Archive for February, 2011

February 27, 2011

A Weekend in Naples

Last week over the holiday weekend, I traveled down to Naples to visit Ferd. Six weeks out of shoulder replacement surgery, Ferd was still not allowed to drive and there were still things of my mother’s to be cleaned out of their condo down there. It was a great reason to leave the grey skies and piles of dirty snow behind.

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The added bonus to the trip was that Alex was graduating from Intel in Pensacola. I couldn’t bear the thought that he would start leave and go home to Rye Brook and I would be in Florida so he flew down to join us for the weekend. It was a perfect opportunity for him to see his grandfather since they missed each other with their respective Christmas holiday visits.

It was great to see Ferd and he is an adverturous host. Thursday night Ferd and I took a sunset cruise around Naples. The boat leaves from Windstar, the community he lives in, and putters through the inland waterways giving its occupants a sightseeing tour of the wealthy homes and then a quick trip to the Gulf to see the sunset. It is completely relaxing and after we had dinner at the club. It was an effortless entry.

The weather was absolutely fantastic. The skies were blue with fluffy clouds, the air was warm and moist and it was a complete relief from February in New York. We jumped into action Friday morning heading off to physcial therapy, cleaning out Bobbie’s closet and office, taking things to the Salvation Army and going grocery shopping. Ferd was frustrated at having been unable to drive and he had lots to accomplish.  Alex arrived late that day and we had already gotten a lot of things accomplished.

Saturday Ferd had booked a fishing trip for the three of us. We left out of Goodland which is a small fishing town south of Naples and motored around the 10,000 Islands. We didn’t catch many fish, which frustrated Captain J, but I don’t think any of us cared. We were just enjoying the outing.

A lot of serious eating was also accomplished. We managed to visit my favorite taco place, Tacqueria San Julian, twice. I shouldn’t tell anyone about it because I don’t want it to ever change, but there is nothing in this world like one of their tacos al pastor with the smokey sauce. You are almost assured to be the only gringos in the place. We had fish and chips at Grouper and Chips–not a low caloric experience, but a must when visiting Naples. We also headed out to Isle of Capri and dined at Capri Fish House. The food isn’t fantastic, but you sit under a chickee hut with a view of the water and it is delightful.

The rest of our visit was divided between lounging and reading, errands, a few more doctors visits and some more gorgeous weather to enjoy. It was delightful seeing Ferd and spending time with him, a complete treat to have more of Alex to myself and a lovely opportunity to de-“Frost” in the warm Florida sun.

February 13, 2011

Bumbles for my birthday

Last Monday was my birthday. We don’t need to go into which one. We didn’t actually get around to celebrating it until Wednesday. There was just too much going on with basketball (Ellie), Taekwondo (Peter), evening classes (Jim) and general mayhem.

Among the many wonderful wishes and gifts I received, one stands out. Or perhaps it would best be said, two stand out. My husband found the most amazing gift and perfectly matched it to recipient. I can’t imagine too many people on earth would be thrilled with this gift, but that is the beauty of the whole thing: a perfect match.

We named him Bumble. Hence, they are “my bumbles.” And there they are…


February 2, 2011

Emerson and Passion

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Years ago I got Jim hooked on The Teaching Company. These are lectures on audio and video by well-liked professors. I thought this was such a fantastic business that I tried to buy it twice.

Instead I turned my husband into an enthusiast. He has shelves of these lectures. We are now listening to one on American literature. I was really pleased to listen to the lectures on Emerson and Transcendentalism. Somehow I missed this whole period and I felt so ignorant.

Emerson is fascinating with his focus on self-reliance and the definition of the self. There was so much of him that presaged later American writers and I even hear it so clearly in American composers like Copland.

I particularly like this quote and the emphasis on passion in life.

Of course, not everyone loves riding in the car listening to Jim’s lectures. Peter dives for the noise cancelling headphones with his own alacrity and passion.


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