Glorious Spring

Whoa………my friends. Stop the clock – the days escape us. The weeks pass. The years… We look in the mirror and somehow see the same unchanging face everyday. Life is very good until that moment when some well intentioned yet mindless, soulless entity snaps a photograph and worse yet shares it with us and in these times – with the world…….. But who the hell is that in the photo? In my clothes! With my family! There is a vague familiarity and oddly, they all appear to be comfortable enough with the elderly gentleman. He seems happy, content and probably capable of sitting up and feeding himself. Probably….. It’s likely that he’s wandered off and some other family is out looking for him – or not! Yes, there is a certain familiarity about him and in his day, long past, he might well have possessed a winning yet ambient charm. I say “Let him stay.”

It is a reminder that more than a few springs have passed. Speaking of which, when it arrives, my mother will be welcoming in her 100th spring – if all goes well. Experiencing many springs is an endeavor well worth pursuing! I know you northerners look forward to it but the arrival of spring in this part of Florida is a truly glorious event. The mercury is now hovering in the mid 70’s to low 80’s nearly erasing the memory of those nasty winter days of low 60’s. Warm pleasant breezes carry in their train the ethereal perfumes of camellias, azaleas and tropical essences which to us are yet a curiosity. Also, young, migratory, bikini clad lovelies can be spotted on our beaches…….. Sorry about that. These are dangerous times but I am unable be gender neutral on this one and have delighted in the marvelous design of the female form since early adolescence – and once again, no political ambitions have been thwarted!

Yes, winter was harsh but the photos below, taken on new years day, served as an omen that this year, although off to a cold start, would be like no other. What you are about to see is akin to sighting an Ivory Bill Woodpecker. Bear in mind, this is very cold water.

Yes!! A once in a lifetime sighting! Susan does not do cold water! This image fails to capture her rate of acceleration out of the surf! We will celebrate our 40th anniversary this year and even after all those years I never saw this one coming!!!! She doesn’t even drink cold water! I can only think she was out there whale watching. She’s really into that! She also has a sudden fondness for horseshoe crabs but they were out of season on the New Year. Life is full of surprises. She is also what makes me look forward to every morning.

It is all good. We celebrated our one year mark as Floridians and are still not living in our house. There is progress though and we are renting a house nearby from which we can slowly lose our minds. This remodeling process has been an adventure of sorts. The words we are most familiar with and most dread to hear are “Since you’ve gone this far, you might as well…..(fill in the blank with almost any costly phrase that comes to mind)…….. or “While you’re at it why not…..(give me direct access to your bank account)……..?” All the windows are now out of both the front and back of the house which is very nice for the nesting herons; consequently Susan and I thought, let’s just remove the front door too. So we did. In one year we have also managed to kill all the grass in the yard by means of overt neglect. We have no completion date so are open to suggestions but would like to get the large plate glass windows installed in time for hurricane season at which point we will find out if our insurance actually covers anything. We cling to the hope that the house will be really nice when completed – should we live that long. In an effort to move things along we’re painting many of our inside doors ourselves and in the process are screwing our contractor out of our last dime!! This is just a taste of what we’re up to here. I think you’ll love what we’ve done with the place.

While we wait we have to put up with mornings such as this.

Tom and Loren sacrificed a bit of the Ithaca winter experience and conveniently arrived here in time for the most prestigious car show on the east coast. Coincidence….Yes? They also wisely managed to arrange lodging beyond the scope of what we had to offer at this time which would have involved sharing a room with the herons, which I think are breeding and perhaps best witnessed from afar. I am trying to convince them to stay longer next year so that I will have someone to talk to that believes in evolution and shares my passion for golf!

Our belongings have been in boxes and storage since mid November of 2017. Curiosity is now setting in as to what might be in those boxes. Apparently things we can’t live without! It will be an exciting day when we can move in and start to throw away everything that’s been in storage! One waits a lifetime for such moments.

In the mean time I will avoid all cameras, await the arrival of more grandchildren, spend more time on the beach, pursue way too many hobbies, run a few races, stay out of the way of our builder and enjoy more quality time with my pet alligators!

Honestly, life could not be better. Unless I was a rock star……. I would have really liked that……… Maybe next time!

Thought for the day : “Every man dies but not everyman really lives.”

From the warm embrace of Grumphood.


  1. jeb.connor

    Hi Jim,

    Wonderfully written….Wishing our spring is like your spring…Maybe someday.

    The house is shaping up! Looking forward to seeing the progress pictures.
    Beautiful setting to the West… I think it’s the west.

    Just say news piece this weekend that said that NY State is hunting down 100% of mid-to-high networth families that moved out of NY State over the last 3 years to audit their income taxes as a stop-gap means of trying to reclaim lost State income since they can no longer over tax them! Hope you’ve avoided the tax hounds.

    Are you going to the Players golf tournament this weekend? What a great group of golfers they have assembled.

    All good on this end. Time advancing too fast. Business moving too slow (but advancing nicely). Were in DC this past weekend to celebrate Greg’s B’day. He and Jeannette are doing GREAT. Had a fun time.

    Am hoping for an awesome moderate democrat to emerge from the wanna-be pack, but so far no one is capturing my enthusiasm. I really don’t want to…don’t think I can…vote for the Trumpster. Hope the Dems surface a great choice. I’m ready to hop! Joe Biden is looking mighty good at the moment…if he thows his hat in and stays young! Sure wish guys like Sen Chris Coons from Delaware would run.

    All for now.

    Keep in touch….Hi to Susan.

    All the best,


  2. tomc


    I may just know the photo you speak of. Should a casting call go out in your community theater for the lead in ” The Old Man And The Sea ” ; the role is yours. Another retirement interest to add to the already long list ?

    How foolish we were in fearing we were becoming our fathers when in fact it was our grandfathers beginning to peer back at us in the bathroom mirror. Having just spent time looking through a box of old family photos I realize that I am approaching the age of how I will be remembered by my grandchild-after which I won’t be remembered at all.

    On a lighter note more in keeping with spring, I too will admit to still admiring the female form. Should this place me in a reeducation camp, upon escape I will join you on the beach.

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