"" Writer's Wanderings: March 2020

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Traveling Home Despite COVID-19

Our first stop three hours after starting home was just north of Fort Lauderdale at a McDonald's. We unfolded ourselves from the car and stretched, our eyes focusing on the message posted on the door. Thankfully as we got closer, we realized we could go in and order for take out as well as use the restroom. We both gave a sigh of relief. Maybe this wouldn't be as bad as we worried about.

Traffic was not as heavy as usual as we traveled but we did notice a lot of trucks and quite a few RVs headed north with various license plates from northern states as well as Canada.

Lunch found us turning off the highway to find another McDonald's. It was connected to a Love's gas station where the restrooms were open. Plenty of soap and water and even hand sanitizer in a dispenser. We were able to order our lunch and take it out to our car to eat.

Bob also filled up the gas tank. I had found some plastic gloves in our condo and took enough for Bob to wear one each time he filled up. Tossing the glove. Using hand sanitizer again and we were on our way.

We made it to the Hampton Inn in Fernadina Beach where we always stay, glad to be able to stay in a familiar place. Familiar but different not only because of the COVID-19 restrictions but also because they were redecorating. Not too much noise but a new carpet smell and wall that made my astigmatism crazy in the halls.

The streets of Fernadina Beach were all but deserted. We walked around and checked out the restaurants that were open for take out. The Crab Trap offered the best option. We ordered on the phone and walked back to pick it up. Thankfully our room was a suite and we had a nice table to eat on. The food was delicious.

After dinner we walked to our favorite place to get ice cream and each got dessert. Down at the water's edge by the marina we sat down to watch the sunset. The bugs chased us away before we could actually see it set. Never had a bug/mosquito problem there before. Maybe the wind was too calm.

One day down. Two to go. Hopefully it wouldn't get any harder.


Monday, March 30, 2020

Our Trip Home Despite COVID-19

The Coronavirus began to change life as we knew it while we were enjoying our winter stay in Florida. Thinking it couldn't possibly get much worse, we extended our stay for two more weeks but it was obvious half way through the first week that things were just escalating. We agreed. We needed to get home.

We ate as much of our food supplies as we needed and passed the rest to our neighbors who were staying for another 3-4 weeks. The toilet paper we'd bought as well as tissues and paper towels, we packed in the car. I also packed several boxes of pasta, some soup, cereal, a can of tuna, and a box of dry scallop potatoes. I figures that would help us through if grocery shopping was not an option at first.

I also put together a bag of paper towels and some Clorox/Tilex spray in case we found conditions a little sketchy on some of our stops. We had already made our own hand sanitizer from some aloe we found in our condo and a bottle of Simmer's ear that we used when we couldn't purchase alcohol. The swimmer's ear is 95% alcohol but costs probably twice as much for a little bottle than a whole bottle of alcohol would have.

Leaving early in the morning, we stopped at the McDonald's in Key Largo using our mobile app for the first time. That eliminated exchanging money or a credit card. We were on our way on a beautiful sunny day and anxious about the unknown ahead. One of the biggest concerns--locating restrooms.

We plugged in our audio book and hoped for the best. Just north of Fort Lauderdale, we sought out our first McDonald's for more coffee and of course that restroom stop. Would we be able to go inside or would we have to travel on to find another place?

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Celebrating My Birthday With a Book Sale!!

Was it the luck of the Irish that I was born on St. Pat's day? Hardly. I don't like the color green much--or maybe I'm just tired of it from all the green carnations, green cupcakes, green cookies, etc. I've had over the years.

But it is lucky for you! I'm celebrating by putting many of my Kindle editions on sale and saving you some green and giving you a chance to entertain yourself during this virus scare that has everyone hunkered down and most means of entertainment closed.

So, for the next week, you can buy these books at Amazon for your Kindle for only 99 cents!  RUBY, A NOVEL  IN A PICKLEPICKLE DILLY and FORT LONESOME



Monday, March 16, 2020

The Green Flash!

Here it is for the unbelievers.

I caught the green flash as the sun set by using the sport mode on my camera. I had to wade through about 25 shots but several had the green color in them as the sun disappeared!

No I did not touch up the photo. I just zoomed and cropped.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Exploring The Night

Several years ago Bob bought a very bright flashlight that we bring with us to Florida each year in order to explore the nighttime waters around our shoreline and dock area. We've found lots of interesting things (besides the glow worms after the full moon). We've also gained the name of "the night watchmen" from our friends here.

A few times we've seen the small neighborhood nurse shark out foraging in the rocky areas for an unsuspecting fish or the leftovers of someone's catch of the day that they've cleaned and tossed the extra into the water. There have been lobster and some shrimp with beady eyes (Bob's favorite find).

One year we saw lots of horseshoe crabs in the shallows. Ant my favorite, the dolphin who had a feeding frenzy among the mullets that make their home around our dock.

This year we haven't found quite so much although we did hear a manatee's heavy breathing one night and saw its snout above the water. Our good find recently was this crab out in the sandy bottom looking for a midnight snack.

We have a few more nights to explore and we've just had a full moon. Who knows what we might find?

Friday, March 06, 2020

A Little Friday Funny

It is not hard to guess the average age of a snowbird, those retirees who travel south for the winter months. Suffice it to say they are usually past or well past age 65.  The first few years we began our migration, we noticed lots of turkey vultures in the skies. They were constantly circling and riding the warm winds.

It didn't take long for the joke to be, the birds are just circling because they see all the old people below.

Now that was a little funny for a while but the other day as we were exploring the bird sanctuary near us, I noticed a sign I hadn't seen before explaining the importance of the turkey vultures in our eco system.

Here are a few facts I gleaned. They have no feathers on their heads apparently which keeps their heads cleaner as they stick them in the carcasses.

While other birds can't smell, vultures can smell carrion from a mile away.

Very corrosive stomach acid allows them to consume disease ridden meat with no problem and instead of Purell, they defecate on their legs to sanitize them.

More than you wanted to know, right?

The best thing I learned is that vultures cannot sense death and do not circle dying animals. So even if they are circling overhead I can rest assured they are only enjoying the ride on the wind currents. Whew!

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