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I'll admit it, I'm just a little, well maybe more than just a little, jealous of everyone going places while I'm still sitting here blogging. Bruce is in California for the week, Angela has gone to spend the month in Wickford Village, RI, and now Corrine comes over asking if I'll pick up their newspaper while they go to Las Vegas! As well, Matt and Tom just had their whirlwind tour of the East Coast, arriving home safely yesterday morning. I'm quite anxious to hear Tom's impressions of his first visit to New York City.

I could go somewhere, except for one tiny problem-our little Baxter. Normally I would have Angela watch him, but you can see that is not going to work. While driving yesterday afternoon, I heard this incredible story on All Things Considered about how many Europeans just leave their pets BEHIND for a month! Seriously, I could not believe my ears hearing how in France people think of pets as pretty much disposable--particularly when they get in the way of their vacations. As you know, I do not treat Baxter like a child, no clothes, no play dates, that sort of thing, but there is such a thing as common decency.

I left Sue out of the first paragraph, but she too is on her way to their second home in Montana. See, why I'm jealous? Sue lives nearby, although exactly where her house was I did not know until Sunday morning. Turns out, she was on the front porch reading the newspaper when I turned the corner onto her street, which as it happens, is behind the church we attended three times a week for years and years while the children were growing up. Sue is a collector AND a seller of vintage goods. That's why I saw her at Community Thrift--she combs the shelves for the whole, "one man's trash is another man's treasure" thing, finding items she knows her buyers will like. In fact, she goes there so often the cashiers know her by name. As we were checking out, after realizing we knew each other, my cashier picked up the pig, asking if Sue had seen it and wondered why she didn't buy it! I, on the other hand, was seriously jealous, there's that word again, of the garden cart Sue found before I did, with the astonishingly low price of $2.50! I did find, what I'm pretty sure are, some orange Carnival glass little dishes.
Two for $3.93. I told you they used weird prices. Who sells something with the price ending in three?
I need more little plates like a hole in my head, but, there's a little sentimental value going on with this purchase. In February of 2010 I wrote this post about the Carnival glass vase my mother-in-law willed to me. Now you understand.

While Sue was at the market visiting on Sunday she told me she was worried I'd put her house on my blog, because she too is on that slippery slope when it comes to outdoor decorations.
The early morning light had everything aglow! See, she does have a bunch, however, they all are useful!

There was a time when most of our life was lived on, or just off, of Lake Margaret Drive which Sue's street feeds off of. As I mentioned, we spent countless hours at what was then named, Fort Gatlin Alliance Church:
Situated on the corner of Lake Margaret and Bumby Avenue, much has changed since our days there, most notably it is now a Vietnamese Alliance Church! For about 25 years the brick planter housed a beautiful wooden sign Bruce made. It really was striking, and my goodness, it held up for such a long time.

The pastor's home was just on the other side of the church, across the parking lot, and a small pond, which used to have more water than this!
Surprising that it is so low, but the Great Blue Heron seemed to like it just fine. Surprising because we are getting some rain again. Matter of fact, yesterday morning I was all set to head to Nordstrom to begin my Christmas shopping when the rain came pouring down. So much so I couldn't leave the house for an hour! I'm talking three inches in that hour! From the look of the sky as I type, could be more coming today.

And then there was the Fort Gatlin Swim Club, also on Lake Margaret Drive. When the children were so very young, our finances were somewhat challenging. Never one to spend more than is prudent, we did not use our air conditioner for years. I know, sounds cruel, but you do what you have to do. Or, at least I do. Anyway, one day Bruce came home after seeing the club and thought perhaps we could keep cool in the summer there. And so we did. What a God send it was in more ways than one. These days it is now owned by Orange County and the pool area is hardly recognizable.
Back in those heady days there were three diving boards, including a high dive, and a huge slide which provided countless hours of fun for my boys.

Furthermore, the back of our house faced Lake Margaret. Then they built the Wal Mart at the corner of Lake Margaret and Semoran Blvd where we purchased the very new and exciting Nintendo with Mario Brothers. We were pretty much set for years, barely having to leave that road! And, because I took these photographs while on my bike ride, we still haven't gone very far.

As I typed that about the air conditioning it struck me that some would think I was mean back then. And, so too, my children might have agreed with that sentiment, however, with four boys to feed and clothe, spending money on being comfortable was not something I felt we could manage. My theory is that if children never experience any discomfort while young, as adults they will have a hard time adjusting to the harsh realities of life. In other words--You Can't Always Get What You Want!

Aha--a lesson for me. I may want to go on holiday somewhere, but hey, I've really got all that I need right here. Who could ask for more? Or should is probably more like it. :)

p.s. Only kidding about the comments on my toad misfortune!

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