There is a county highway that runs from Old Town, Florida, out toward the coastline. After miles and miles of pine forest and palmetto scrub the road ends at Suwanee which is a retreat for recreational fisherpeople.
Along one of the many canals there are beautiful blue iris growing wild in a cypress swamp.
There is also an excellent little seafood restaurant where The Old Lady enjoyed fresh-caught shrimp and a cold beer.
But the iris would have been enough.
Near the tiny town of Jennings, Florida, and far out at the end of a sand road The Old Lady discovered a cemetery on a bluff above the Alapaha River.
The oldest gravestone belongs to George Jennings, who might be assumed to have founded the nearby Jennings Plantation.
Alongside are the gravestones of his eight children, all of which specify their parentage as George and Mary E. Jennings…
… and also the stone commemorating Eliza C.A. Jennings, “Consort of Geo. Jennings”…
… but there is no stone to be found for mother Mary E.
A mystery story… and the details died along with the cast of characters.
Sometimes, somebody really DOES make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
Cedar Lakes and Woods near Williston, Florida, is a prime example.
Somebody looked at an abandoned limestone quarry and saw a garden, then made it so.
A product of human hands, this Disneyland in the woods is an artificial wonderland constructed of natural materials like plants, rocks, and dirt.
What had been a raw wound on the surface of the planet is now covered with a healing layer of life.
“Is this how we reforest the world?” mused The Old Lady.
The Old Lady is deeply grieved over the latest mass shooting, and completely confused by the continuing debate over gun availability and ownership:
“But, what about my hunting rifle?”
“But, what about my personal defense handgun?”
“But, what about the constitutional right of all Americans to own guns?”
“’But’, this is insanity!” choked The Old Lady through her tears, “these ‘buts’ are killing us!”
Maybe it comes with age… but The Old Lady has a particular fondness for ruins.
In Madison, Florida, she discovered the ruins of a stone wall surrounding the ruins of an abandoned camellia garden.
The wall itself was made up of broken-up chunks of concrete pavement, the old kind with pebbles mixed into the concrete. Here and there scavenged bricks had been added to the wall.And nearby, a path was laid with broken bricks.Early examples of recycling!
(singing) “Everything old is new again…”
The Old Lady loves American author William Kotzwinkle mainly because every one of his numerous books is written in a different style. No genre fiction here!
But her very favorite Kotzwinkle book is Fata Morgana, which she re-reads every few years for the same reason she re-reads Alice in Wonderland: the protagonist takes the reader on a dream-like journey through a surreal landscape only to find that there is more to this realm that meets the mundane eye.
Fata Morgana is seductive and beautiful; if you elect to fall under its spell you will not regret choosing enchantment.
READ this book! LISTEN to The Old Lady!
Over morning coffee The Old Lady remembered a photo she’d seen on Facebook recently, of sandhill cranes wintering in a north Florida field.
Perhaps I should try to find them, she thought to herself.
An hour later she was hurrying down a country highway to a yoga class and as she topped a hill THERE THEY WERE: sandhill cranes, literally HUNDREDS of them.
The Old Lady’s photos do not do justice to the magnificent sight, and even the best photo would not adequately show them dancing in stately courtship. They threw back their crimson-capped heads to sing their strange, high call, spreading their gray wings and lifting their long legs in elegant display.
Sometimes that which you seek finds you.