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Year Ten

On the first day of the New Year, Mr. Peck mowed the lawn.

Not that he wanted to, mind you, having done so only two weeks ago, but this warm winter has kept everything growing at an alarming rate. Not alarming as in scary, more so, alarming as in, "damn, can we get a break from looking after the yard?"!

Meanwhile, Mrs. Peck busied herself with returning the house to it's pre-Christmas decor. That silly husband of mine takes forever to get into the Christmas spirit, so it always surprises me when he is dismayed when the holidays are over. 😞 I can't say as I blame him because our tree this year was wonderful, however, it was time, as the poor limbs were drooping and brittle. Perhaps because I kept it lit non-stop for three weeks? 700 lights baby!
You know what a home body I've been of late, but when you have company, it is time to break the routine. During Jonathan and Alissa's visit we saw, not one, but two movies, having seen none by ourselves during the last eight months. One I was wild for....LaLa Land, the other was a stretch for me. My first ever Star Wars movie, and, as you can imagine, I was terribly confused throughout.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

One of the bright sunny days, we drove to DeLand to visit Blue Springs in hopes of seeing the manatees. As it is on the way, we stopped first at Ginnie Springs in DeBary. Seeing this photograph you'd be hard pressed to think of it as a spring, but indeed, that is what it is.
I know, it looks like a lake, right?

Arriving at Blue Springs, the guard at the gate said there were no manatees seen that day. Warm temperatures =warm river=no need for the manatees to come into the springs to warm up. Well, now what? Having driven the 35 miles there, we decided to visit anyway. Look what we saw!
And then there was this:
Here is a young woman who likes to take photographs as much as I do.
So, the title of today's post is "Year Ten," which might confuse some of you. Here's the thing; this blog is soon to be celebrating ten years of existence which is sort of mind boggling, isn't it? In year one I had a little point and shoot Panasonic that Bruce had given me for Christmas two months prior. The story is familiar to most of you, but to those of you new to this blog, I started selling photography in March of 2007 at Bruce's insistence, showing photographs taken with my "baby camera." At the time it was practically a sin to sell photography shot with a point and shoot camera. Fast forward ten years, and much to my amusement, every where you look people are using essentially a point and shoot camera and some are even celebrated for doing so!

While admiring the scenery, standing along a deck railing, you know who, let her sunglasses drop out of her hand! Yup, those prescription ones. "Honey", I called out, "I need help." Mr. Peck to the rescue, climbing through the fencing, he crawled down the ten foot bank, snatching them up for his longtime girlfriend.
Having accomplished our mission of seeing some manatees, albeit a very small number, we headed home, stopping along the way at the Maitland Art Center. Having been there before many times, I got ahead of the pack, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but this coolness!
It never ceases to amaze me, how clever folks are. Who would have thought of making a metal dress? I guess it has been done before, armour comes to mind, but seriously, too good for words. Eventually the youngsters found it too.
Oh wait...one of them has his eyes toward a phone screen, a familiar sight all week!

Okay, who can believe that our son Matthew made this sweater?
I had Jon boy take my photograph (cringe), to show it off! That is not the only orange gift I received though. How about this snazzy new ironing board from Bill and Fallon?
If you could have seen the one this replaced you would laugh at how wimpy it was. I am well aware that some folks would think this is an unlikely Christmas gift, however, I asked for it, and they delivered. Anyone who sews knows just how vital a good ironing surface is to their craft.

Fashion Square, where we saw Rogue One, continues the steady decline of the last ten years. In the photo below, can you spot the three people who are visiting together?
Actually, it is really sad to see a place, once so vibrant, become a shadow of its former self. That said, you cannot beat the movie ticket prices.

Following the movie, we stopped for lunch at the newly located Se7en Bites, a spot that is sort of Austin-like. As expected, they liked it. How about this? Me taking a photograph of Alissa, taking a photograph, while a muralist is at work.
She is so darn good with her iPhone, whereas I'm terrible, preferring my Olympus every time over my phone.

Just when we think our computers are so smart, this comes up on my desktop. If I closed it, would it mean I wasn't having my birthday the next day?
Should you be a college football fan, like those residing in this household, you know what I'm talking about--lots of football to watch last week, including our own Florida State Seminoles who played a thriller, winning in the last second over Michigan. Oh my goodness, what a heart stopper! Actually, the opposite is true--our hearts were beating fast during those final moments!

After opening my fantastic birthday gifts, of which there were far too many, it was time to say farewell.
They look pleased to be heading home, and who can blame them after spending a week with the old folks? Hopefully it will not be two more years before we see them again!

We ended the year with a picture perfect weather day; a gift I freely received. Earlier in the week Mr. Peck asked where I wanted to go for my birthday, and you probably already know the answer to that question.  A birthday balloon, courtesy of Michelle!
We had a wonderful time, heading home way before midnight which is our custom. As is also our custom, we were asleep before midnight in spite of the sounds of fireworks drifting in through the open windows. Can you believe how prevalent they are these days?

For those of you who have been with me throughout my ten years of blogging, I thank you ever so much. For those of you new to this tiny spot in the blogosphere, I hope the coming year there will be content that you find worthy of your time.

And with that, a Happy 2017 to all!

Gail


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