists of Mr. Smith’s pickup and boat trailer.” A band came around the corner, all with flags attached to their hats. “Wow, there are a lot of flags. Why do you humans have flags, anyway?”
Geezer answered, “All people have flags as symbols of their country. We have the stars and stripes, Japan has a rising sun, Canada has a Maple leaf. Those symbols say something about their country.”
“Why do we have the stars and stripes for America?” I asked.
The Geezer thought for a few seconds and then answered, “Sandy, most people will tell you the stars stand for each state we have in our nation and that thirteen stripes stand for the original thirteen colonies that declared their independence. That is true. But …… I’m going to give another reason, one that I believe is as important. I see those stripes as stairs that our country offers to all its citizens, who are willing to do the work to climb them, to reach the stars above.
# # # # #
For information on the “Possibilities! The Hudson comes to the Peace” writers conference, go to http://www.abc-artisansofbooks.com or https://southwestfloridawritersconference.godaddysites.com .
# # # # #
Hi all – A quick note to let you know as of two days ago I’m able to make posts, respond to comments … hooray!
Want to meet the Geezer? He’ll be speaking to a writers group, Gulf Coast Writers Association in Fort Myers, Florida this Saturday (June 16th). The meeting is held at Zion Lutheran Church, 7401 Winkler Road, Fort Myers, FL 33919. His topic will be “A writer’s covenant – gaining influence and the responsibility that goes with it.”
He will also be announcing the 2019 southwest Florida writers conference titled, “Possibilities, the Hudson comes to the Peace.” It will feature agents and editors from New York City.
# # #
The Geezer always quotes Santa Anna – “He who chooses to ignore history is doomed to live it again.” I hope those are the right words. Geezer believes we can learn so much from things our species has done right and from its failures. Being canine and observing, I believe he is correct. Humans are a very slow learning species.
This day is one of those days that we should look back and listen to what history is screaming. Look at the pictures on this blog and understand what they mean. Each body lying on the beach was someone’s loved one. That corpse gave its life for all of us. It did this so we can have the freedoms we should enjoy and savor. They were purchased at such a high cost.
Today, there are many humans that do not value the sacrifices made and are perfectly willing to sacrifice freedoms for their particular political thought. Inflexibility and ignorance are siblings. Some see their view of the world as the only correct one. How sad. If something doesn’t affect them in the here and now they devalue it.
Let’s see if we can add that worth back. Look at the picture below. It’s the body of a brave man who died alone. In all probability his death was painful. No one was there to comfort him. Now, look at him a little differently. His unseen face is your brother, your son, your uncle, your father. The price of his sacrifice has just gone up. We should accord all those nameless, faceless heroes the same honor and esteem we would for those of our blood.
Today, June 6th, 2018, say a prayer and give thanks to all those who fought, who fought and died, and who fought and were forever changed. In actuality, they are all our blood relatives.