going through the motions…

As has happened a few times, I initially had no idea what to “title” this post.  So much as happened.  I don’t know how many of you have actually noticed, but it has been a long time since I posted.   Read on and the odd title I finally typed will make sense.  I’ve typed and retyped and edited and have just not hit “publish”.  My writing right now seems a bit mechanical to me, so I want to apologize in advance if that’s the case.

I started typing this entry from Sunshine Key RV Resort near Big Pine Key.  It is a beautiful campground, palm trees everywhere, very nice neighbors and great weather.

When I last posted, we were getting settled in Clearwater.  We were spending time with my Mom and Dad, celebrating Thanksgiving and very glad to not be in the cold.  Bill and I were both very much enjoying ourselves.

I made my yearly batch of Christmas cookies with my Mom at her place, there really isn’t room in the rig to make the (approx) 20 doz cookies I make each year and send to my family.

Mom and I.  I've been told I look like her, I am ok with that
Mom and I. I’ve been told I look like her, I am ok with that
Family favorites, my famous Chocolate Chip cookies
Family favorites, my famous Chocolate Chip cookies

 

all packaged and ready for gifting
all packaged and ready for gifting

We went to Largo Community Park to see their Christmas light display.  We had never seen palm trees decorated before!

Bud and Jan
Bud and Jan
Debbie and Steve
Debbie and Steve

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We enjoyed a visit from and old NJ friend, Glen.

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There might not have been enough room for 240+ cookies, but I did make a batch of very yummy New England Clam Chowder.  I got the recipe from a cookbook I bought in the Outer Banks 4 1/2 years ago, when we were there for our 25th anniversary.  I haven’t been good about posting recipes, but I promise to try and get to it soon.

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I had wrote last time about celebrating my birthday, but I finally got my gift from Bill – a trail ride on a horse!  I’ve always loved horses and wanted to learn how to ride, but just never did it, so this was a very thoughtful gift.  Bill didn’t go, he is VERY allergic to horses!

ironically, the horses name was Bill!
ironically, the horses name was Bill!

We visited a winery and took a tour with my Mom and her friend Jan – and got a free bottle!  They were all too sweet for Bill, but I found one I liked, will wait til we are with friends to share it!

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Another day we took a bike ride to Safety Harbor.

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Clearwater area is very bicycle friendly – this bridge is just for bikers and pedestrians

Another day we met up with fellow “Class of 2014” RV-Dreamers, Debbie and Steve, for lunch at Cracker Barrel when they drove by on their way to South FL.  I was very impressed with Steve’s parking abilities, he is much more experienced than Bill and I.  It was great to see them again!

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We went with my parents and their friends, Jan and Bud, to see a Lighted Boat Parade.  Never been to that before – it was very cool seeing all the boats out on the water all decorated for Christmas.

my favorite
my favorite

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My parents live in a condo co-op and since we are officially residents now, we were able to join them at their annual Christmas party.

It was good to see a Christmas tree decorated, since we didn't have one of our own this year.  My parents haven't put one up in a long time.
It was good to see a Christmas tree decorated, since we didn’t have one of our own this year. My parents haven’t put one up in a long time.
My Mom and Jan
My Mom and Jan

We had set the date (ok I set it – Bill kept putting it off) to do our bed modification (we were cutting down the platform from a king size platform to a queen size platform to allow for more walking room around the bed) for Tuesday, Dec 16.  My Dad arrived before 9am, and we had already gotten the bed off the platform and all the stuff out from the storage area.  Then IT came, the phone call to my Dad.  It was a DE State Trooper informing him that his grandson, my 20 year old nephew, Andrew, was killed in a car accident early that morning.

The time we spent in DE is a blur to me right now.  I don’t like to think about it, it is all still very raw and new.  I will spare you the details as I don’t think I have the strength to relive it right now, if I wanted to.  I am in a fog, that is the best way to describe it.  My heart is broken, not only for myself, but for my sister (his mother), my parents, my kids, my brother and my niece.  We had a private, very small service at the funeral parlor, just my immediate family and my sister’s pastor.  Shannon returned to FL with us and is staying with my parents for a while.  She wants to plan a memorial for him in the spring when she is feeling stronger.

We had our planned for Christmas dinner, but needless to say it was very subdued.  Trying to do some usual holiday stuff, we went out that evening to a Botanical Gardens Christmas Light Display.  It was very pretty and a nice way to spend the evening.

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Bill and I visited with our friends Jo and Ben at their rig in North Fort Myers, going out on their boat and I actually got a great pic of a manatee!  They made us a yummy dinner of BBQ chicken and I brought some cole slaw and a dessert.  Jo said something very wise to me about the grief process.  I am paraphrasing a bit, but basically she said to continue on with your life – and put your grief in a box for a little while – so you can enjoy life, the one we’ve planned for and worked so hard for.  When I feel the need to, I can open the box and think of Andrew and our plentiful amounts of happy times together.

gorgeous day to be out on the water!
gorgeous day to be out on the water!
even Cocoa enjoyed herself!
even Cocoa enjoyed herself!
Manatee!
Manatee!

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Ben and Jo
Ben and Jo
Jo and Ben's RV size Christmas tree!
Jo and Ben’s RV size Christmas tree!

Bill and I will continue with our travel plans.  Thankfully I had planned ahead and I am doing the best I can to enjoy this beautiful place we are in.   Sometimes the grief comes over me, making me feel overwhelmed with sadness.  Tomorrow is hubby’s birthday,  I am hoping I can keep the grief in the box and celebrate his special day with him without tears sneaking in.

It has taken me an additional 2 weeks to actually hit the publish button.  I will pick up on Bill’s birthday when I add my next entry.  I PROMISE it won’t take as long this time.