Thanksgiving has come and gone and I hope you all enjoyed your time with family and friends. After finding out that I had to postpone my trip to Atlanta, my daughter stepped up to the plate and prepared a lovely Thanksgiving dinner for us.
Sister's daughter showed up the day before with her 5-year-old son. She is stationed at Fort Jackson in South Carolina and at the last minute was granted leave until December 12th. My nephew who is stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia arrived late Thursday with his wife; they will be leaving later today. I was very happy for Sister, this is the first time in a number of years that she has had both of her children home at the same time. My nephew and his wife have their firstborn due on December 9th, so everyone is happily anticipating the new addition to our family. Shortly thereafter, my nephew will be leaving for a tour in Iraq. We are all thankful that the Army extended his departure until after the birth of his son.
The weather here has been gorgeous and on the Sunday before the big day I had plans with a friend to attend Sanding Ovations, a sandsculpting competition in Treasure Island, just a few miles from home. The event was spread over four days, but I chose to attend the closing activities so I could see the winner announced and enjoy music provided by local bands. This proved to be a mistake! Sunday afternoon brought wind, clouds and eventually rain. We had planned on taking the beach trolley to avoid the parking nightmare that usually goes with beach festivities and standing in the rain didn't really seem it would be all that much fun, let alone looking at a bunch of waterlogged sculptures. My buddy David over at Blog the Beach ended up at Treasure Island a few days after the event and took these photos:
Visit his blog to view more photos and see what happened to the big winner!
I woke on Thanksgiving morning and prepared cornbread dressing, giblet gravy and garlic carrots to add to the feast. The weather was again beautiful and I accomplished this task dressed in my typical shorts and tank top. I should probably tell you at this point that I seldom watch local news and no one told me a cold front was approaching. I dressed in this cute little salmon-colored outfit of lightweight pants, sleeveless top and my favorite sandals. I loaded up the car with my goodies and during the thirty minute drive, which includes going over the bridge to the mainland, the cold weather arrived. Now I don't know what the temperature was exactly and I'm sure many of you will laugh when I tell you I was freezing, but the fact is I was dressed for 80 degree weather and it was somewhere in the 60s with a rather brisk wind. My darling granddaughter lent me the leopard print fuzzy socks I gave her last Christmas and a hoodie. Needless to say, I looked more like a bag lady than a refined Southern belle. The wind had destroyed my hair and there was no salvaging it at this point.
Now your probably asking why we just didn't turn on the heater, but while I was freezing in the living room, my daughter was working up a sweat in the kitchen with the oven on. We just don't know how to "do" cold here on the beaches in central Florida, it catches us off guard and by the time we figure it out, our typical winter weather has returned. We've been waking up to mid-40 degree weather, but today we are expecting the thermometer to hit 79 degrees and I'm just fine with that.
This week I plan on visiting everyone's blogs and catching up with all your holiday plans. I can't tell you how much I missed all of you and have decided that despite all that is going on, I need to escape to blogland and a sense of normalcy. Sometimes you just have to realize that things will work out in the end and you just can't dwell on the negative. There are others who are far worse off than me and I am thankful for what I do have and thankful for all my blogging friends.
I will tell you this much though — I love Christmas and the joy of the season. Gift-giving has never been high on my list of priorities. Time spent with family and friends is what brings me happiness. I will be making all of my gifts this year, which is not all that unusual. I have a studio full of paint, ribbons, glue and other goodies. If you run across, or know of anything special I can craft, let me know.
In today's Saint Petersburg Times I read the following by columnist Ernest Hooper and thought I would pass it on to all of you. You just may know someone who would benefit from this type of thoughtful gift in these tough economic times.
"I met a woman Friday who likes to gift her grown children with household necessities for Christmas. Multiple rolls of toilet paper and giant boxes of laundry detergent may seem too practical, but she said her kids like going six months without having to add to the grocery bill. If you ask me, she spent her time on Black Friday better than some others."
What I love about the holidays is there is always something going on in celebration, so I have some wonderful plans for the next few weeks, including the Christmas Boat Parade in Tampa and a trip to the International Plaza to walk through the giant snow globe. All I want for Christmas is time with family and friends and there is nothing better than that!
I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!