A Relaxing, Frugal Honeymoon

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I’ve never been to Key West. To be honest, I didn’t want to go that far, hearing it was a rambunctious sort of place.

About three years ago, when my husband and I were looking for a honeymoon spot, he wanted to stay in the US. Both of us being rather frugal, we looked for somewhere not terribly far away from where we live. He suggested the Florida Keys, where I’d never been.

Hilton beach buddyI wanted to relax in a natural setting, and searched the internet for months without finding what I was looking for. Then I started playing with Google Earth, zooming in on areas that had a lot of trees. After weeks of searching, I found an area on Key Largo that looked promising. It turned out to be the Key Largo Hilton which prides itself on it’s natural environment.

I wanted to feel like I was close to the trees, as if in some remote tropical location. And it did sort of have that look.

room w a veiw

Morning view from our balcony

 

balcony w red hair

Late afternoon from the balcony

It didn’t feel quite tropical, because it was December. The air temperature was fine, but the water was a little chilly, though we did do a little snorkeling and went in the pool.  The hot tub was a welcome relief after that.

It was a simple vacation, with a relaxed easy pace. Exactly what I wanted, since I had not taken a whole week off from work in many years.

We drove as far south as Summerland Key, where we ate lunch at the Wharf Restaurant which attracted me with it’s “Coexist” flag.

wharf restaurant at Summerland Key

The food was delicious, and the decor interesting:

wharf at Summerland key

Time for peace.

 

wharf counter

My kind of place.

wharf poster

A good thing about good music.

 

sign at Summerland key wharf

 

 

 

 

 

I’d love to go back sometime, when it’s a little bit warmer than December.

 

This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday Post was: “ke” If you’d like to join in the fun, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/05/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-2315/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments, for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. Have fun!

Spiritual Nudges

Bargain Center

I’m supposed to be doing something here.

It was more than a thought. It was a nudge, almost physical, like a gentle push on the back of my shoulder, as my husband and I stood in the dining room of the Rescue Mission.

I’d shopped at their thrift store a few times, and referred homeless clients there over the years, but I’d never taken a tour, until Larry, the resident manager, started going to our church and invited us over for a visit.

I’m supposed to be doing something here, kept popping up in my head as Larry showed us around and explained the 90 day program.

Up to 17 men live at the mission at any given time. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThey wake up at 5am to get ready for morning chapel and breakfast.

The men work in the thrift store Tuesday through Saturday, for the first thirty days, after which they can get a job or continue to work in the store. On Mondays, they take care of personal business, like counseling appointments, health care, and job interviews.

Mission Donation  drop off

Bargain Center  IMG_1218

Larry told us they hoped to develop a women and children’s program within the next couple of years.

“I’m supposed to be doing something here,” I said out loud. (I’d probably already said it more than once.) Then added, “What do you need in the way of volunteers?”

“Well, need people to lead morning chapel, and also Wednesday evening chapel,” Larry said.  He explained that chapel is thirty minutes, and focuses on the love of Jesus Christ.

My husband and I talked it over. Since I’m not a morning person, we arranged to lead Wednesday evening chapel alternating weeks with another couple from our church.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIn July, it will be two years since we started volunteering at the mission. We’ve gotten to know some of the men of the mission, their stories, their challenges, and their hopes for the future. Some residents can stay longer than 90 days, if they’re working on goals, and some have become staff. They become like family.

You can read some of their stories here:

http://wilmingtonfavs.com/2014/02/06/men-mission-mr-willie/

In December, seemingly out of the blue, my husband was asked to interview for the position of director of the mission. They needed some one who would oversee both the men’s program and the new women and children’s program. My husband was hired for the position in January. He loves his work and says he had been practicing for years for this job, though he didn’t know this is where he would be.

You might have read about my longing to get back to creating art. Well, the mission is located in a revitalized art and antique district and will be joining in the monthly gallery walk, featuring local artists. We’re calling it “Art at the Mission.” Guess who was the first artist to sign up?   I’m happily busy, creating some new pieces to offer and excited at the prospect of bringing more people into the thrift store. Contributing a portion to my earnings to the mission will make it a win-win adventure.

I had no idea that the  nudge I felt so clearly almost two years ago, would lead to my husband getting a job he loves and me selling art at the Rescue Mission.

But I believe God had an idea.

I’m wondering: Have you ever felt a nudge? How did it effect your life?

A Sticky Mud-Sucking Adventure

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Badge by: Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

There have been times when I’ve been accused of being a stick-in-the-mud. Not when I was in my twenties, but later, after I had kids and got responsible, and all. But there are lots of different ways of being a stuck in the mud.

One way I’m not a stick-in-the-mud is when I’m swimming. I’m not afraid to swim out far into the ocean, well I don’t go as far out as I did in my twenties, but I love to swim.

One time I would not stay stuck in the mud, after having kids, and becoming responsible, was on a canoe trip with a local environmental group I took my daughter on. Back then, it was mostly just me and my girl. She was in her early teens; I was in my early 50s.

Paddling out  on a beautiful summer morning, the air was fresh and clean as we cleared the basin and meandered through the canals in the marsh grass. We saw white egrets and a sea hawk. I love the coolness of the water droplets on my skin when paddling in the summertime….

Anyway, on our way back, the tide had gone out, and we had to carry the canoe when the water became too shallow. We were toward the back of the group to begin with, and then we became last in line. The people in front of us got further and further away, so that eventually we couldn’t see them anymore. It was just me and my girl, and the mud sucking at our sneakers as we carried the canoe that got heavier and heavier with the sun directly overhead.

We stopped for a rest on a narrow strip of beach. I realized what a beautiful day it was, and squatted down to take a picture of the marsh grass and while fluffy clouds, that gave no hint of the sucking mud.

Marsh grass and  clouds

Photo by JoAnne Silvia

“Why don’t we just leave the canoe here, and they can come back and get it?” my daughter asked.

“Because it’s our responsibility,” I said. “Besides, we’d have to swim when the water gets deeper and I don’t want to get my camera wet.”

“Well, you might as well leave me here to die,” she said in her best drama queen voice.

“I’m going to throw mud on you!” I teased, bending down to scoop some up.

“Something just jumped in the boat!” she yelled. “What the hell is that?”

Something was flapping around in the canoe.

“I think it’s a shrimp.” I said. “And don’t say, hell.”

“Okay, that means we have to have shrimp for dinner,” she said.

“We have to get out of this mud first,” I reminded her. “Are you ready to move on?”

“I guess so,” said A.

We got the little shrimp out of the canoe and persevered through the mud, finally making it back to the basin, and the joy of paddling, to find the rest of the group as relieved as we were. They hadn’t realized we had been left behind until the head count was short.

The misery of the sucking mud soon faded, to be replaced by the memory of accomplishment by me and my girl.

 

This week’s Stream of Consciousness Post was: “stick” If you’d like to join in the fun, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/05/15/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-1615/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments, for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. Have fun!

Yearning from concrete to changes…

JoAnne:

Change is possible. I admire the tenacity of dandelions.

Originally posted on oawritingspoemspaintings:

The cradle of quintessential ©copyright2015owpp The cradle of quintessential
©copyright2015owpp

I need change.
The kind that will slice the past from the future.
The one that throws the stale to the wolves giving them a chance to feast on old despair, new pain.
That erases the awkwardness of unwanted strokes & colours in an uninspired moment on canvas.
The change that brings spring to one’s step, washes dust accumulated over a lifetime, gives a breath of life to depleted lungs tired of screaming frustration.

A new beginning.

A leaf untouched…
Thick enough to hold the weight of gold, music, streams of clear pure me, of light happiness, of life in every second, in every drop reflecting the warmth & invitation of sunlight, the growth of tiny shoots…
Of essence.

I need not escape realities of life but nudity of meaning, void spreading its wings demanding more space.
I need change now, not a price dangling…

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