Friday, January 20, 2012

7-Year-Old Blog: A Retrospective, Part 1

My blog will be seven years old in April of this year! As a way to celebrate my commitment to writing, I'm taking a few months to look back over the seven years of intermittent blogging. I haven't always submitted my best work to the Great Blogosphere of the Ethernet, so I hope the gods will forgive, but at least I've been a loyal subject and beat the six-month average lifespan of most blogs. Maybe the blog is a dying art in the world of tweets and status updates, but it is more of a long-form tweet for me. Note, I don't even have a Twitter account. Enough with the prefacing, and onto the looking back! First, have a look back at the last six months, which is laden with posts about my freelance work at the Island Sand Paper here on Fort Myers Beach.

I am grateful for the chance to earn a little dough doing the thing I love--writing--and also for the chance to display some of my photography in newsprint. I wish to say thank you to Missy and Bob Layfield and Keri Hendry for the chance to work in journalism. Now to the writing samples...Enjoy! (NOTE: When you click the links, this blog post still shows at the top spot, so SCROLL DOWN!)

Holy Vettes, Batman!!!

Here is my latest offering from the Island Sand Paper, a Fort Myers Beach weekly. Page 12 features my article about the Corvette Cruise-in at Parrot Key Caribbean Grill...

sorry my scanner couldn't handle this one very sure to click on the image above for a full-sized view, easier to read!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Salty Dog and CRAB articles

I have TWO articles in this week's Island Sand Paper. Check them out, below, but don't strain your eyes. You can click on either image to get the large print version...Enjoy!

(when the jpeg loads in your browser, be sure to click on it for full-sized viewing)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Blog Birthday in April

Hard to believe, but in April this blog will be seven years old.

I know I haven't been a consistent blogger. As you'll notice in the timeline on the lower right, there are missing months where I did not blog at all. No apologies. Life just gets in the way of writing sometimes.

But this has always been a great place for me to vent, to get creative, to share personal feelings, failures and accomplishments. All told, I'm pretty proud that I've stuck with it this long, since the average shelf life of most blogs is less than six months.

Over the next few months, leading up to that anniversary, I plan to do some looking back and share some of my favorite blog posts. This space serves as sort of a road map of my spiritual journey the last seven years. The road I began travelling back in 2004-05, down the path of rediscovery and emerging spirituality, led me far away from my Catholic and Pentacostal roots. Well, maybe not THAT far away, but certainly in a new direction.

For anyone who has followed my ramblings, thanks. I appreciate your interest and longevity. For anyone who has just stumbled upon this blog, welcome. Pull up a chair and click through some of the posts from 2005-2011. You might chuckle, maybe you'll even stop to ponder, but whatever you do, leave a comment. Blogs are not for stalkers. They're for conversation. You don't have to be a blogger yourself to leave a comment. Anyone can do so, even anonymously.

Thanks, again, for taking a minute to read. Ciao!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Gulf Coast Living is for me!

In 2006, I was ready to leave Tallahassee for a home in either the panhandle beaches or about your polar opposites. I decided that with the cost of real estate on the coast and the lack of a support network there it would be best to move north. So we set out in December with a contract for the sale of our house pending and moved to Fishers, Indiana. It turned out to be one of the snowiest, coldest Decembers central Indiana had seen in a long time.

We endured four of those blustery winters before packing up and heading back south. Fortunately for us, Aunt Sarah had a vacant condo ready to take us in, so we found our way 1,100 miles from Fishers to Fort Myers Beach. It was a long, two-day trip with our two girls, two dogs and everything we could cram into a small Volvo sedan. We made it to Manatee Beach near Anna Maria Island by sunset the second day. It was a glorious sunset to welcome us back to the Gulf Coast!

Our original intent was to settle in the Bradenton area, just inland from Manatee Beach. We actually hunted for jobs and houses up there until school began in early August. By then, we were falling head-over-heels in love with Fort Myers Beach and it's small town charm. We quickly shifted our focus to finding a reasonably-priced rental on the island and jobs that would help us afford it. Best decision we've made in a LONG time...and only about 5 years overdue.

I was just looking over this blog, and it was May 15, 2006, when I stated that " I will live at the beach one day." What a crazy prophecy that came true this last year!

All of the descriptions of Destin and Panama City in that May 2006 blog are perfectly applicable to where I live now, except I think the white gulf sands down this way are finer and softer to the touch. I call our beaches "baby powder" because that's what it feels like under your feet in the coolness of a December morning. It's not the scratchy, golden, Atlantic Coast sand that feels like sandpaper between your cheeks. I think the baby powder sand is how a beach just to our south got its name--Barefoot Beach...but watch out for shells. This is a great place to find them, and when you walk closer to the shoreline, you'll crunch them under your barefeet.

The reasons I am so partial to the Gulf are the calm, warm waters and the absolutely glorious sunsets. The only other place I could ever see myself is in the Florida Keys. I think that once I get bored with the sunsets here, I'll make that move further south. Then, one day, you'll read my blog about how that self-fulfilling prophecy came true.

To say that I have adapted to island life is an understatement. I think that I was predestined to live here. My blood pressure has always been on the lower end of normal and I seem to move fluidly to the rhythm of island life. It's a slower pace that I intend to maintain for another 40+ years.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Hoboken Frank, the other...

click on images for larger, original versions