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

Henry David Thoreau

From Ocean to Spring with a BIG Interruption

Tuesday December 25 to Sunday December 30, 2018                                       Most Recent Posts:         
Gamble Rogers State Park, Flagler Beach                                                            Our Holiday Fun
and Blue Spring State Park, Orange City, Florida                     Finally Meeting Long Time Friends for the First Time

We arrive back from Maryland from our Holiday Fun on Monday to this view. Ahhhhh. . . .



I’m up the next day at dawn.  I only have 4 more possible sunrises over the ocean so I don’t want to miss anything.


The best color in the sky is usually just after dawn, before the sun rises and just after the sun sets in the evening.


Looking back west from the bottom of the boarwalk steps I see the moon.


I remember as a child listening to my mother sing Moon over Miami.  Too bad there isn’t a song Moon over Winnona.

Back to the east, the birds are beginning to fly.  The clouds at the horizon look mighty dark.




I zoom in to catch the pelicans and see that the clouds look like mountains.  The sun is lighting up their edges.



Well here we are at exact sunrise time.  The birds have all shown up but the sun can’t make it through the thick clouds.


And then  I see a tiny golden spot at the horizon line.


It soon disappears though I can see its light in the spaces between the higher clouds.


The golden speck moves to the top of the mountain clouds.


Finally it goes above the mountains which were too thick for it to burn through


Six minutes after official sunrise, it’s taking command.


Looking to the north I see a flotilla of pelicans coming my way. Over the campground and the beach they soar.  I love them against the colors of the sky.



I follow them as they go right over my head and then further south.




Too soon, they are out of sight.   What a blessing on Christmas Day.


It’s a beautiful day with a  high of 68 at about 3pm.    We are on the beach.  David is in long pants and a flannel shirt.  We watch the few people beach walking go by.  They are dressed quite differently.  Perhaps they are snowbirds from Canada to whom this feels  like summer


I guess I should have titled this post the last of the ocean front sunrises.  I’m up at dawn again the next day and of course things look totally different.   The moon is in the west brightening the cotton ball clouds covering the sky.


With the dawn color to the southeast, those same cotton balls look pretty gray and dirty.


The puff balls are overhead as I walk the boardwalk down to the water.


I wonder if they will fill the sky and prevent the view  at the horizon.  Sunrise is more than 20 minutes away..


To the south, the pinks are starting, a nice back drop for the town water tower.



Color to the north as well.


This view is from the main campground bathhouse handicapped boardwalk to the beach about midway in the campground.


From here I can just see the top of Winnona with pink skies behind her.  By the time most folks come out for sunrise this color will be gone and the skies will have darkened.  It almost seems that the rising sun sucks all the color into itself.

Just like yesterday, I don’t actually see the sun until 10 minutes after official sunrise when it climbs up over the low horizon clouds.  But today the sky is filled with clouds so things will be different.


In the afternoon I take up a spot in my chair on the sand to watch the waves and birds.


The waves are great.  I guess they are too close to shore for the surfers.  I’m surprised someone isn’t out here with a boogie board and wet suit.

At this point, I can see the gray moving up from the water.  It eventually takes over the whole sky.

Gray skies or not, I can’t get enough of those waves.  Only 3 more days.



20181228_130825But then on Friday when the skies clear and the temperatures warm, I take David in at 9:00 for his infusion.  I intend to stay until they have drawn his blood to check and make sure he’s stable enough to take the chemo.  When it’s thumbs up, I’ll go back to the beach for the 3+ hour infusion time and come back for him.

But when the results come back at 10:00, he isn’t stable enough.  His hemoglobin is down to 6.7 and they send him to the ER for a transfusion.  So no beach for either of us today. 

We arrive at the ER at 10:30 and wait for an hour to get in.  The delay is due to an incompetent at the desk who knows why we are here  but when after an hour and seeing everyone else who comes in after David go back, he goes and asks what’s up and she tells him they don’t do transfusions.  WHAT?   Obviously he’s not happy with this since the folks in the cancer clinic had called to say he was coming.  Ms Incompetent sends a nurse out to deal with him.  She apologizes profusely and takes him right back.  By this time it’s 1:00 in tha afternoon.  So here he is shoes, hat and two blankets, freezing in the ER.   Looks pretty happy doesn’t he?

Since we’ve done this before, I get out all the information about how difficult his blood is to type since he’s been on this particular chemo drug infusion.   Still it’s about 5pm when they finally decide they can’t do it in house and will have to send to Orlando to a Transfusion Center to have it typed and matched.  We knew this hours ago but . . . . .

They decide to admit him and eventually take him up to a hospital room to spend the night while a courier drives the blood to Orlando.  (Shades of driving to Gainesville from Fernandina Beach 6 weeks ago if you were reading then).

Saturday is another beautiful beach day and the last day of our stay at Gamble Rogers.
I’m at the hospital at 8:30 am.  No beach for me.  No beach for David.  But they do bring him breakfast which he’s happy about.

20181229_08310120181229_084525Since they took his blood to Orlando yesterday, we were thinking they would have it back by this morning.  No one seems to have given him any status updates and because the blood is so difficult to type I’m starting to become concerned that they may not be able to do it.  Or it may take longer than we have since we do have to give up our site by 1 PM tomorrow afternoon.

I start putting some “what’s the status pressure on” and finally find out that 26 hours after they received it, they have had to irradiate it.  Wonder if that’s what Gainesville did?

The blood finally arrives at 1pm and the nurses get the transfusion started.


Since it takes 3+ hours per unit, he’ll stay yet another night.  I head home and catch the last color of the sunset as I come in the door.


Sunday I wait for David to call me and tell me they are discharging him because his hemoglobin is up to 9.1.  How  long will it stay that high which is actually 5 points below the bottom of the normal range?  who knows.

I take this picture of the gray morning as I leave to pick him up from the hospital.  The skies brighten up and Sunday is another beautiful day on the beach.  That’s 3 in a row we’ve missed.
Oh well, such is life.


I do all the pack up, close down, water, electric, dumping tanks and by 3pm we’ve arrived at Blue Springs State Park where we hope to see some Manatee although the temperatures are likely to be too warm for the manatee to need to come in from the St. John’s River to warm up.  They are predicted to be in the 80’s for most of the one week we’ll be here on our slow boat to Tampa and the Moffitt Cancer Center.


  1. Those were some pretty spectacular sunrise photos on Christmas Day, sadly leading up to the icky ER kerfuffle. Incompetent is awful, but so much more so when people's lives are at stake. Nice to see you back at Blue Springs, where we actually got to visit with you two in person! We are going back finally this year, but not there. Will be up at Mayport and Jacksonville instead. But I will bet dollars to donuts we drive down to Blue Springs for a kayak on Snake Creek!!

  2. Sounds like it would be best to go directly to Moffett when in Florida. Nice Sunrise pics. Wish you both a great 2019.

  3. Beautiful Sunrise photos!!! You need to create a slideshow and run that on the TV you never use so you can see all the wonderful sunrises & sunsets you have photographed anytime you want:o)))

    Very disappointed to hear you had another difficult hospital visit. Hope David stays stable until Moffett!!! In the meantime, let us wish you A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

  4. Awesome photos' of the sunrise. Sorry to hear about the delays at the hospital. At times it seems like they operate at sloth speed. Glad you both got some time on the beach and got to enjoy the surf. Happy New Year

  5. Oh man, I feel your pain with the drama that poor David had to suffer through with such incompetence. Thank goodness you pushed to get him the treatment he needed. Sometimes you have to be the (very) squeaky wheel.

    I think a lady of your amazing talents could compose the song "Moon over Winnona". Maybe set it to the music of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall". :cD

  6. Trying again....lost my entire writing to you. Love your sunset views....although I rarely see them these days,but choose sunsets...which are beautiful in Texas. Wish we could erase that challenging blood transfusion charade....but it does appear to have gotten our sweet David on the uphill of this most recent challenge. Not sure if you will see as many sunrises in your new location....but certainly hoping you do. David might prefer the mid-day to help him stay warm. Sending hugs to both.....Carol

  7. A little beach time is better than none.Temps in the 80s sound good to us right now.
    Hope things go smoother at Moffitt.

  8. Beautiful seaside shots.

    Hopefully things go more smoothly for David.

  9. I could get lost in those beautiful beach skies. The little spec over the mountains of clouds is perfect. It's ridiculous that you arrive so prepared and the professionals can't seem to understand what needs to be done in a timely manner! So frustrating and I know it doesn't help either of you. Hopefully the springs will provide a peaceful time, and David's numbers will stay up!

  10. What a fiasco. I hate cancer. I discovered I had cancer at Blue Springs. That will be five years ago on Feb. 8. We went there because of your beautiful photos of the manatees and it was as beautiful as you described. I hope you can have some uneventful days soon.

  11. Your Christmas sunrise gave its all with crepuscular rays, a pillar, and the golden lining. Bonus birds. Sorry you didn't get all the mornings. Cancer sucks!

  12. Your sunrises and sunsets were certainly beautiful. I'm sorry you were not able to get a few more before your horrible days trying to get Davids transfusion.

  13. I'm with Bill & Nancy, you need to put your sunset/sunrise pics on a never ending loop as a meditation reel. Hope 2019 gets better for David for sure.

  14. David is sure lucky to have you on his side:) I may have mentioned this before, but most sunrises I see on your blog. I do a lot of sunsets...they are so much easier for the late risers:))

  15. Your sunrises are just spectacular! You really are inspiring me to get out there to photograph the sunrise—mostly I just look at it from inside our cozy rig while I'm drinking my coffee. I'll be more motivated to get outdoors first thing in the morning when we're not in freezing temps! :-)
    I hope things will be much better for David (and for you) when you're near your trusted doctors at Moffitt. Here's hoping your time at the beautiful springs is peaceful and healing for you both.

  16. A big WOW! Sherry you are rewarded immensely for getting out there at dawn and enjoy the spectacular sunrises and sharing it with us. Really outstanding, and the best part, I know exactly where you are and wished I did the same thing when we were there. But Im a bit lazy :)
    We are impressed with your energy and dedication and of course the hardworkd that comes with the setting up and packing up stuff. I feel you, having been a caregiver myself but you are really a trooper. Hopefully things get better for David and You especially that you are closer now to Moffit Cancer Center.

  17. Beautiful sunrises that you did get to see. I remember our emails during the hospital fiasco, but you got out of there in time to move by the end. Phew! I hope Dad is staying warm. Fighting cancer is no easy battle. For him or you having to pick up all the chores. His life is sooo much better for it. We're certainly all lucky to have you! xoxo


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