January 6 – 24 – It’s a Tough Life Being So Busy In Sarasota During the Warm Winter Months

For the past 2½ weeks since arriving in Sarasota, we’ve been going almost non-stop.

Dinners with Debbie’s brother Dick & Kate and my cousin Sandy & Jeff,

Dick, Debbie and Sandy

occasional wine get-together with friends Daniel and Traci and renewing a number of other friendships make the days more than enjoyable.

At the same time it has been bitter sweet.  Since Ken’s passing, Cheryl sold their Sarasota place and as Sharon is battling Leukemia, she and Tom are not coming to Venice this year and are missed terribly!

Debbie’s mornings are taken up with Classical Stretch, either an indoor or outdoor walking group, Line Dancing, Belly Dancing and Water Aerobics (unless the air is chilly).  One afternoon she gets together with a knitting group.

Although, disappointingly, the wood shop is still under construction and thus unavailable, most mornings I walk the park with a group.  Yesterday, however, there was an “off campus” walk around Benderson Park (a 600-acre park that incorporates a 400-acre artificial lake where many high school, collegiate and professional national, world and Olympic Rowing, Pentathlon and Triathlon championships are held) where I spotted a pair of bald eagles.Tuesdays is an exception as I have a Photo Club meeting, where both camera and editing techniques are discussed; and I’ve learned a great deal.  Each week there are shooting challenges which often takes me out of Sun N Fun and cruising around the Sarasota and Bradenton area looking for appropriate subjects.  At least one or two days each week I get to the driving range and also play golf (University Park Country Club … in the best shape … followed by Misty Creek, the River Club and Tatum Ridge … sadly in very rough condition).  I also made a blood donation when the area blood bank mobile van came to the park.

Monday and Friday afternoons, we both play Pétanque (pronounced “Petonk”), a game very similar to Bocce Ball but using a larger (3″ diameter)1and heavier (1½ lb.) ball.  Following that on Monday’s is “hamburger night” at the in-park restaurant.  The burgers are large, come with lettuce, tomato and fries, can’t be beat and together with a glass of wine at the “staggering” cost of just $21.00 for both of us.

Sunday afternoons are remote sailing for me

While Debbie has become the group’s Race Director.  Frequently, Dick and wife Kate come over as Kate really enjoys the sailing.

Remotely, we try to keep up with Doug, Scott and Nancy and their families (the grand kids all now have phones so we can text back-and-forth with each of them).  I also continue to maintain my Rotary’s Club’s website … although slowly passing off the PR function.

The weather through much of the month has been well above normal, although we had a three-day stretch earlier this week when we woke up to temperatures in the high 30os to low 40os.  However, the long-range forecast is for a return to warmth.  Unfortunately, there has been virtually no rain which the Sarasota area desperately needs.

I guess we’ll just have to continue to suffer along

for the next three months when we’ll begin our journey back to Langhorne.

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