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Friday, March 18, 2016


The photo above was from my condo on March 1, 2016  at 5:15 PM. It was a proper wintry day, and I took a certain amount of satisfaction in it. I mean, what is winter without the wind? Without the snow? Without the dark days?

And this was yesterday

on a street nearby. I took this because of the clouds and the moon. (The moon is a faint white spot which can be located by looking at the pole in the middle of the photo, going straight up about 6/8 of an inch and then left an inch.)
It was warmish; maybe about 48 F at the time. Windy a bit. The windiest day is Wednesday, which is garbage day, and all the garbage can blow about and the trash receptacles get to run around and take off from their owners. Every Wednesday.

A Nor'easter threatens the East Coast, and will - if given half a chance - freeze the baby cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. which, if left unthreatened, would be peaking about next Thursday. This extra-tropical cyclone will not make it to where we live, so we shall go to it and visit Mary Olivia Adenike since we have not seen her in a couple weeks.
She is much alert now. She will probably see us and be excited, saying something like,

"Who are the two old numbers?" 

I took the flannel sheets off the bed for the last time until next winter. I also looked up some information on lawn mowers, the best type to buy, pro and con. I will be looking to buy some cordgrass for bank stabilization at Harsens Island again. Here's the Google Earth shot of the place:

It is the grey roof in the left-center. There is just over 15,000 square feet of lawn, which puts me into the "under 1/2 acre" group for lawn-mower hunting. There is a dock - which runs into the Google earth logo - which is maintenance needy. Our waterfront property on the south (towards the bottom of the photo) ends at the large foliage cluster of the trees my father used to call "river birches".
They were not birches. I think we looked them up and they were some sort of larch or alder. I have forgotten, so I just call them river birches. You cannot appreciate how large they have become in this photo.

Here's a photo of the place awaiting what Winston Churchill would have called "The Gathering Storm". The river birches are not visible.

My father always complained about neighbors who had things that would block his view of the river. If you look north of the dock in the Google earth photo, you will see a smallish dab of green foliage, which is a red maple sprout on the lot of the neighbor on the north. My father used to mutter about this tree at times.
I would ask him about the river birches, which were about 30 times more effective in obstructing lines of sight of anyone downstream, and he would say that he asked everybody down there, and they said they could see just fine.

And two houses or so further north is the spot where an enormous boathouse was to be constructed back in 1988. A lot of the structure had gone up and it completely obliterated the view upriver. So my father wrote to the District Office of the Army Corps of Engineers, who were in charge of such things on the waterways of the USA.
Well, the boathouse did not comply with the Corps and the owner had to take it down.

All that is left of the once lofty and magnificent structure is a measly little dock with two large boat wells....

... oh, and an extremely cute Tiki bar, which I call Swigwam North in homage to the real Swigwam on St. Pete's Beach. If you look closely at the south (the bottom of the photo) boat well, which is unoccupied, you might see some sort of spikey thingies on the dock. Those are palms trees, swaying in the breezes and keeping time to the ukelele music.
I can tell you I always wanted to go there and sit at the bar. We go right by it when we start out canoeing on our way to Big Pee and Little Pee islands... 

As time heals all wounds, so it did mend the fences and obliterate memories from the disputes of 20 plus years ago or more. Before my father passed away, he met the lady who lived at the house to which the Swigwam was a powerful Tiki adjunct, and they had a nice discussion about islandy type things. Things seemed pretty cozy after all.

As he told us this story, I was trying to figure out ways to wangle a Tiki bar invite.

He laughed as he recounted this to us, because all the neighborly and comradely conversation led up to his reminding her that he was the dynamo behind the anti-boathouse campaign of yesteryear...
I think he said that she blanched...
or gaped...
or coughed and excused herself and left.

I have never been to that bloody Tiki bar.

Neighbor Knowles from down Monroe Street

(His name actually is "Neighbor Knowles"!)

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