Thursday, December 19, 2013

Have you seen this tree?

Somebody stole my Christmas decorations!
        I know that sounds like a poor imitation of a great Dr. Seuss classic, but evidently the Grinch is alive and well in the Florida Keys.
        The land of scraggly pine, leafy palms and plentiful poisonwood seems an unlikely setting for a holiday hooligan. I doubt the The Keys have ever seen snow. Even in the last ice age. That's what makes it so attractive to Michigan snowbirds. This is our third winter in The Keys, and our second year renting the same house. Since we knew we were returning, and the owner only rents to a limited number of friends and family, we decided to leave some bulky items -- a kayak and a  bait freezer -- as well as a small box of Christmas decorations. The kayak and freezer were waiting for us, but the Christmas decorations disappeared.
         This wasn't a box of rare German glass ornaments or crystal. Just a plaid tablecloth, a fake flower centerpiece, a lighted table decoration and a small wooden tree  I miss that tree. It was only a foot tall, but I purchased it at a craft fair 25 years ago when my son was just a little kid. It's a puzzle tree, made of carved pieces that fit together in several different tree-shape configurations.It was a conversation piece at many holiday celebrations. And now it's gone.
         Losing the Christmas decorations won't spoil my holiday. I learned the lesson of the Dr. Seuss story. Christmas isn't about stuff; it's about friends, family and faith. If someone out there is so deprived (depraved?) that they need my decorations to be happy, then I donate them gladly. I have my health, my guy and faith in God. And thanks to The Keys, I'll probably be enjoying beautiful weather on Christmas, too.
          So, enjoy my decorations, Mr. Grinch.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Lucky 13

I know Friday the 13th is supposed to be bad luck, but  this one has been pretty fantastic so far. We're enroute to our winter home in the Florida Keys. We left Wednesday morning in a go-back-to-bed blizzard. But Steve was determined to get on the road. Barely a half hour east of Grand Rapids the blizzard waned. We still had a little snow off and on all though Ohio and into Kentucky. When we got up Thursday morning it was a bone chilling 6 degrees. It was only a little better when we awoke this morning in Macon, Ga. A whopping 22. But as the day progressed, the sun came out and the frost disappeared. We visited with a friend in Jacksonville, Fla,where shirt sleeves were adequate. Steve changed into shorts and sandals for a tour trolley in St. Augustine. It feels so good to be warm again.

I am hopeful we've seen the last of frost, at least until April Fools when we return to Michigan!

And hopefully this Friday the 13th will be a lucky inspiration for me to finish the final chapters of Full Moon Friday, my next book in the Jordan Daily News series. It is set on a Friday the 13th that coincides with the full moon. I plan to release the book next June when the full moon will once again coincide with Friday the 13th.