Saturday, 26 October 2019

Urban beauty at dawn.

At 6:30 a.m. today Zion and I drove from my home to Bradenton's River Walk, alongside the Manatee River.   (Zion had no choice in the matter!)

It's a fifteen mile drive but well worth it, to enjoy a walk alongside the river just before dawn.

Here are some photo's I took this morning.


Dad, please get a move on

Children's Park


Fishing Pier

The single track rail road, between Port Manatee and the Tropicana processing plant in Bradenton, Fl

The Drawbridge on the cross river was up.

But I watched it go down, and then waited (for about twenty minutes)  to see the train come through,

Here comes the train!




As I wait for the train, Zion (with great patience) waits for me

So much nearer. We all love trains!


Have no idea what this is.  But maybe Zion jerked my arm as I was taking a photo'







Friday, 25 October 2019

Donuts (Doughnuts) in the park at 8:00 a.m. today.

An unexpected treat!

If you follow my blog closely you will remember that one of the joys of my early morning walks at Arlington Park,  is that Zion and I often meet two families who walk out in the Park with their children,  before the children go to school.

There is Alexis, her Mum and Dad and  their dog "Axel".

And there is Isaac, his Mum, and their dog "Tucky".

I had a special need to meet them this morning (25th Oct), because I had a gift for each family.

I was at there a wee bit early this morning, so I had to hang around a bit before the two families stepped out.

Zion and I waited. First on the scene was Isaac ( a fifth grader?) and his Mom.

Isaac was so excited.  He and his Mum had bought donuts,  in the hope that we could sit down at a park bench and enjoy them,  Indeed we did  -  see:

http://fiveodonutco.com






Mine was a canoli donut  (but without chocolate)

What's better is that Isaac's father, another Michael, also arrived so that he could meet the famous  Zion, and watch Isaac doing so well as he learns to skateboard

Alexis, Axel and their parents were also a bit late, but not too late to get their gift from me.



The gift for both families? - the  remaining bananas  from the trove I'd been given the other day  - all bagged up for convenience 






They were well received by both families; and also earlier in the morning when I'd  some to Bob and Sue,  friends but not a couple, who I  meet in my early walk most mornings at Bayfront Park.


Whoop dee do.  A great day of giving and receiving.








Hey ho, Hey ho, it's off to work I go



On Monday last I donned my clerical shirt and officiated at a service -  for the first time in three years.

My neighbor  Chuck O died following a long illness.  Zion and I visited him in his home from time to time.

Chuck was a "non attending Episcopalian", so his wife Kathy asked me to lead the burial prayers. I was truly moved by her request.

Chuck and Kathy are long time, and much liked residents of our neighbourhood, so there were about twenty five neighbours at the service. Accustomed to seeing me with a dog, they now saw me with a dog collar! It felt good to be back at work.

The great words of the Bible and of the Book of Common Prayer served us well as we commended Chuck to God.  

Chuck's remains are interred at the Sarasota National Cemetery.



Wednesday, 23 October 2019

YES we have some Bananas



Another huge stalk of Bradenton, FL  bananas, grown by a friend of friends of mine in Treymore at Palm Aire, FL.

The grower jokes  that her neighbours run for cover when she is out on her "free bananas" walk.

Today I was glad to receive  some from her, for the second time.

Now my neighbours run from me when I am out on my own "free bananas" walk!

That's not entirely true.  Most, if not all of my neighbours , are pleased and delighted to savour the sweetest and most fragrant bananas they have ever eaten.

Oh my they are great.  I've never tasted and eaten sweeter and better bananas than these.

Makes living to 75 years old worthwhile!

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Skimmed? and Skinned.

Skimmed?



Using a Debit Card,  I bought $10 worth of petrol/gas at 7:00 a.m. today at this convenience store on Beneva Road at the intersection of Bahia Vista St.   This particular pump, which I used, is away from the main pumps, and out of sight from the store.  I think that it is for the use of R.V. owners and/or "trucks with trailers businesses" which would otherwise take up too much space at the rank of pumps.

A bit later in the morning I tried to use my card to withdraw cash. The ATM  would not give me cash, instead it gave me this message:

"We have placed restrictions on your card due to irregular activity"

"Damn, I thought, "there was a skimmer on that pump. How could I have been so careless".

Back at home I called the issuing bank.  I was on hold for forty minutes.  I  finally got through to a fraud specialist. No I found out, my card had not been skimmedPhew!. Turns out that there was a system wide failure at the B of A.   Millions of their customers got the same or a similar message today.

BOY OH BOY  we are all vulnerable to such system failures.  That's why it is wise to keep some emergency cash in a safe place.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Skinned



Yes, these are bananas.  But not just any old Cavendish bananas from yer supermarket (which account for about 50% of the world's banana trade)

These are back garden grown local bananas, grown in nearby Manatee County by a neighbour of my friends Jack and Donna Chrisman.

Jack and Donna were given a stalk with 80 or 90 bananas, far more then they could eat.  So I was given most of the bananas on the stalk,  which I gave away (or pressed upon) many of my friends and neighbours.

We are all agreed that they are the sweetest and most fragrant bananas we have ever eaten.

Better than you could imagine.

Eat locally they say.   Amen say I, and my friends.

And I want to be best friends with Jack and Donna's banana growing neighbour!

----------------------------------------------------------------------

See this re Cavendish Bananas 

Monday, 21 October 2019

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Brave Space not Safe Space






AN INVITATION TO BRAVE SPACE,  by Micky ScottBey Jones


Together we will create brave space

Because there is no such thing as "safe space"
We exist in the real world
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.
In this space
We seek to turn down the volume of the outside world,
We amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,
We call each other to more truth and love
We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow.
We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know.
We will not be perfect.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be
But
It will be our brave space together,
And
We will work on it side by side.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One of the blessings of being an early riser is that I get to listen to Krista Tippett's "ON BEING" programme. It is broadcast on WUSF radio in Sarasota  at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday Mornings.  It's food for the soul.

Krista Tippett

Today's programme was especially delicious.  It ended with Micky ScottBey Jones' wonderful prose poem  (see above).
The programme was a realistic and subversive beacon of light; a deep and powerful alternative to the darkness which is the modus operandi of the ruling classes in the U.K. and the U.S.A.

If you are not familiar with "On Being"  I urge you to read,  or listen to today's programme at https://onbeing.org/series/podcast/

You do not have to be religious to enjoy the wisdom of this programme. Being human will be enough. 

The closing poem should be enough to stir, strengthen  and inspire your mind and soul.

Here it is again:
Together we will create brave space
Because there is no such thing as "safe space"
We exist in the real world
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.
In this space
We seek to turn down the volume of the outside world,
We amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,
We call each other to more truth and love
We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow.
We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know.
We will not be perfect.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be
But
It will be our brave space together,
And

We will work on it side by side.