A few years ago, we were gone the second weekend in November. I imagine we were probably in Massachusetts or Texas. That’s where we go most of the time.
The problem was this is my favorite weekend in Florida. And so I told Jerry that we could go away any time at all EXCEPT the second weekend in November.
It’s always busy in Florida once the snowbirds start coming but this weekend it’s just crazy. You can’t do it all but we sure try. We miss things but we hit our favorites each year.
There’s the chalk festival. It’s held in Venice now, every year. My good friend, Pam, is team captain for the merchandise booth and Jerry and I volunteered for a few hours in the booth. We could spend time with Pam and another friend, Paula, and meet lots of nice people from all over the country who are in Venice at the moment. And, best of all, volunteers have their own morning at the festival after the final day…breakfast and time to take a good look at the creations without the crowds. We were there this morning. Nice.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out how they do these 3D pictures. Here are a few. Some look 3D even when you look at them with just your eyes but when you look through the lens of your camera, you can’t imagine how everything changes. How do they do it?
And there’s Bowls of Hope, a fundraiser for All Faiths Food Bank. We went with good friends and picked up two new bowls made by local potters and had soup and bread and salad and desserts donated by local restaurants. We’ve got quite a collection (maybe twelve bowls) We’ve been going for years and just love it.
And finally there’s the Siesta Key Sand Classic. We went there on Monday. It’s pretty impressive. I will never figure out how they do it. Such magnificent sculptures made purely with sand and water. This year’s offerings were as magnificent as ever but not as wonderful as ever. I wondered if I was just used to it…that they didn’t make me gasp the way they used to do. But I think the “gasp factor” was still there. They just didn’t touch my heart the way they have some years. Some years you’re just impressed. Some years you’re moved. You know the difference? Still it was a great afternoon capped off with a meal at Turtles on the south end of the island. Love that place.
One other thing. I subscribe to the podcast Fresh Air on NPR. It’s always good but this week there was an exceptional one. Terry Gross interviewed a priest who is working gangs in East Los Angeles. He’s been there a long time….started as pastor of the parish right in the center of “gang country”. I listened to the podcast twice and won’t delete it. Too much wisdom, too many memorable quotes. Here’s my favorite. He was asked about how he goes about turning kids’ lives around. First, he says, we need to “hold them in a place where they feel cherished.” I can’t stop thinking about that. And thinking we need to hold everyone in a place where they feel cherished. What a different world this would be. The priest’s name is Greg Boyle. And he’s written a couple books that (obviously) I put on reserve at the library.
And to all of you who are facing cold weather up north…think about visiting the second week of November next year. It is a load of fun.