Morning all and a Happy Thirtieth Jason!

The last two weeks have had some travel. All the while the spring weather here has been astounding, resulting in a bumper crop of every flowering tree being in massive bloom. Even our little Azalea bushes are overflowing. Now I am back. Yesterday morning it started going downhill. At 6:30 AM I am in the kitchen pouring a cup of coffee when a lightning bolt hit the power pole in the back yard and I saw sparks flying. That was followed by hail which in a minute had our deck white. This morning we’re expecting the rain to continue mixed with slushy snow. Yes, welcome back.

By the way, power was restored three hours later.

Last week it was a great week which included wonderful family time at the tail end. Business brought me to Naples. With George and Sandy’s help we orchestrated a bit of a family weekend at their great new home. Marcia flew in, our Ocoee gang drove down and Niece and soon to be Nephew-in-law also made it. Why is it that these times often come right along with issues? In our case, within hours of arrival, Marcia came down with either a food or flu thingy: down to the point of having to tip the hotel maid extra after registering her expression as she opened our bathroom door.

I had promised Marcia a wake up call at 4:00 AM so that she would be sure to make her flight into Naples. A front-desk wake up call, my cell alarm, and room clock radio alarm all went off within minutes of each other. So far so good. Question: why do I wrap myself with these totally unnecessary “mantles-of-responsibility”? 4:00 on the button the home phone rang with my cheery voice at the one end. Since I knew I had a 7:30 breakfast meeting on my calendar my sleep was now effectively history. Too early to get up and too late for more sleep I did what every normal traveler is known to do—turn on the TV. In this case I hit the jackpot. I watched a, just released, PBS documentary titled Prisoner of Paradise. The story was gripping enough to where, last night, I bid on and won a DVD copy of it on eBay. Just let me know if you want to borrow it.

What cannot be forgotten was the crazed and zany hour spent broadcasting on George’s regular radio show. Thanks for all the hospitality in Naples G & S.

While attending a show at Chicago’s McCormick center earlier this week I purposely booked a hotel closer to the airport and took the EL train each day. I found it a great way to participate in a little slice of Americana. Of four trips I got into conversations with people on three of them. The second morning I was talking with a guy who had retired from the paper industry when, mid-sentence, I lost my train (bad pun) of thought entirely; all due to a completely bizarre woman who walked in front of us to wait for the train to stop. The resultant seriously pregnant pause was noticeable enough for her to make a comment about it. Whoops!

Have a great week.

PS. Dia, glad to hear that only two days since surgery you’re well enough to critique this post—go at it!

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