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Twenty Years Ago

Yesterday, on the last day of November, Bruce celebrated 20 years of working for Darden Restaurants.  Reflecting on his hiring date, six months before he turned 40, I realized not only have we both aged during his time there, but so have our children. Why of course they have Gail! Before you think I've gone crazy for writing something so inane, let me explain...

Matt was finishing his senior year at Boone High School, a mere 16 years old. Bill and Dave, really, you pretty much always have to join those names when there are twins in a family, anyway, they were in their last year at Conway Middle School, playing baseball, volleyball, basketball--you name it. Jonathan would have been 9 years old--what grade is that? Maybe 4th? What a handful that Jonathan was. Good grief, the man he is today bears pretty much no resemblance to who he was back then! Just ask his brothers....

Before Bruce took the job at Darden, he'd already built a few Olive Gardens on the contractor side of things, so the traveling part was not entirely new to us. But still, the prospect of every week travel seemed fairly daunting. Money and opportunity--it all came down to that. If you ask Bruce, even today, he always responds that traveling is the easiest part of his job. Casual travelers can hardly imagine that, but if Bruce says something, he means it. I was trying to do a rough calculation of how many times he's flown--probably around 3,000 times! That's really astonishing when you think about it like that isn't it?

Aside from having to teach our boys to drive a vehicle, perhaps the absolute worst part of being a parent, I managed just fine. In fact, I used to think of it as if we were still dating--he'd be gone for some days, with a reunion every week. It's just this last year or so, when he's been gone four, and sometimes five days a week, that it has become harder to live with.

So, while Bruce has been working at Darden, our boys have become men. Matt lives in London, with both a great job and boyfriend. Bill works here in Orlando for Sun Trust, with what you might term, a revolving girlfriend situation. David works for Sun Trust as well, married to the beautiful Michelle, and Jonathan works for the University of Texas in Austin, engaged to be married to the lovely Alissa.

Time indeed marches on....

As for the next 20 years of his life? That is currently under consideration.

Who's ready for a picture??  What shall we look at first? How about the tree where the eagles were perched? In spite of two more trips there, the eagles have not been present--instead it seems to be a landing pad for a whole lot of crows. I've included this shot to give you an idea just how high up in they were.
The top branches are probably 80 feet in the air, think of an nine story building if that helps you process the information.

After checking out the tree, I rode along FernCreek, turning onto Overlake to check out a garage sale. For a while I think Ebay took over the garage sale market, and to some extent it probably still takes a lot of sales off the streets, however, seems like most weekends there are some around the neighborhood. Pulling into the driveway this caught my attention:
Folks, this is a lot of Winnie the Pooh dolls. Perhaps after watching some television show about collecting stuff, the woman decided it was time to cut them loose? I completely forgot to ask how much she was asking for them--duh! Imagine how much she originally paid? A conservative estimate of $5 each, which is probably way, way low, times 200 dolls? Yikes! The front lower bin is chock full of Christmas-themed WtPs, while other bins held working bear outfits, foreign themed outfits--you name it, they made it.  She actually encouraged me to photograph them after I mentioned writing a blog and just knew my readers would like to see something new. If I understood the obsession with Winnie the Pooh more clearly, I'd explain this crazy site, however, it baffles my imagination.

Roger had a few things ready for me so I put that on this morning's agenda. Along Summerlin, by Delany Park, I saw yet another garage sale at a super cool house. You know how when you get to a garage or estate sale and you quickly scan the stuff? You pretty much know immediately if there is anything there for you. Happened to me, and here is my $5.00 buy:
It's an orbiting copper plated sprinkler with a butterfly motif in the center. Pretty cool huh?

Arriving at Roger's house, I couldn't resist this lovely hibiscus:
While preparing lunch I was heartened to see Mr. Cardinal out front preparing to dine at the Nuttery:
This is what you might call a soft-focus photograph, if you were searching for a term to explain the poor quality! Actually, I took it through the kitchen window,  standing on my tip toes to get beyond the screened part. For quite some time, the Nuttery has held seed but no birds came to eat. I finally discovered why last week when I took it apart, discovering that the seed had gone bad. Hard to explain, but now that fresh seed is available, my pretty Cardinals will, once again, make my time at the kitchen sink more enjoyable.

Finally, do you want to see a very cool website? I thought so. Fantastic stuff, however, proceed with caution if you have only a few minutes to spare. If you're a guy you'll love it; girls same for you. Thanks Jonathan for the hook up!

Time for some college football dear readers--Go Noles!
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