Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Replying, that illusive Gator and more ideas

Saturday August 18, 2012
Quail Run RV Resort Site 15
Wesley Chapel, FL


Early this morning I put on my pedometer and go for a walk around the park. 


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While I am out trying to rack up the steps, I am thinking how wonderful it is to get comments and postcards.  Some from people I’ve never even met.  I often wish we could have a conversation or that I could at least reply to your comments.  So I’ve been tossing that around in my mind but am not sure what is the best way to do it.




I’ve tried several ways to reply.

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Sometimes I can email the commenter privately.

Sometimes I have posted a reply to the specific comment in my comments section but then I’m not sure if that person will ever see it.

I haven’t made it a habit of replying in the comments section like some bloggers do.  Maybe if I always did that you might return to see.

A third way I also tried a couple of days ago was to reply within the blog itself.  This time to a request for a recipe.

If you have an opinion about this quandary, let me know.
What do you think is the best way for me to reply to questions and comments?



I head toward the pond hoping to see the alligator.


As  Quail Run 021_thumb[1]I think and walk up and down the streets I pass the pond and walk in the grass around its far side.  This is a benefit of walking.  Since my last broken ankle I no longer run off road. 

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The sun is not high enough for the water lilies to be open and I still don’t see the gator Jo Beth and Catherine got a picture of while they were here. 


There is another little canal that runs behind the far street in the “new” section so maybe he’s over there. I continue walking along hoping I’ll see him but no luck.  We have been here for nearly 8 weeks and they were only here for about 2.  But sometimes you see the gator, and sometimes you don’t.  I’m also still using THOSE glasses but I don’t think that’s the problem.


When I get to the end of the canal I do see the simply gorgeous Live Oak on the other side of the water.

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I would love to go over and give it a hug but there’s no way to get there from here without walking through marshier water than I have footwear for.  So I admire from afar.

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On my way, I walk by our old neighbor Dave’s new site near this majestic tree. He doesn’t benefit from its shade but I hope he benefits from its presence.


People really are so entertaining even when they aren’t around.

I see Dave has a new sign on his steps.  I particularly like it in contrast to the pink and blue shed. Maybe that’s why he put it up, to make clear who exactly lives here.  Can you read the sign?  It was much clearer in my Preview.

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We’ve never been in a commercial park for longer than a night or two and one of the things that is fun about them are the “decorations”.  I’ve shown pictures and slide shows of some of them previously.  Lots of lights and statues.  One man even has an obstacle terrain set up for his two remote control tanks.  Today I see the minimalist decorations.






  I’m nearing the end of my walk and want to go by the third small body of water here in the park. 

I doubt the gator will be there since it is pretty small but I head down the streets back toward the older section more treed of the park. 

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Since this little bog is at the foot of our street, I walk right by Winnona tucked up under her own Live Oaks.

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It’s a nice little wetland where I have previously seen the sand hill cranes and a little blue heron.  But this morning no one is here except the cat tails.

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I remember then that Jo Beth said she had heard they were going to take the alligator away.  I determine to ask at office when I go for the mail.

I walk back and get the mailbox keys.  I stop to pick up the mail first before going on to the office and get so excited that I totally forget to ask about the alligator.


There are FIVE postcards today!
My mouth drops open.


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I find a gorgeous postcard of one of my all time top favorite places.  In my heart it’s, right up there next to Ireland and PEI.  Rick and Elaine have sent a card from Cape Breton Island. They’ve just made a trip to PEI and reservations for Florida this winter. Lucky Elaine and Rick.  They are definitely living the life.  Thanks so much Elaine and Rick.  This is absolutely in the direction of my dreams.





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There is one from upriverdavid showing gorgeous Lake Chelan in Washington.  He obviously knows I love water and that I plan to make it to the Pacific Northwest and stay at least an entire season.  So now I’ve got another spot on my itinerary.  Thanks so much!  This is a beautiful place.  Just look at those mountains!




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Debbie sends a postcard listing all FIFTY FOUR of Colorado’s “Fourteeners”.  If you don’t know what this means, these are the peaks AT LEAST 14,000 feet high.  Good grief that is WAY up there.  I did manage to do a Thirteener when I was there many years ago but Debbie is clearly encouraging me to go higher.  According to her card someone climbed all 54 in under 16 days.  That’s the record.  That’s just over two weeks – about 28 peeks a week – nearly 4 peeks a day.  Is that even possible???   I’m amazed for sure.  Thanks Debbie!!  I did notice two of them are drivable.  HA!





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Luci and Loree send a card from their current travels in Bentonsport Iowa along the Mississippi.  Loree really loves the Mississippi.  Me too, I love rivers.  This definitely looks like a sweet little town to visit.  Thanks Loree and Luci too.  Poor Carl at home. He’s missing all the fun!  J





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And Joan sends a card from Utah where she lives.  It has TEN scenic spots to put on my Utah dream page.  I think one of them is Antelope Island, one of the places we visited last year.  Clearly there is much more to see in Utah.  How will I ever manage to spend enough time in this state to see all its beauty?   Joan your note on the card was so touching.  I am happy to know that you’ve been following us since we were in the Tetons last year which would be right after we had left Utah. I hope to hear much more from you.  Thank you for the card!


These cards are just SO inspiring.
Take a look at the mirror today!

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You guys are the BEST
Hoping I’m going to have to start filling in the
middle now!



  1. yeah you got our card :) glad it brought a smile to your face..I'm originally from Cape Breton, grew up here and believe me when I say I'm seeing things this trip while playing tour guides to Ralph and Donna that I never saw while living here!!! Funny how we never see whats in our own back yard..I'm so happy to see that life is returning to somewhat normal for you folks...yeahhhh for you!

  2. Since you've been one of our blog's dedicated readers, you've seen how we reply to comments, all of the ways, direct reply, reply in the blog and even an email once and a while. So they are all good ways for us.

    I do get quite a few comments and lots of questions on my blog email link, which I answer to the commentor directly. Every now and then the email generates a blog idea, too. So there is no right, wrong or better way, they all work for me. :c)

    Maybe it's a good thing that gator wasn't out and about, you might have missed seeing him with "those" glasses and ended up his mid morning snack! ;c)

  3. Oh!! You got my little postcard. So, so happy. Thinking of you both and wish you well!!!

  4. Hmm, regarding comments (or replies to)... I wish Blogger had a feature like Facebook does, where it notifies you when someone comments or replies to a comment. I don't always go back and see if there was a reply to something I commented on :)
    Your postcard mirror is starting to look nice!

    1. I think that would be a good idea, too. At least the blogger gets notification of a comment. Maybe if enough people request it, Blogger will make it happen.

  5. Look for the gator after it rains. They usually come out to get a little sun.

  6. We love that tree too. That's the one we told you about that is by site number 245 (I think). We asked about taking that one for the winter but it's already reserved. I would love to look out my patio every day to see that. It's such a beautiful area and there are lots of Bluebirds too.

  7. Hi, Sherry! Enjoyed your post. The postcards are a cute idea. It was fun reading about them.

    I think two things build a comment section. Replying to commenters, of course, and the email notifications when a comment is made, as mentioned here. Myself? I'd be annoyed with emails about somebody's blog, but a lot of people seem to enjoy it, so I'm glad Wordpress provides that option.

    Gators, live oaks, and plastic flamingos... You sure do bring back FL memories!

  8. Since I rarely go back to a blog to look for answers to a comment myself, I assume others don't either, so I just reply directly to the person if they allow it. If not I will post a response as a blog comment.
    That is one handsome live oak!

  9. I'd love a feature like Facebook too that alerts you. Sometimes I get an email from another reply. Read so many blogs now (UGH) I have a hard time remember who to go back and look at - hope they understand :O) I'm so glad you are getting a FULL mailbox!!!

  10. Looks as if you are going to need a bigger mirror...:)

  11. I agree with Paul. Be careful looking for the gator while you're wearing "those" glasses. :-)

  12. Honestly, I need to take a vacation just to send you a postcard. I'm Charlottesville bound for the summer, but have some long weekends planned for October/November.

    That tree is magnificent and amazing. I would love to know its history. Wow . . .

  13. I reply to comments usually in two ways - within the blog itself or as a reply to the comment directly under it. I, too, would like more of a way to carry on a conversation; however, then that might become more like a forum with its issues and responsibilities. What I do appreciate is the email notification of new comments. :)

  14. I agree with Laurie. It would be so nice to get a notification if someone replied to your comment, without having to subscribe to all comments. Facebook got that part right :)

  15. Great looking mirror and great looking trees :) I hope you get my postcard today - it should have made the trip by now! Maybe it can be the first one in the middle ;)

  16. I went rustling through some bins for as long as I could stand, today, looking for the extra postcards I always bought when I bought my grandchildren each one during my travels with Rich. I put them in a safe place. I don't know if you're old enough to know what THAT means!

    I like the conversation in comments, many times as much as a blog, itself.

  17. Glad you enjoyed your card!! And we did drive both of the fourteeners - Pikes Peak and Mt Evans. I drove up and down Pikes Peak but only up Mt Evans. Just couldn't make myself drive down.....scary,scary,scary!! Unfortunately, we leave tomorrow to head back to the flatlands (Arkansas). I hope Isaac doesn't give you too much trouble!


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