Saturday Night Serenade–Happy!

Welcome to the unofficial start of summer!  It’s a three-day weekend, and I’m only two work days away from retiring.  Starting June 1, I’m a full-time writer.  Hopefully that means that this neglected little blog will get a bit more attention.

We’re taking a big chance, Mr. R and I.  His fledgling real estate career is just beginning to bear fruit.  By retiring early, I’m walking away from a sure paycheck every two weeks.  But life is short, getting shorter every day.  So we’re seizing the day, taking the opportunity to try something new.

For now, that means he’s selling houses in Palm Beach County.  And I’m working from home, writing and promoting steamy romance.  On the other hand, we may consider selling everything and taking to the road.  Recently Mr. R showed me a video of the island of Mauritius.  “Here.  Let’s move here,” he said.

I can write from Mauritius, y’all.  And I imagine someone has to sell houses there.  Or work in television news.  Or whatever he decides he wants to do.  It’s thrilling to know that we don’t have to settle for the status quo.

Confession:  I’m hedging my bets.  I’m packing into the garage everything I’d need to start a first grade classroom again.  Worst case scenario, I end up going back to teaching at some point.

But it’s a beautiful day today, I’m in love with the love of my life, and dammit, you know what?  I’m happy.  Hence tonight’s serenade.

I wish for you all the happiness in the world.  Hug those you love and enjoy your weekend.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–So Glad to Be Home

Seven days.  Seven states.  Maryland, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Georgia, and Florida.  It’s great to be home!

I left Mr. R. at home with temptation (don’t think I didn’t see the wedge of cheesecake he had) and Jack, our 85-pound land shark, while I visited the parentals, and my son and daughter-in-law.  And don’t get me wrong, I had a great time.  But I was incredibly happy to get home last night.

Home, as it turns out, is not just a place.  While I love my folks and my boy, Mr. R. is my home.  And he has been, for over a decade now.  I missed him.  Who else ‘gets’ me?  Whose touch do I crave, whose laugh do I covet?

I couldn’t decided between these two songs, so I chose both of them.  Because when I returned, I found my sunshine.  And I’m so glad to be home.  I hope you’re ‘home’, wherever you are.

Happy Saturday night!

 

Only In South Florida–Your Moment Of Holy $#!t

This unbelievable video was shot this week by a local paddleboarder.  The location is uncomfortably close to where we go to the beach.  It’s the beach where my boy and his lovely bride were married last May.

I mean, you always know sharks out there, right?  But seeing this is a huge reminder.  They’re OUT THERE.  Which is why I prefer to enjoy the ocean from the sand.  Yep.  The sand is just fine for me.

October Story–This Is New

I know I’ve said that I’m not really into ghostie things.  But…

You knew there was a but coming, didn’t you?  Since some personal experiences I had a few years ago, I’m interested in the paranormal.  More on that in another post.

I will admit to being dork enough that the only phone app I’ve ever paid for is the TAPS App.  This application turns your phone into an investigative device, with an EMF detector for measuring the ambient electromagnetic field, a Geophone which can detect very slight vibrations, and a digital voice recorder.  Investigators on the Ghosthunters show on SciFi use this app.

I bought it when Mr. R. and I were on our way to Ybor City, an old historic neighborhood of Tampa where we were staying in a reportedly haunted hotel.  Sadly, I didn’t capture any evidence and truthfully I don’t really get how to use the Geophone function, but I did learn that my suitcase runs an EMF of about 0.4 while the rest of the room was about 0.2.  I can hear you laughing.

The next time I used the app was when I was visiting my folks in Pennsylvania and we took a day trip to Philadelphia to tour Eastern State Penitentiary.  The prison, which opened in 1829 and was in operation as a correctional facility until 1971, is said to be haunted by the ghosts of former prisoners and employees.  While night-time ghost tours are offered, we simply took the regular daytime self-guided audio historic tour.  But that didn’t stop me from whipping out my handy-dandy app and taking EMF readings.  The power is off throughout most of the crumbling facility so there really weren’t any electrical fluctuations.  I also used the digital voice recorder to try to capture EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) but there were none of those, either.

I really have only one odd thing to report.  At one point, my son and I were off by ourselves and I turned on the voice recorder once more and began asking a few questions.  At exactly the one minute mark, the recorder turned off by itself, the only time I’ve ever had that happen.  At the same time, the wall in front of us began to crumble onto the floor.  Now the entire prison is crumbling.  But until then, that particular place hadn’t been.  We watched the fresh plaster dust sprinkle down all over the floor.

Proof of haunting?  No, of course not.  But if any place on the planet is haunted, doesn’t it look like this place should be?  Photos are from my Samsung.

October Story Three

The original title of this post was I Just Wanted To See Hemingway’s Chair.  This story is from over a year ago in July of last summer while, on a little jaunt down to the Keys, we stopped in at a sporting goods store.  Ghostie business was the absolute last thing on my mind.  I wanted a photo to go along with a Hemingway quote.  That’s all I was looking for.  The four photos were snapped in rapid succession in a dimly-lit boat cabin.  The light you see is from my flash.  See what you think.

I took the folks down to Key Largo for a couple of days this past summer.  Before heading home, we drove south just to sight see a little.  You can’t get that close and not cross the Seven Mile Bridge, right?  Mr. R. missed the trip because of work, but he recommended that we stop and check out an outdoor store on Islamorada called World Wide Sportsman (which is actually operated by Bass Pro Shops, but that’s neither here nor there).

wpid-20140713_102026.jpgAside from being a cool place to look around, as are most Bass Pro Shops, this particular store had something that interested me.  According to Mr. R. the store had a fishing boat that is the twin of the one used in the Keys by Ernest Hemingway.  Okay, it’s not his boat, but it’s one just like it.

And so it is that we stopped in at World Wide Sportsman.  We found the large shop fairly uncrowded and sure enough, the Pilar was sitting smack-dab in the center of the place.  Again, the Pilar is not Hemingway’s boat.  It just happened to be built at the same Brooklyn shipyard and is a twin of the more famous one that is supposed to be in Cuba these days.  But I was curious all the same.

Some years ago, I read an interesting novel by Michael Palin (yes, that Michael Palin, the one from Monty Python) called Hemingway’s Chair.  In the story, a mousy postal worker with a fascination for all things Hemingway learns that Papa’s fishing chair is about to be sold at auction and he schemes for ways to make the chair his own.

And so, having left the others browsing for souvenirs and trinkets, it was with curious interest that I climbed aboard the Pilar with hopes of snapping a photo of Hemingway’s chair.  And there it was.  Right on the stern of the boat.  But it was unlike any fishing chair I’d ever seen.  It was made of highly polished wood and sat low with a beam that jutted forward from the seat parallel to the deck with a footrest at the end, so that if you were sitting in the chair, your legs would stick straight out in front of you.  As I puzzled over the unexpected style and how best to capture it with my trusty phone, a couple boarded the boat and the wife plunked herself down into the chair and began mugging for her husband’s camera.  Seriously?!

Annoyed, I took myself below deck, if only to escape the rampant dumb-assitude.  There, in the dimly lit cabin, I found something I liked even better than the fishing chair.  There was a vintage desk complete with typewriter and chair.  I know.  It’s not Hemingway’s typewriter.  But it was cool.  Plus, I thought it was the perfect illustration for one of my favorite Hemingway quotes: Write drunk.  Edit sober. 

So I snapped four pictures in fairly rapid succession.  I hurried, figuring Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum  would undoubtedly be down any second.  I had to use a flash in the murkiness of the room and I couldn’t actually see what I was getting, but I hoped that at least one photo would be good enough to post with the quote.

It was not until later when I wanted to choose the best shot that I saw something interesting.  I’ve arranged the photos in the exact order in which I took them.  In the first and second frames nothing seems out of the ordinary.  In the third you begin to see a hazy little anomaly to the left of the typewriter.  The anomaly is clearer in the fourth photo.

What is it?  I don’t know. Like I said before, I’m not really a huge believer in the whole ghostie thing.  But I’ve lived long enough to know that there are some things you simply can’t explain.

Saturday Night Serenade–Love Shack

It’s been a long, hot summer and I’ve enjoyed it tremendously.  Hope you have, too.  We only have one more summer Saturday night after tonight.  I know, technically summer doesn’t end until mid-September, but August feels like the tail-end.  In celebration of the almost-end of summer, I want to take a road trip to the Love Shack.  So hurry up!  And bring your jukebox money!  Happy Saturday night!

Love Shack by The B-52s

If you see a faded sign at the side of the road that says
“15 miles to the
Love Shack”
Love Shack, yeah, yeah
I’m headin’ down the Atlanta highway
Lookin’ for the love getaway
Headed for the love getaway
I got me a car, it’s as big as a whale
And we’re headin’ on down to the Love Shack
I got me a Chrysler, it seats about 20
So hurry up and bring your jukebox money

The love shack is a little old place where we can get together
Love Shack, baby (a-Love Shack, baby)
Love Shack, baby, Love Shack
Love Shack, baby, Love Shack
Love Shack, baby, Love Shack (Love, baby, that’s where it’s at)
Love Shack, baby, Love Shack (Love, baby, that’s where it’s at)

Sign says (woo) “Stay away, fools”
‘Cause love rules at the Love Shack
Well, it’s set way back in the middle of a field
Just a funky old shack and I gotta get back
Glitter on the mattress
Glitter on the highway
Glitter on the front porch
Glitter on the highway

The Love Shack is a little old place where we can get together
Love Shack, baby (Love Shack, baby)
Love Shack, that’s where it’s at
Love Shack, that’s where it’s at

Huggin’ and a-kissin’
Dancin’ and a-lovin’
Wearin’ next to nothin’
‘Cause it’s hot as an oven
The whole shack shimmies
Yeah, the whole shack shimmies
The whole shack shimmies when everybody’s
Movin’ around and around and around and around
Everybody’s movin’, everybody’s groovin’, baby
Folks linin’ up outside just to get down
Everybody’s movin’, everybody’s groovin’, baby
Funky little shack
Funky little shack

Hop in my Chrysler, it’s as big as a whale and it’s about to set sail
I got me a car, like, it seats about 20
So come on and bring your jukebox money

The Love Shack is a little old place where we can get together
Love Shack, baby (a-Love Shack, baby)
Love Shack, baby, Love Shack
Love Shack, baby, Love Shack
Love Shack, baby, Love Shack (Love, baby, that’s where it’s at, yeah)
Love Shack, baby, Love Shack (Love, baby, that’s where it’s at)

Bang, bang, bang, on the door, baby
Knock a little louder, baby
Bang, bang, bang, on the door, baby
I can’t hear you
Bang, bang, bang, on the door, baby
Knock a little louder, sugar
Bang, bang, bang, on the door, baby
I can’t hear you
Bang, bang, bang, on the door, baby (Knock a little louder)
Bang, bang, bang, on the door, baby
Bang, bang (On the door, baby)
Bang, bang (On the door)
Bang, bang (On the door, baby)
Bang, bang
Your what?
Tin roof, rusted

Love Shack, baby, Love Shack
Love Shack, baby, Love Shack (Love, baby, that’s where it’s at, yeah)
Love Shack, baby, Love Shack (Love, baby, that’s where it’s at)
Love, baby, Love Shack
Huggin’ and a-kissin’,
Dancin’ and a-lovin’
At the Love Shack