Dear Jane M,

I’m  sorry I missed your comment on my last blog and wish now to respond to your query as to the exact location of Florence Point. It may be difficult to locate on a map but once one ventures beyond the  nether-reaches of southern Georgia and enters the land of the geriatric, it’s simply a matter of leaving the mainland, negotiating two roundabouts, meandering down a lane of live oaks draped with spanish moss, hazarding a gauntlet of fairly rabid, early Baptist Republicans and taking the second left past Oz. There you will findyourself on scenic Florence Point Drive, oddly named over 100 years ago after Susan’s grandmother, somehow anticipating  the likelihood that we would one day relocate here.  More succinctly,  Florence Point is in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island.  It is Oz-like in many respects, not the least of which relates to the odd creatures indigenous to this narrow strip of land.  On any Sunday morning one may awake to find a surprise in ones garage such as this………

Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas any more! ………… I know, some guys with no imagination simply fall for the  swim suit model!!  In any case, it looks fierce but is nothing that can’t be discouraged with a couple of no-pest strips, a can of Raid and a very hungry rottweiler. It will then quietly move away  humming to the tune of “If I Only Had a Brain.” (Thank you to Bob for the masks and a variety of other protective gear for the eager new home owner).  In the creature’s defense, we now have a great looking Garage with none of that dreadful popcorn on the ceiling!!

There has been little boredom here in the land of the idle. Just prior to the appearance and taming of the garage Yeti we undertook the great deforestation project.  Six very large trees were extracted from our property to improve the view and decrease the likelihood that they would customize our roof and  become part of our interior design during the next hurricane. This project required the careful placement of a crane in our front yard – this is a great way to meet all the neighbors!

It was an amazing operation and as I watched I found myself nervously humming “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”  That’s about where they were swinging these trees.  A location which coincided precisely with my new neighbor’s roof top. All ended well.

They also triggered old memories of a Carly Simon tune “Boys in the trees.” This is probably what she was singing about. This guy might still be up there.

So for the price of one semester’s tuition at the school of one’s choosing we have a great view.

During the final moments of clear cutting, our first visitors from Ithaca arrived for a quick viewing of the “before” picture.  (They will  report that we have lost our minds.) Tom and Loren were in Amelia Island for a few days for the Concours d’Elegance, one of -if not the most prestigious antique car show in the country.  In competition was the newest addition to Tom’s auto harem, his 1921 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost – and a beauty she is.  *Note the ribbon on the hood ornament.

It was a high anxiety day. Although this is a gentlemanly competition, there is a great deal of subtle bumpering and then fendering off thrusts from well concealed tire irons.  A nerve racking day for Tom and a confusing one for Loren.  The competition took place on the Ritz Hotel Golf Course so Loren’s instinct was to wander the field with her 7 iron.  From time to time over the crowd one could hear “Where’s the flag? I can’t see the flag!  TOM, where’s the d— flag.”  None the less, it was a day of victory, of rich reward and deserved satisfaction. The Rolls was awarded the “Amalia Island Award” (I think I got that right).  I seriously doubt, although rumors circulate, that Tom won because many of the other entrants entered the field with headlights that looked as though they were caught in someone’s backswing. Just a rumor…….          Congratulations to you both. It has been quite a journey. It was a fun day and here we find the happy couple riding off into the sunset.

The next day was more relaxing. We got to spend a little beach time  with Tom and Loren due to some misunderstanding over their flight time and the daylight savings time change! It seems that the confusion was not on the part of the airline!! We live in the best of all possible worlds.

With their departure we returned to our outwardly mundane existence; living with two beach chairs, an inflatable mattress, two spoons, two forks, two bowls, a frying pan, a box of wine and a great view.  It sounds odd but Susan has learned how to fry up a great cup of coffee.  Life is simple. Our days are bracketed by sunrise on the beach and sunset over the marsh. The time between- difficult to account for.  Such is the setting for a serendipitous encounter I chanced with a left-handed bar of soap. Hard to find but if you have the good fortune to come across one, unveiled to you will be an entirely new bathing experience.  You will encounter body parts that have perhaps never before been cleansed and some that have never been cleaned in such a way.  It is much like showering with a new friend and definitely not for the shy or prudish. I highly recommend searching out these rare, left-handed bars but clearly not for those under the age of twelve, or those with addictive personalities, or those who find themselves alone a lot, or those with small hot water tanks and of course not those with less than an hour a day to devote to personal hygiene.  It has been a life changing event that has sent me on an unsuccessful journey in pursuit of other left handed items. Since the resources are lacking and the need is great I intend to devote my entirety to the development of the left-handed toothbrush, the left-handed towel, the left handed pillow, left handed toothpaste, deodorant sticks, shampoo, lipstick, silverware, dishes……………………….and sundry other items that can open new worlds to us.  Woe be to those left-handed sorts that have kept this world to themselves these many years.

I must now retire for the evening. I will need all my faculties tomorrow when I go in search of the left-handed soccer ball.

OK. Since you asked:   A guy invented a left-handed hammer. Didn’t sell. No left handed-nails!

From the Grump-stump.


  1. Mary Grainger

    Thanks for adding so many photos to your blog…especially Susan in the garage!

    PS Happy Anniversary to Gavin and Suzi! Facebook reminded me of the great time we all had celebrating their wedding!

  2. Jgmurph40

    Always enjoy your sermons. They are better than most books that I read today. However I just read THE THORN BIRDS it was a great read. I am looking for a new book. Any suggestions? I love all that is going on in your life and especially Jim great sense of humor. Continue with the updates Love, Jane

    Jane G. Murphy

  3. Tom Colbert

    And thank you again for receiving us in your new home during our visit. We love it.

    Funny thing I noticed about Florida during this visit : the further north you go the further “ south “ it is. Haven’t been so “ you all’ed “ in all my days.

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