Good Morning 2012.  And it certainly started out nice in Cedar Key!

I arose at 7 –  Walked out the back door and felt a sudden scuttle – off  the ground, into the trees, bouncing from tree to tree – a wave of fluttering black/grey birds and a ton more chirping than we’d every heard.  It didn’t quite register at first – until I took Daisy out the front door for a walk and I saw them again – Hundreds – Skittering off the ground into the air – the whir of wings, the darkened sky, the flash of red – ROBINS!  Hundreds of Robins arriving from their northern trek, landing in Cedar Key. It was surreal and kept up all morning long.

Street Signs - Known by few

12409 Live Oak St. - That's a LIVE OAK in front

The only other large cluster of Robins I ever saw was a couple of years back, late fall, at the NH High School – Dozens of them flying in formation around the field, like they were practicing for the southern journey.

I never thought about where they actually went.  Some part of me imagined they just went to Maryland – or North Carolina.  But now I see how far they go –  hungry and excited – flitting from tree to tree, calling to each other, wheeling enmasse – enchanting!

OUR NEIGHBORHOOD is an excellent mix of charming to shabby – and not the chic way.

Front Porch Door

The Neighborhood Name

There is a sign over the screened porch door – that we thought was just a cute name for the house.

But no!  it is the actual name of the “hood.”

Back in 1861 – a Rail Road was built – from what is now Jacksonville to Cedar Key – to carry fresh fish to the northeastern cities.

Rail Road Trestle Path Entrance Sigh

At the beginning of our street, there is a walking path that follows the former train tracks – out and over the water to the commercial part of the island. The former trestle supports are still visible at the end of the path. We take this walk every day with the dogs. There is always something new to see and many of the plants are labeled.

Daisy Loves the Path

Giant Slash Pines -used for Turpentine

End of the Trail Sunset Seat

It’s curious that we live next to a trestle in New Hope and now in Cedar Key as well.

John and Jennifer in our New Hope Garden

The way the area got its name is because the boys who worked the train would grab their girl just before the train was leaving and say:

“Kiss me quick” before being swept away out-of-town – or so the story goes.

The collection of houses in these five streets of KISS ME QUICK are quirky and diverse. At the eastern end, there is a clam processing plant. Kinda stinky but far enough away from us. At the other end is the  Trestle path, and across the “highway” 29 is a terrific restaurant –


Remains of the Day when there was a trestle


Blue Desert - 2 blocks from home!

where we went to celebrate John’s Birthday. The owner cooks everything from scratch, so one must be prepared to wait  and boy was it worth it. Delicious seafood soup. A Calamari  / Mushroom / Orzo that was exquisite.  Our landlord Boyd had given us a gift certificate to introduce us to the place. Glad he did. We’ll be back, often.

(No restaurant in New Hope compares)

Happy Birthday Johnny

quirky and cozy - just our style

The walls are covered

First of many visits, we're sure

In Our HOOD, most of the homes are sweet, well-tended Florida style cottages with an appeal that grows as you look at them. But a few were boarded up and some – well –

they initially scared us, surrounded by junk or seemingly abandoned.

Ulp! What's Up with This House around the corner?

But as you get to know people, they fill in the stories.

One junk house is actually a result of flooding – the woman had turned off her water and gone away. Then the town did something with the street  pipes and when the town restored the area’s water, they turned on her water as well — flooding her house (she wasn’t there).  While some neighbors have offered to haul away the ruined crap that now sits in the front, she declined, waiting to settle with the insurance company.  OK, that made me feel better.  It wasn’t a lack of caring.

Side view of the house across from trailer

Another house – across the street with this spectacular view  – and for sale! – is owned by a large family- so someone or other uses it.

Until yesterday, it had a lot of debris around it until they had a burn and cleaned it up a bit. The construction trailer on the water side (along with the construction trailers claiming they do everything) doesn’t look used anymore. Hard times for construction I guess. The FOR SALE sign says 7 lots. Don’t quite know what that all entails.  But I entertain myself, dreaming  up architectural schemes for the sheer pleasure of it. Another house on the street looks deserted but I saw a car parked in front of it today.

boarded up house?

Now for the sweet homes. Miss Eva is a violin teacher. She inherited this home from her mother, while her family mostly lives in Atlanta

.Miss Eva – Next Door to Us.

MO the fish man

Mo Lives on the corner. His house is surrounded by thick green grass.

Mo has been fishing for over 60 years. He makes the best smoked mullet dip in the county – I’ve heard tell – and my taste buds will not deny it.

Note the white boots. They seem to be the fishing di-rigor here!  I’ve seen them hanging on the iron work of other houses, drying out.

Across the street – there are several nice houses – mostly doublewides enclosed and expanded.

I forgot about the doublewide - empty - next door!

Across the Street

Mo and Libby's house

Then we met Lonna and Martin Dickens – walking dogs, of course.

They bought a corner house on the water diagonal to us – it was a mess when they bought it but the views! Well, check it out for yourself!

Lonna and Martin's view

Martin and Lynn Dickens Waterfront Home

As Lonna and Martin work in Gainsville (50 miles east), they have invited us to use their dock and canoe during the week.

Marsha and Chick live behind us – they also have waterfront. They are the artists in the area – sculpture and mosaic artists, respectively.

We really couldn’t be happier. The dogs are fitting in and thriving and so are we. Next Up: HOUSEBOAT!  Love to all. xo Laura

Marsha and Chicks house behind us. (waterfront)


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by barb on the hill on January 2, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Heavenly…. I am going to enjoy every post.
    love you barb


  2. Posted by Maura on January 2, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Happy belated Birthday John!!!!!!! We love you xoxoxo

    Love the history lesson Laura.Is this place is turning out better than you thought??


  3. Maura – Yes it is. It’s more of everything than I thought. But it is essentially what I thought might be….It is a wonder to be here.


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