Another summer is coming to an end but it sure doesn’t feel like the end of summer weather here in Florida. We moved into our beautiful home 13 months ago and I have a few choice words about summer in Florida.
Hot as Hell!
I kind of knew that would happen, but I think it was hotter than usual here this summer (or so I have been told). The temperature goes up to about 96 every day, but with the humidity factor it “feels like” 107! I thought we had lots of humid days in New York so this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but it’s been going on for weeks now. Today was a bit better so I’m getting hopeful that this may cool off a bit soon.
I’ve been taking walks outside and try to get out before 10 in the morning. I started to learn how to play pickleball which is a combination of tennis and ping pong. It can be fun but there is skill required and I need lots of practice. Plus, the court can get pretty hot, so while I’m not giving up yet, it hasn’t been that easy. The people seem nice who play in my community so I think that will be a fun activity to try more of this year.
Pete and I have played golf about once a week despite the crazy heat. We go prepared with a cooler filled with ice and waters and cooling rags. We even put a fan on our golf cart so that has helped a little.
I’ve taken a break from working as a guide with the horses. Working outside in this heat and sun just seemed too much for this summer, but I look forward to getting back out there again – I miss the horses and the happy riders too.
It’s weird how in New York we teased that we all went into hibernation in the winter and finally came out to see each other again in the spring. Here it’s the opposite. People are traveling or doing the snowbird thing where they stay up North for a few months every year. It will get crowded again down here once November comes.
It wouldn’t be a proper summer without a vacation right? Our big trip this year was back to New York where we had a great time visiting with friends and family in Montauk and on Long Island. It was June and surprisingly chilly so that was a nice change.
We spent one night in St. Augustine on our travels since it was a city I have never visited and the oldest one in the USA. I love the cobblestone streets and old fort along the water. We stayed in a hotel which was like an old house called the St. George Inn. The slanted ceiling and view of the fort gave off the impression that the place was haunted. So cool.
Matt moved back from Alaska and spent the summer as a lifeguard supervisor at the YMCA during their summer camp. The pool is outside so he had a hot summer after a pretty cold winter. He spent two weeks in Poland volunteering at a giant store that provides Ukrainian refugees, who have had to leave their homes, with clothes, shoes and other essentials. He realized that the people needed shoes and the store didn’t have many, so he started a fund raiser to raise money online. Matt was able to purchase over $2000 worth of shoes for refugees who were most appreciative.
Buddy is doing well working in NYC and just got engaged to Charlotte last month. No dates for a wedding yet but we are all very excited for them.
Matt lived with us for a few months and is now in Tallahassee working on a masters degree at Florida State. We got to have a quick visit with Buddy and Charlotte before our trip to Montauk. Kids are the best.
One of my relocated Florida friends, who I have known since I was in college, recently got a place in Minnesota to be closer to her daughters and her new grandson. As we were catching up over Facebook messenger, I admitted that I have never been to Minnesota and would love to visit. I’m working on visiting all 50 states and have about 6 more left to go. We picked a weekend and I made plans to fly up by myself for a girl’s weekend.
We had the best time and so much to share. I haven’t hung out with her in a few years now – really my husband Mike and her ex-husband were friends in high school that’s how we knew each other. When our kids were little, we spent all the birthdays together and they always threw such awesome 4th of July parties and New Years Eve parties. As the kids got older, we all got busy doing different things but it was so fun to catch up on all the people and family members that we knew all those years ago.
What was super special for me is that she knew Mike before I knew him and had some fun stories to share about those good old days. Boy did we have some laughs and stay up until the wee hours of the morning telling stories!
My friend Patti has made some personal growth since our early days of raising kids. Getting up at 5 am everyday to do spin classes, she got in great shape and looked for alternate ways of healing. She now runs her own online business as a Certified Hypnotist and Bioenergetic Wellness Coach. We had a hypnosis session which was amazing and I highly recommend anyone considering hypnosis or energy healing to contact her – link below:
We did some sightseeing and I visited her new grandson at her daughter and husband’s home with the big vegetable garden. I even had fun picking veggies as it reminded me of my dad’s gardens. Patti remembered my dad and the plants that he had given to her for her flower gardens at her home in Smithtown.
I even saw my first bluebird!!
We visited the Minneapolis mall, even though there had been reports of a shooting in the mall of America the day before. The water flumes, roller coaster, aquarium and multitude of restaurants kept those Minnesotans busy – especially during those super cold winters I imagine.
One highlight of my visit was meeting friends in person that I have made through an online forum. This trip allowed me to connect with old and new friends as well as check off another state on my map!
This year Alaska, Washington State, Minnesota, and New York took me away on new adventures and experiences. Pete and I have a trip to Canada arranged for the end of September to ride the Rocky Mountaineer and see beautiful scenery. Looking forward to that.
A friend I met on a yoga retreat to Costa Rica now leads trips in Oklahoma. I’m planning to do one of her trips and see Texas as well which will narrow me down to only 4 more states in the USA to visit.
I have the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu on my radar. Will let you know when that one comes into play too.
I have enjoyed watching the reviews come in about my book: No Simple Highway – a widow’s journey to seek justice for her husband’s death. Friends, family and even people I don’t know at all have written nice reviews about the book. I’m encouraged to continue writing but just not sure what to write next. It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog so here are my latest thoughts.
I don’t feel much like a new widow anymore. My experience and my story could definitely help others not feel so alone. That was the hardest part after Mike died. I felt so alone and didn’t think anyone could possibly know what that was like. I hope that can help someone much like the books that I read early on helped me. Here’s my list:
The 7 year “angel”versary
I know that not doing anything to remember the important dates will just backfire on me eventually, so I try to think of something special to do – even if it is just a post on Facebook.
This year no one really noticed that the date was coming up (except Dianne – thank you my friend). But I had a plan. I wasn’t going to bathe elephants in Thailand or look for cheetahs on an early morning African safari ( already did that) so I planned a one night stay at the beach. A day of reflection, reading, journaling, swimming, walking – just a day to think and appreciate. I even spent time reading my own book. I felt better spending that day in a sacred way.
Oddly enough, after an early morning beach walk, I sat to look at the water and two little ghost crabs came over to check me out. When my dad died, mom felt relieved one morning when she saw a red cardinal with a female cardinal at the bird feeder. She felt that dad gave her a sign it was OK to move on as she was engaged in a relationship with her new love, Phil. Maybe Mike sends me ghost crabs to let me know it’s OK to let go, and to just enjoy my life with Pete already. It makes me smile to think that.