A week ago I arrived in Florida. I have never spent much time in this state. I am enjoying exploring a new area of the United States. with good friends. I have moved out of my rig for a few weeks to visit with Missy and Dan. I have a bed and my own private refrigerator. Mostly though I have company. I am enjoying that to the utmost.
2017 was the last year Missy and I met in person. I stay west and she stays east in this very large country. We have “zoomed”, texted, and talked on the phone. Oh, and there has also been the occasional e-mail. In this modern world, there are many ways to stay in touch and maintain long-distance friendships. Yet, there is still nothing better than being physically present with a friend.
And…I have my own personal tour guide showing me Florida. We have camped at Myakka State Park, biked (rather hot and hard mountain biking through sand), and walked. Still in the plans are kayaking and more. I am enjoying getting to know this state.
The other great joy of being with Missy is that we are both photographers so we are exploring the natural places in this part of the state, the southwest area of Florida with our cameras. It is fun to be with another photographer. It helps me to learn and grow in this craft that I enjoy so much. Missy, being a professional photographer, has much wisdom to share. Click Here to view her website. Her photos are amazing. She also sells Photo Art. Yes indeed, I have a lot to learn from her.
The main attraction is a new addition to their household. A week ago Missy and Dan adopted a Ringed Neck Parrot. Tiki is the fascination of the house. We laugh at its antics and celebrate each new step it takes. Any time we are around Tiki the cell phone cameras get busy taking photos. It is no different than having a new baby in the house. Who knew a bird could be so entertaining. And oh my what a pretty bird it is, blues and greens dominate with a pretty red beak.
Endurance-The act, quality, or power of withstanding hardship or stress.
Englewood and the surrounding areas were hit hard by Hurricane Ian. This area remains in recovery mode. My friends and Missy’s parents’ houses were damaged in the storm, although not as bad as others in the community where they live. It is interesting to be here and see the damage that was done. Nature is powerful. It is also interesting to experience the endurance of people. Slowly people are rebuilding. Some have sold their homes. Some are removing the damaged units and replacing them with new homes. Some are repairing. People have lost a lot yet they endure and come back stronger.
After the devastation occurred people in this community showed their caring for each other. They helped each other out. Missy’s brother arrived from Maine to help get his parent’s house back up and in running order. Other people in the community, locally have offered services, supplies, and more. Organizations arrived to offer food, all three meals, while people were without services and busy cleaning up. Others arrived offering drinks. In diversity, the best sides of others often come forward. Humankind wants to help others. I believe that is an inherent trait.
I will remain here for at least another week before I begin the slow trek north to the mid-Atlantic states. It is good for my soul to finally see my east coast family after four years away due to Covid.
Today I am thankful for my friends who love me from a distance and close up. Today I am thankful for friendships that endure. Today I am thankful.