LONGLEAF STORIES

full circle in the hundred acre wood

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What a morning. Not a cloud in the sky Our pink flagging tape around some trees is blowing like a wind sock in the brisk northerly breeze. I am sitting on the screened porch cradling a mug of chocolate syrup and milk-laced coffee, shivering in my tank top and shorts. It’s 65 degrees. In August. In panhandle Florida.

I just got off the phone with a friend of ours who lives right on the water in Naples, Florida. Their home and one of their neighbors were virtually untouched, but most of their neighbors were not so lucky. Hurricane Charley smashed parts of Florida’s southwest coast to bits. It’s all over the news. There’s a lot of suffering in the wake of this storm.

I have a sister in Plant City and a brother in Lakeland, both near misses for Charley’s path. And six of our seven grandchildren and their parents are in Orlando, staying at the Rosen Centre Hotel adjacent to the Orlando Civic Center. Most of them are competing at the civic center today in the International Tang Soo Do Federation martial arts world championship. They say the hotel windows buckled, but everyone there is fine. I am sure this is a trip they will never forget.

The storm used our area’s hot humid air to feed itself, leaving Pensacola with summer-on-the-Maine-coast temperatures for a few days.

Yesterday afternoon, we zipped over to Joe Patti’s Seafood for a whole red snapper to bake for dinner. Counting our many blessings, we ate supper on the porch, from brilliant sunset all the way to dark-thirty. It was a progressive feast.

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