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

Henry David Thoreau

A Mix of Serious and Fun

Monday December 22 & Tuesday December 23, 2014
Oscar Scherer State Park
Osprey, Florida



On Monday we make another trip to Tampa, this time to the Moffitt Cancer Center for 3 appointments David has.  We wait for him during the first one. . Carrie and I skip appointment #2 and go to nearby Lettuce Lake Park for a little hike and a picnic lunch. 

There is lots of wildlife to be seen along the more than a mile boardwalk at the park.

Lettuce Lake is an appropriate name since if you don’t look closely you might well miss the residents lurking in the cypress swamp waters.




Alligators really are amazing. 







Do you see this one beyond the turtle?









The park has a viewing tower.  From there we can see up and down the Hillsboro River.  We’ve kayaked on this river beginning in the state park named for it.





At one end of the boardwalk near the boat launch we find a nice shelter with picnic tables for our lunch.




Carrots anyone?



After our lunch we walk back along the boardwalk to the other end.  The cypress trees here just by the boat launch are in their winter garb.



On our way we spy a little blue heron fishing and further on, a white ibis.











The cypress trees turn orange in the fall.  They really help those of us who love the changing of seasons not to miss the color.




We’re walking along the boardwalk in the warm Florida temperatures enjoying the flowers that are probably some sort of invasive given their large numbers.





All of a sudden another little blue heron just sails in and lands on the railing.   We take dozens of pictures of him.  He seems happy to pose.  I love the green legs.







After we pass the little blue and come to a junction I look down and there is a black crowned night heron.  Carrie is really surprised and happy to see him.  We had seen a sign post on our way in with the various water birds common to the park but she was pretty sure we wouldn’t see the night heron.   Yet here he is.   Anyone walking too fast and not keeping a sharp eye out will miss him.






Our last sighting for the afternoon is this anhinga drying his wings.  The coloration and designs on his back never cease to give me joy at their beauty.   I couldn’t decide between these two nearly identical pictures so I just put them both.  Hope you don’t mind.






And now it’s time to drive the very short distance back to Moffitt to meet David for his appointment with Dr. Ken Shain his myeloma specialist.  This meeting is to discuss changing his treatment again. The most recent change to infusions isn’t working and they decide to go back to an oral regimen with a 3 drug cocktail.   Hopefully this can be arranged to begin next week between Christmas and New Years.  Myeloma is a cancer that requires individualized treatment plans.  We’re hoping this one will last at least as long as the first oral one they tried and much longer than the infusions which he’s done for 3 months.   Only time will tell.  For now, we’re enjoying the life we want to live for as long as we can.





Up in the morning to get to Jim’s Small Batch Bakery just after it opens and pick up chocolate croissants, pecan rolls and other goodies for our holiday treats.





Then over to Millie’s for the best breakfast anywhere around here.  Her holiday decorations are fantastic!  If you are in or near Sarasota, don’t miss her.












Millie only does breakfast and lunch.  Breakfast is our favorite meal to eat in or out.  These patrons look mighty happy with those plates.




Here’s what happened to mine.







Well fortified, our next stop is the beach at Nokomis.  Today is the perfect beach day although at the beginning it is a tad windy.  Seems the wind likes Carrie’s hat and keeps trying to take it from her even though it is tied under her neck.




How did it do that?    She grabs it just in time.



Nice waves. Beautiful blues in the sky and the water.



Great sun makes for tired, sleepy beach goers.    Or at least one sleepy beach goer.




Now there’s a happy beach bunny if I ever saw one.






All three of us consider going in, others are in the water, but only the youngster braves it and at first she seems not quite sure.




But then, she just dives right in.  Way to go Carrie that’s the ticket!  Get in and get it over with I holler from the sidelines.






Playing in the gulf on the 23rd of December. It’s in the 30’s in her hometown in Maryland.




She declares it a great time – invigorating to quote her.





Later in the afternoon the skim boarders gather until there are about a dozen of them standing and watching the waves.  Then in an instant one will take off sprinting toward the water and jump on his board.








We have a ring side seat for the show until about 4:30 when we decide the absence of the sun has made it too chilly and we are hungry and need to get back to fix dinner.   Wish we could have stayed for sunset but that’s another 75 minutes from now.



The boys play on as we leave.



After we finish dinner we sit down for a game of hearts.   Carrie tries 3 times and David tries twice to Shoot The Moon.  Only Carrie succeeds.  But in the end the conservative who had not one decent hand has the winning score.  ME!!

You can tell in this picture who just stuck her parents with 26 points!!    More fun tomorrow!!   Happy Holidays!!



  1. Sure is nice to see Carrie hanging out with your two. Wishing David well in the next go round.

  2. I hope the work the doctors are doing is helpful for David.

    The wildlife shots in particular intrigue me. The gators seem like a holdover from the dinosaurs

  3. Millie's! One of our favorite places to eat! And I love it because it was my mother's nickname. Great shots of the skim boarders and what a nice day at the beach. Glad Carrie gets to have above normal temps for this time of year. Great gator shots, too, by the way... :-) sorry to hear that treatment has to change for David because the infusions were not working, he's a tough guy and hanging in there! We hope that things change for the better in that department. We admire David's tenacity!

  4. So weird, we have a Millie's not far from here that looks much the same and when we used to live on the farm would meet my mother there for a "fancy" breakfast out now and then. Great shots of the cypress, alligators and birds, we've never been to any "gator states" yet. Lovely place to spend the holidays, hope David's new treatment is more successful and that you all have a nice Christmas together.

  5. With medical problems, as long as you feel good, the best thing to do is keep on keeping on living life to the fullest. You guys are doing a great job of it. Enjoy the holidays with Carrie!

  6. Perhaps in a year or two a young grandchild will be enjoying a splash in the ocean with all of you. I know you are enjoying Carrie to the fullest while you can. Splash on!

  7. Loved your Christmas elf hats, you really blended into the surroundings on your hike! :cD

  8. Gee, our day looked very similar as we rode our bikes up the Pacific Coast. The water was filled with surfers since they are experiencing what they call King Waves right now. The beaches had a good number of sun bathers, too, with the temps in the 70's. The only difference was that we were on opposite coasts!

    Looks like you are having a wonderful time with Carrie! Enjoy every minute of her visit:)

    Hope David gets a successful new mix of medication!

    Merry Christmas!

  9. You guys look like you're having so much fun this Christmas holiday. The water in the sky is beautiful. Tell Carrie that she needs to be kinder to her elders.

  10. The gators always look like they're slyly smiling. A fun day in the sun at the beach with all of you together is the perfect Christmas present. Wishing the best for David's new meds. Merry Christmas to you all!

  11. So glad that you are all having such a great time together. Hoping that Dave's new treatment will do the trick. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


  12. Great pics of Carrie....glad you are enjoying this time as a family with Carrie. Keep your chins up and embrace every single moment. None of us know what tomorrow brings.... but I'm holding out good thoughts and prayers that the right regime will be found. Merry Christmas!!

  13. Sure hope this treatment works for a long while giving you the opportunity to travel as you wish. Enjoy your family holiday, Merry Christmas.

  14. Ahhh, the rewards of taking one's time on the path - experiencing so much more than those who rush through :-) I especially love the little heron fishing. How wonderful to share it with Carrie, for her to see it "in person". Millie's is delightful, too bad you hated your meal! I would Want to join Carrie in the water, but Know that I would be bundled in the chair just watching :-) Even when the surf is short I always enjoy watching surfers and skimmers - the joy of "catching one" is contagious! Happy, Happy Holiday hugs to all of you.

  15. Ah, how nice to be able to swim in the ocean this time of year! It's quite cold here in Texas. 33 degrees when we woke up! Enjoy the rest of Carrie's visit!

  16. what a wonderful "Christmas Week" celebration you are having. . .just beautiful!

  17. Happy Christmas! I am so glad Carrie is there to share it with you.

    And you are correct. That water plant is an invasive. Water Hyacinth. It is choking off many southern waterways. The bulbs are so fibrous that they can be broken down and woven.

  18. may you all have a very merry Christmas and to a better year next year as well...

  19. It looks like you are enjoying your visit with Carrie and that David is getting some of his favorite meal and desserts! I hope the new treatment will be more successful than the last one and that David will continue to feel as good as he apparently does now.

    Merry Christmas to you, David and Carrie.....and Matthew! Poor guy left at home in the cold while Carrie enjoys swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. :)

  20. Merry Christmas, Sherry, David, and Carrie. Carrie, you're mighty brave to take on the gulf this time of year. :) Looks like you've enjoyed every moment. When my son lived in Tampa many years ago, we visited Lettuce Leaf park. It was very near his apartment. We knew the alligators were there, but we couldn't find them with all the water vegetation--lily pads, I think I recall.

  21. What a wonderful way to spend your Christmas. The photos are beautiful, the weather perfect, and that beach so inviting. Wishing all the best to David that the oral treatment regime will be successful.

  22. I did not know that the little blue heron has green legs! Ill check the one that keeps visiting us here.
    What a lovely day at the beach and everyone, I mean Carrie is the most daring one to take the gulf. Lovely capture of Carrie, nice shot.
    We are also by the gulf but so far it has been crappy days.

  23. So much fun! I love seeing how much you guys find and create joy in your lives. :-) Here's hoping that David's new cocktail works the magic you need to keep on traveling and fulfilling your dreams.


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