December 9 –21 2020 Most Recent Posts:
Gamble Rogers State Recreation Area Holidays Begin 2020
Flagler Beach, Florida Rough Times in More Ways than One
Back in Flagler Beach from St. Augustine for another two weeks, I was wondering why I’d bothered to come south with the temperatures you see here. The top number is the temperature outside and the bottom the temperature inside. Seriously, it was no colder in Virginia than this. The temperatures below the 38 are the high and low for the day.
THIRTY ONE???? If this is December, I’m glad I won’t be here in January and February.
But I can sit inside and look out my front picture window if I like, as soon as I get the temperature inside up from 44. Not as great a view as some other sites I’ve had here but definitely not shabby and I’m grateful to be here.
I dress in my appropriate sweat shirt for cold weather and the season.
One thing I like very much about this site is that unlike my previous site here, it is buffeted from the winds by vegetation.
I’ve mentioned before that because sunrise is right out my front window and sunset on the other side of the park, I attend both daily. It is wonderful to be able to see both so easily each day. Although you have to dress for mosquitoes at sunset since it seems to be their very favorite time of day and there is no ocean breeze to discourage them.
You can tell by looking at this picture at dawn that it isn’t as warm in Florida as every one thinks. Or at least this looks as cold as it was to me.
The sunrise that followed was hazy as well.
Not too cold at sunset though or the mosquitoes wouldn’t be a problem. The sunset on Thursday was lovely and the after color amazingly different but they were about 20 minutes apart.
I spent a couple of days holiday shopping both on line and in person for Carrie, Matthew and the kids.
Another day gift wrapping. Nearly one entire day trying to find a box for the gifts without paying $20 to UPS just for the box.
Finally after trying walmart, target, dollar tree and dollar general, Home Depot to the rescue for $4. UPS also decided they wanted $75 to ship 14.4 pounds from Florida to Maryland.
Too much says I, so I give the USPS $55 to ship it. Still seems high and especially given that I mailed it at 8:45am December 12th (even though it didn’t get checked in until 3pm, and as of 1pm December 24th it still had not arrived in Maryland . As you can see above, notifications informed me that it took 6 days to go 60 miles from Flagler Beach to Jacksonville where it appears to remain. Daily they tell me it is “still on the way” but “arriving later than expected”. My receipt says “expected December 17”. Clearly in spite of having 2 weeks, it isn’t going to arrive by Christmas. I’m very disappointed. Guess I’ll have to rethink UPS.
Thought, on the other hand, I do feel sorry for the USPS given how badly they have been treated by the current administration who must be in bed with Fed Ex and UPS to have cut the USPS budget and its work force so seriously.
Clearly they want them to fail and with so many Christmas presents not delivered on time this year, they may well have caused people to be unwilling to use the USPS and thus they will fail. I wonder if this is another one of the things Biden can or will fix?
To lighten up my rants both for and against the USPS, I’ve added some pictures of the outdoor decorations of my neighbors. I have awning lights that David used to put up but the winds are too iffy here for me to want to put them up and probably just have to turn around and take them down.
But I do decorate inside even though it’s just me. Last year I did not since I flew to Maryland to be with Carrie and her family. So this is the first time I have had these decorations up since David’s death. It’s bitter sweet.
I’m not completely alone. Pooh is here.
The little green tree in the middle this year is a gift from my friend Pam who might have thought I wouldn’t have a tree. She sent it to me along with my birthday present which of course arrived nearly a week late. But it just extended my birthday so that was fine.
The present was amazing - two pair of HAND KNITTED socks. Socks are HARD to knit. Not like a scarf. I’m overwhelmed with the amount of time and effort she so lovingly put into such a difficult gift. Thank you Pam! I will think of you and feel warm and loved every time I wear them.
The golden wreath on mu door marks the Winter Solstice and the return of the SUN! I hope this return of sunny times is true for us all and for our country.
At first I didn’t hang the stockings as we always did but a few days later I decided to. You’ll notice the Santa hat on the chair arm says “naughty”. On the other side it says “Nice”. David always liked to wear it with the Naughty side out though after his teenage years (they say) he was never naughty.
It’s hard to know how much I have to let go of as the years pass since his death. This is my second holiday without him and no easier than last. Perhaps harder actually since I cannot be with Carrie either. My first holiday alone in my entire life.
The weather seemed to reflect and probably contribute to my feelings. There were many cloudy sunrises here and some when the sun was barely or not visible at all as it came over the horizon. But each one was unique and a blessing as “morning is broken.”
While we were having gray skies, the northeast was getting a snow storm. My friends in Virginia were disappointed that only rain got to them but Matthew and the 3 C’s got enough snow to go sledding for a few days. She sent videos and it was great fun watching the kids and her go racing down the hill.
Probably in honor of that northern snow. Someone constructed this sand man/woman on the beach. Definitely brought a smile to my face.
I’ll close with a reminder of brighter days and times. This was our Winter Solstice in 2014 when Carrie came to visit us. By the time you read this, Christmas 2020 will be past but whatever version of these winter holidays you celebrated I hope they were merry and bright!
Merry Christmas! Kind of a sad Christmas for you. At least you had some beautiful views. Sending love.ReplyDelete
Thank you Lynne. I know you must have had a wonderful holiday with all your family so close by. Thanks for commenting.Delete
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! We also had our first Christmas without the kiddos...very strange. However, we're glad that we have remained healthy!! The postage/shipping thing hit everyone. So many people who are not shopping in stores and the shipping infrastructure just can't handle it. But the kids will be glad to get more presents after the holidays!!!! Just continue to do what you need to do to stay healthy. 2021 will brings us better times!!!ReplyDelete
Yes healthy is the thing. Did you send gifts that arrived on time? Happy Days to you and Bill.Delete
God sent us this cold spell to remind us why we never spend winters north anymore. Might have to wait for another cold spell over New Year's though.ReplyDelete
Oh dear, more over new years? SIGH. It's sure not much warmer where I am than in Maryland and Virginia. Where are you Barbara? Thanks for your comment.Delete
Your place looks wonderfully festive. Though I don't get all the extra work of outdoor decorations. You survived a milestone, and will get to see the family again. I love to watch sunrise and sunset just outside the door, so different there than here.ReplyDelete
Thank you Gaelyn. I thought decorating might cheer me up but I didn't want to work tooooo hard at it as in outside lights.Delete
This Christmas was sad for us too. First one since Mom passed. No kids due to Covid. Just us. Good thing for technology.ReplyDelete
Sorry you two were alone for the holidays too but at least you had each other. Not sure what I'd do without email and the phone though I wish I had stronger and enough internet to stream some holiday movies. Haven't figured out how to get that sort of service on the road without triple digit monthly charges on the road.Delete
Merry Christmas! Let's hope that the new year brings some happy which has been sorely lacking this year. Having good friends like you makes everything tolerable. Love you- xxxoooReplyDelete
Well put, happy has been sorely lacking. Thankfully I have your friendship to keep me going. Love you too.Delete
Oh, Sherry, I know it was a difficult holiday. I am so glad that you decorated anyway. I did the same just for me. Your sunrises and sunsets are beautiful. I am so thankful you are in such a lovely place and hope the weather improves. Take care and thank you for sharing.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your comments Pam. I always look forward to them and to hearing from you. Hope you were able to see some of your family.Delete
Merry Christmas Sherry! Hoping 2021 will bring us many good things, especially on Jan 20th :)ReplyDelete
Merry Christmas to you too Gail. Thank you for your comment. I can't wait for January 20 and just hope we can get there without even more political difficulties and pardons of villains.Delete
I'm sure many of us spent Christmas alone, I did. Left gifts and the food I was going to cook out side for my daughter to pick up and she left gifts for me. My grandson set up a face to face on FB so I could see his kids open the gifts from. It dawned on me when I saw the mess everywhere Gee that could have been my house LOLReplyDelete
Happy New Year Sherry!
Thank you for your comment Jo. It is true that not being part of a big gathering makes for a quiet and tidy holiday. Good thing for zoom and facetime at least. Happy New Year to you!Delete
Everything looks great, you are doing so well. Last year this time we were in Florida, sweating. It will warm up.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for the compliments and this comment Dave. I hope you are right about warming up here. That is why I came but this type of cold usually waits until February.Delete
The cold was every where in the south, we had those kind of temps while in Carrolton selling trees. We've forgone decorating these past 2 years since we are not settled at the holidays, miss it. Your decorations look great, glad you decided to put some up. Our holidays were quiet and reflective, missing so many family and friends, especially this year. Hoping the sun shines for you and the warmth of it fills your soul.ReplyDelete
Can't imagine being outside all day with highs in the 40's and wind. You guys are tough. I feel like my life is too quiet and reflective. I didn't really need covid at the holidays to make it more so. Like you I really missed the kids and my friends. Thank you so much for your lovely wishes. I send them right back to you.ReplyDelete
We, too, have had USPS issues this month. One package finally arrived about 4 weeks late, so hang in there.ReplyDelete
Cute photo of you, Carrie and David.
Our Christmas was very quiet but at least it was sunny and 65, perfect for a long walk.
Let's hope 2021 is a better year!
Really good to hear from you guys. Thanks for the comment and the encouragement on the package. Serious YES to your hope for 2021Delete
I have had major issues with the Post Office, too. I wonder where those missing Christmas gifts and other important documents I sent thru them finally ended up. Nothing like having to buy gifts twice for the grands.ReplyDelete
Never had issues with Amazon. Maybe we can farm out all mail thru them?
With those temps you're enduring, maybe it's time to head NORTH for the winter? :cD
Hang on, summer is coming, we're over the short days now. 2021 has got to be better than what we've survived this year.
Hey Paul. Thanks for the comment. You are so right that 2021 has to be better than 2020 although that's what I said about 2019 too. I've had to horrid years in a row. Pretty sure the undermining of the post office is intended to give all the business to private companies ie UPS and FedX. Don't replace those gifts just yet. But seriously sad they weren't there on the big day. Maybe you can be there and deliver them in person next year. Hope hope!Delete
I love the holiday photo of you and David and Carrie. Brings back good memories of all of the wonderful holidays you've shared in the years you've been writing your blog. I have good memories of the fun boat ride we took out to Lignumvitae Key, with you and David in your Santa caps. :-))ReplyDelete
I know this has been a very difficult two years for you. Losing David, and then this stupid pandemic. I'm so sorry you're alone this year, but I'm glad that you decorated with your pretty lights. Here's to a much brighter 2021. Love, Laurel & Eric
Yes, the photo's good memories are why I put it in. Me too on our time in the Keys. Being with you guys was the best part of it. And learning I'm not a Keys type. Love to you guys too.Delete
Even with delays I try to use USPS, hoping they will survive the ridiculous funding cuts at such a critical time. Keeping the mail moving is a basic need of a civilized community - I'm hopeful it's on the "list" of things to be fixed. Sad there are so very many.ReplyDelete
Pooh looks like good company although maybe too quiet :-) Getting to see the sledding and knowing the family is safe and well had to be a highlight for you. You're is such a beautiful area although some warm sunshine would sure be nice!!! We've had plenty of sun, but we're scary dry this year. Good leadership and vaccines mean 2021 is something we can all look forward to.
I too hope the USPS survives and is given what they need to do so. So many things on Biden's fix it list. Thanks for your hopeful comment. I'm with you on it all including hope for some rain for you.Delete
We've been having trouble with postage here too. Normally it runs quite smoothly, but I think so many people were shopping online and posting parcels to loved ones that both the Post Office and private companies struggled. I run an online antiques business and the run up to Christmas was dominated by customers messaging to ask where their purchases were. Your decorations looked very festive and the socks look very cosy and warm. With best wishes and every hope for a better year in 2021 from the UK.ReplyDelete
I just love your comments from the UK. I'm amazed and honored that you read the blog. Just got word that after 18 days the package is within 20 miles of her house. I guess that's something. Hoping for a better year in 2021 for sure!Delete
Christmas on your own, 1st time ever... made me cry.... so wish i could give you a HUG!!!ReplyDelete
My only Xmas alone was boot camp in Maryland 1965.. horrid- there was a whole company, 45 girls, that cried for hours upon hours vowed to never do that again... but still it happens...
AND coldness... went to florida, the panhandle in 2010 and near froze!!! thought that xmas in florida i would be warm.. so very, very wrong.. maybe not far enough south?? disappointing.
Wish you happiness and have a Blessed New Year.
Loree thanks so much for your hug offer. Wish I could take you up on it. Florida is definitely not as warm as folks think it is unless you are really far south. Hope your New Year is full of blessings. Thanks for being such a faithful commenter.Delete
Beautiful view and lovely painted skies. We miss you and the presents that still have not arrived. A definite failing on UPS's part. The only one who didn't seem to struggle was Amazon. Maybe this is partially their doing somehow. Really hoping this time next year is a better time and we can be together! I love that 2014 picture - so much has changed since then. My goodness. Much love to you ❤️ReplyDelete
It's not UPS, it's the USPS that is having so much trouble but I'm not surprised since the powers that be want to put it out of business in favor of private business and BIG business like Amazon which gets first priority. Much love to you all too sweetheart. Wish we could have been together. I would have liked a day or so of your snow. Otherwise, you should come visit me!Delete
I just can't imagine what a pain it is to have your presents lost in the mail for so long. It was a combination of fun reading and teary eyed memories as I read your blog, especially that last photo. We never do know what will show up in our lives, do we. One foot after the other, and you keep pushing forward with such bravery. Good for you, Sherry. Christmas last year was the last day I spoke to my son on the phone before he passed in January. I had no clue either. Life can be so dang random. Milk every possibly good moment!!ReplyDelete
Not feeling very brave Sue but thank you for cheering me on. You are a good friend and know just how I feel having been through all this so very recently. I appreciate your comments always.ReplyDelete
Wishing you a Happy New Year Sherry. It is 7 degrees and clear sky here tonight.ReplyDelete