Zany copy editor and writer with more than 25 years’ experience in everything from advertising to petting zoos! Am I meticulous? Heck, I get on my own nerves sometimes, that’s how much attention I pay to details. "I am not making this up" – Dave Barry

Country Living

Today is my one-month anniversary here in the country. It has been 98 percent wonderful, better than expected – but two percent unpleasant.

Boxes still fill my garage. In all my prior moves, I’ve had another person with me. Unpacking can be almost fun when you’re working with someone else. When you’re alone, it’s easy to procrastinate. My new place has two fewer rooms than did my old place, so there’s the problem of finding a home for all my stuff. I’m glad I got rid of things before I left.

I’ve driven miles on country roads, just enjoying the vast expanses of green. And intricately plowed hayfields. Planted pines stand like soldiers in formation. Dirt roads lead to surprises such as a zebra farm, abandoned mansions, and squatters’ camps. I’ve met the friendliest people in the world. I’ve become a hospice volunteer.

It’s been an adventure to poke around antique and thrift stores to find furniture and accessories for my new place since I left my “beachy” furniture with my old house. I’ve even planted some fall flowers to give some color to my front porch and yardette.

I’ve made new friends. I’ve learned new things about old friends. I’m seeing the world through the eyes of a fifth grader who calls me Aunt. I wear the title proudly. We have adventures in the woods, and his eyes light up when he makes a discovery or makes me laugh.

I don’t worry as much. I sleep better.

Still miserable without my dog. And daily, I wonder why I decided to move into a place that has a “no pets” policy. She did more for my mental health than any pill or blue sky. Wondering how I will be as the months turn cold and I have no one to cuddle with, no one to talk to.

I know this is the right place for me. But I also know that Heaven does not exist on earth.

One step closer

I signed the closing docs on my house today. Yay! 

Everything’s on for me to leave Tampa Bay behind on Monday. Can’t wait to see how this “Live your dream” thing works out.

Ahh…people who say “yes ma’am,” and “yes sir.” People who don’t make obscene gestures part of their daily driving rituals. Miles of trees, green fields, and winding rivers. I’m taking a step to follow my dream by moving to the country next week.

Editing will be easier there. Life is slower, relaxing, and usually without stress. I’m accepting manuscripts for October. Let me know if you’d like a consult.

Meet Naked Ed

He’s a fixture on the river in my soon-to-be hometown. We talked to him recently, but I thought it would be rude to take his picture. You can’t tell he’s nekkid because his “wall” covers the bottom half of his body. Quite a character. I’m glad I got to meet him.

Small Towns

A Hero Celebrates

Sunday, we had the good fortune to be in Micanopy, FL for a most auspicious occasion.

We stopped to get sweet tea and to listen to some music. A sign on a large table outside read, “Reserved for Ed.” People gathered. Music filled the air, and folks sang along.

The excited anticipation was palpable. After all, it was Ed’s 92nd birthday. After a brief wait, the birthday boy‒a true hero‒arrived.

This proud Marine served in the “Fighting Fourth,” which served 63 days in combat, earning one of the highest reputations for combat. More than 80 percent gave their lives. This unit was active in the Assault on Roi-Namur, Capture and Occupation of Saipan, Capture and Occupation of Tinian, and the Assault and Occupation of Iwo Jima.

Ed’s uniform was crowded with medals and ribbons I didn’t recognize. One I saw and knew right away: The Purple Heart.

I felt honored to shake this man’s hand and thank him for his selfless service to our country. 92 years old. A generation of heroes is dying, but we met one who’s happy to be alive and celebrating in the little town of Micanopy.

Ed's ~ 92nd birthday, Micanopy Florida 2014

Ed’s ~ 92nd birthday, Micanopy Florida 2014





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