Some of you will remember my care for Randie, a Swedish born woman whom I encounter from time to time on my peregrinations with Penne. She is a delightful person who enjoys the natural world and "takes time to smell the roses",
Some of you will also know that I had not seen her in over a year, and that I worried about her. The fact is that I knew only her first name, and that she lived in nearby condominium complex (which has more that three hundred units in five building)s.
Of course I could have rung up to three hundred door bells in order to track her down, but most likely I would have been expelled on suspicion of being a Mormon or a Jehovah's Witness. (We have strict "no soliciting" rules in many condominium developments in FL).
To my great relief I met up again with Randie earlier this year. She gave me her business card - thus I got to know her last name, and her 'phone number,
So it was that I 'phoned Randie last week and arranged to meet her at her home for coffee and cookies. This I did last Tuesday.
I learned so much. Randie migrated from Sweden to the U.S.A. in 1948. She wound up in Minneapolis (Nordic heaven) where she met her husband Bo - another recent immigrant from Sweden. He served in the U.S. Army, and then they got married, and had two children.
In the late 1960's Randie and Bo moved to Sarasota were they bought and operated a Motel near to the airport.
Business was good for many years. Those were the days in which holiday makers would spend a week or two in a Motel. Randie and Bo catered especially to Nordic tourists, and kept up with Scandinavian customs, e,g, coffee and cake for all at about 11:00 a.m.,. each day.
Then the market changed. First because holiday makers began to spend only a day or two in any given Motel before driving on to "the next place". Second because tourists increasingly favoured "brand name" chain motels rather than independents.
Bo and Randie "got out when the going was good" and sold their motel in 1999. They bought a nice house with a few acres (Randie says that there were 110 Palms on their lot).
RETIREMENT brought sadness:
First Bo succumbed to pancreatic cancer. After his death Randie sold their house and moved to her present home. Second their only son chose to distance himself from his family. Randie has not seen him in fourteen years. She has no idea where he lives.
RETIREMENT also brought gladness. Randie and Bo also had a daughter. She lives with her husband in Arizona. One of their children (Randie's grandson) will be marrying his belle in New York City later this month. OF COURSE RANDIE WILL BE THERE!
She will be there with her "gentleman friend" a man who also lived in SRQ. She met him at some party or other and they have become good friends. (She was anxious to tell me that there is no romance, and I believe her).
If all goes well they will travel to Italy and to Sweden after the wedding.
This warms the cockles of my heart. Randie must be at least sixteen years older than I. But she has not ceased to live!
Isn't it cool? My daily walks with Penne lead to lovely encounters and to new friendships.