Friday, 13 November 2015

Nearing au revoir time for family. Filled with gratitude

My family members (sisters Maureen and Jean, brother-in-laws Bernard and John) will return to the U.K. tomorrow.

Their time here has been simply wonderful.  It's been so much better than I expected, and it exceeded their expectations far beyond their hopes.

They have enjoyed SRQ to the full. They have a deeper understanding of why this has become my home.

We have enjoyed each other very, very much -   with some useful serious conversations; with an enormous amount of humour; and with fond and funny recollections of family memories.

(Maureen, Jean and I are part of a family with ten children, so we have many memories).

*Jack and Donna Chrisman were gracious hosts as we enjoyed a splendid dinner at their home. 'Twas such a sweet and joyful evening.

*Fred and Diana Emrich "treated" us to a lovely lunch at the Dry Dock on Longboat Key.  I arranged the seating so that the men were at one end of the table and the women at the other end.  This enabled two discrete lunch time conversations.  My family members were utterly enchanted to meet and converse with Fred and Diana.  It was a memorable lunch.

*We were all tickled pink to meet up with our first cousin  Janet at the Fort DeSoto County Park.

* Maureen, Bern, Jean and John were entirely impressed with  St. Boniface Church,  and my two "big sisters" got teary eyed when they heard me preach.

*All this plus Myakka River State Park (twice), the Ringling Art Museum, a train ride in Parrish, a tour of downtown SRQ - including our lovely Bayfront Park, a condo right on Crescent Beach  -----  and the list goes on!


At 4:30 p.m we celebrated our joy with an "early bird" dinner at Turtles on the Bay, ("early birds"  eat from a simplified menu with lower prices) - The food was excellent (three of us had rib-eye steak, two had baby back pork ribs.)  Each of us was well pleased with the food and we so much enjoyed eating outside,  with a lovely view of the Intra-Coastal Waterway.


At 8:00 a.m.on Saturday 14th the five of us will gather for a valedictory breakfast at my favourite local Cafe "Alma's Kouzine"

At 9:15 a.m. Maureen, Jean, John and Jean will board a mini-bus taxi from my home for their journey to TPA,  from there to fly via ATL to AMS, and from thence to BRS.

At about 9:45 .a.m. I will take myself to SRQ for a 24 hour visit to ATL.  The timing for my ATL trip is not perfect, coming as it does at the end of a busy and joy filled visit by my family members.

However there are excellent reasons for my trip,  about which I will tell you on Monday.


In the meantime I will indulge in some teary eyed sadness as I contemplate the farewells to my family members tomorrow,

An Eagle  (perhaps nesting) on the roof of a building next door to my folks' condo on Crescent Beach

Bern, Maureen, Jean and John on the Lanai at their condo. (1)

Bern, Maureen, Jean and John on the Lanai at their condo. (2)

After our "early bird" dinner at Turtles on the bay.

Maureen, Bern. jmp,, John, Jean outside Turtles.

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