Friday, 22 April 2016

Beautiful location, Superb food, Marvelous friends.

I drove north on I 75, and then north-west on I 275 this morning (mercifully the traffic was light). I was headed towards the gorgeous Fort De Soto County Park.  This area had at one time been an Army Air force bombing range, and later a U.S. Air force range.

When the military left it was deeded to Pinellas (FL) County.  It could have been transformed into a holiday destination with the accompanying Condominiums, Hotels, Restaurants and the like. But good  and wise government prevailed. The Pinellas County Commissioners decided to preserve it as an un-developed County Park.

It is an utterly unspoiled Key (Island) , a place of joy and delight for campers, kayakers, day visitors, cyclists and the like.

The Fort De Soto County Park is one of my favourite beach areas, "besting" in my opinion the much acclaimed Sarasota County beaches -  Siesta Key, Crescent Beach, Lido Key beach etc., for at Fort De Soto the beaches and the Gulf of Mexico there is next to no sign of "development". How wonderful it is to be on a Key with nary a Condo, Hotel or Restaurant in sight. (I'll probably be expelled from Sarasota County for that remark).

I've previously been at F D S P with with my two older sisters and their husbands, with my first Cousin Janet, with my good friend Betsy Pusey (now deceased), and with my great friend from Cambridge, MA, Mary Caulfield.  Happy memories.


Today at F D S P  I reveled in superb food cooked on an outdoor charcoal grill -  Filet Mignon wrapped in Bacon. Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Spud.  My taste buds and stomach were in ecstasy (and to hell with my cholesterol!).

The outdoors chef was my dear and beloved Richard Tienhaara.


I met Richard and his family members back in my Fitchburg days.  I was the Rector at the Church of the Good Shepherd,  Richard (in 1978/79?) was a senior in High School, Off he went to what was then called Lowell Sate College (MA), and then to Clark University in Worcester.

There he met an equally beloved  (for me) woman, Elizabeth Martin, who became his girl friend, his fiancĂ©e and then  his wife.

I participated in their Long Island wedding in 1984.

Elizabeth's mother lives in Terra Verde FL, on the cusp of F D S P,

So we hooked up today.  WE were Richard and Elizabeth, two of their three sons (one with a girl friend in tow), Elizabeth's mother, and Richard's father (up from Naples FL) and his wife,

What a joy, what a blessing, what a privilege,

Richard and Elisabeth (whose home is in Holden MA) are evangelical Christians of the  noblest sort. (Hey liberal Christians, don't be so snotty about evangelicals!)

At one time today I chatted with Elizabeth and her mother.  I ventured  to say that Richard is a man of the highest integrity.  


Wife and Mother-in-law endorsed my opinion wholeheartedly!

In these days when integrity is undervalued, Richard and Elizabeth  are rare treasures and exemplars.

jmp. Elizabeth and Richard (1)

jmp, Elizabeth, and Richard (2)

It gives me great pleasure that my brother Martyn, his wife Wendy, and my beloved Mother have met Richard.

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