WEATHER REPORT, SATURDAY  1-14-12: As Chicago finally revels in their first snow, the cool airs have permeated the south as well. Heat’s on, gloves and socks donned.  But it is gloriously sunny and bright today. SUNDAY: Warmer, Fresh, Bright.

I write to rocking music, listening to my PRINCE station on Pandora – via our roku TV connection. Some new technology, I love!

CURRENT NEWS: As John’s back mends, he has good and bad days. We were relieved to hear the chiro say the herniated discs would be self healed in about 6 months with proper rest and exercise. So on Friday, after pressing into feeling bad as he sat outside reading, John declared: “If I’m going to die, I’m going to die walking!” and got up to scour the neighborhood on foot. On Saturday we retraced his steps.

“Walking,” he declared, “is such a different experience from driving around.” I shot him a sidelong glance and smile, to which he added “I think you said that last week sometime.”

Strolling the sidewalk along the bay, waving at Moe Beckham selling his wares (mullet dip, shrimp, stone crab claws) at a makeshift stand on the corner, we got to see the egret mamma and baby,on the hunt for – what type of food is in that mud there?

Teaching the young-un how to hunt

Stairway to Heaven? Uncle Toms Ladder?

and wonder about the ladder leaning on the post

Soft, Whispering, Giant Pines

and touch the softness of the towering pines clustered together.

Across the street he found a curious circle of homes, most of them facing the water.

A grouping you’d never see just passing by.

Old Florida Style Home

Old Florida Style Home

Most of them facing the water – tucked away,

Continuing East along 24 –


We passed Sandy at her Th-Su Produce Shop – with 150 clams for $15

And spied the Saturday fishing along the bridge, as the tide came in.

Note the miscasts, witnessed by the filliment caught on the wires

fishing casts lost

Many were breaking open oyster clusters – for SHEEPHEAD Fish.

clusters of oysters

Why they are called that, no one could tell me, but later on, at the bait shop,

Doug at his Bait Shop

Doug told me they are tricky fish to catch -“you have to pull them up before they bite” — now how do you know to do that. “Like I said – they are tricky fast”

John had explored several bait shops along his walk but some of them “talked too fast”.

Doug and Wendy's Bait Shop

We like Doug and Wendy’s shop.

We’ve been hankering for an outdoor firepit and came near to buying a metal chimenea – like the one we have in New Hope.

But then we saw the right idea:

Gerry and Laura Beckham

at Laura and Gerry Beckham’s home right by the bridge. Gerry’s a clammer – “I got the second lease!” and Laura move to the area from Ct after a divorce – “couldn’t stand the cold anymore”.  They met when she was selling clam seed for a South Carolina distributor.

THE fire - grill pit!

But the point of this story is their fire pit-swing grill!  Made up in Chiefland by the Hogan Brothers – it uses iron horseshoes and the cooking grate moves up and down and swings out — perfect!  It will cost a lot more than that chiminea we passed on but – oh, what versatility.

Garrett - WHAT A LOOK! Love it

As we were talking with them, Garret came by. Look at those white boots. I think a pair of them will have to be in my closet soon!

Island Girl Cakes

We tried to stop by ISLAND GIRL Cakes but she was out to lunch. But we loved the sign at her door.

Other side streets led to a source for blue crabs.

crab cages

After his walk on Thurs, John went to town and stopped in to see Nancy at DeJaVu Consignment, who had promised to loan him her cocktail shaker – for our three month stay!  Bless You Nancy.

kiss kiss for cocktail shakers

He then drove into town (3/4 mile) and checked in with Deb at the bank, thanking her for all the good advice she gave when we met her at the Welcome Center. And met a woman on the beach who was travelling from Oklahoma with her 90+ mother – taking her to Datoyna Beach to see her sister.  Then he saw Patty and Captain Lloyd at the motel – checking in with them before stopping by Andy’s at the auto repair shop b/c our truck door locks have been acting up. “Its only about a 40 dollar part, if that and a lot better to fix it now than get stuck and wait”

He came back tired but rejuvenated. “You know, walking about this town is a lot different from driving,” he said. Amen to that,baby.


There is an art cooperative in town, which we joined in support.

Thursday, we stopped by to see two exhibits – One was of quilts. Wow, these people made some beautiful fabric art: check it out. (click to enlarge)

Maura Dress

All squares are images of Cedar Key

The other was a photographic exhibit of WATER WOMEN and FISHERMAN.

Mermaid quality

The photographer created magic.

Joan Beckham - Oyster Woman

Reminds me of Jennifer

Then, on Thursday night, I went to the first of an ART THERAPY class, where we are drawing andallas each week, expressing our feelings.

The Mandallas are a universal symbol and a woman named Joan Keller (I think that’s correct) has identified universal themes and meanings in the color, shape and placement uses.

There are six women and an art therapist in the class which will run for 6 weeks.  I had no idea what I was getting into but you had to attend the first class to attend at all. So, since it was free, and a nice way to meet people, I showed up.

The women represented quite a range – All current or recent locals except me.

A cook who is works with her husband 24/7 – who sent her to the course so she had no idea what it was about – a mother earth former cook (missing it) who has lived all her life on Cedar Key, a busy mother with a family biz in aquiculture (who actually had art skills), a professional woman who seemed to have a psychological background and another local who loved all things jungian and a 90 year old woman – sweet as a button – who came because the instructor told her to and was a bit uncomfortable at the start – as we all were.

Then we got to drawing.

Sandy - the instructor

While I am ever fascinated by psychology – I feel gun-shy about therapy – b/c I’ve experience and witness too many people getting caught in their head – and paying a therapist to listen to it with out providing a way out. I’m not a big therapy proponent.  My mandalla began with some shapes I like and then turned into a journey picture – with hills on the left, leading to the blue islands and large, festooned birds and some sort of snaky, orange island on the right — circled by the blue cosmos and the orange souls who watch over us – and the unknown pink matter inbetween.

What it means? I don’t really care.  I’m loving the place and this adventure. Anyone else’s interpretation is just not my business.

In the meantime, I’m going with the flow and seeing where it leads.

Happy Sunday!  xo Laura


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Maura on January 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Love this post! Glad to hear John should be somewhat healed within the next 6mos. Keep walking John xo
    Loved the metal fire thing, can’t wait til you get one…Loved the round green house!….Loved that you you guys joined the art coop!!!! We LOVED the quilts!! Billy likes the one with all the houses and i like my dress! AND the drawing of the the wooden structure!!
    Love your Mandala,keep it up! xo
    BUT I LOVE LOVE John’s cocktail pictures!! Makes me miss you even more! Have one for me,but remember…not too strong. xoxo


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