Saturday, March 25, 2006
Since the time is drawing near for my return to Massachusetts I have been thinking about the different experiences I have had over the years here in Florida.

As soon as my husband retired we became snow birds. I could write a book about that first season, some bad experiences and some good. Right now I'll just tell you about some of the good things that happened.

We were very fortunate to meet a very nice couple who in turn introduced us to their friends. It's not easy to come into a new place and find people who have the same interests and include you into their established group. We kibbitzed by the pool, went to dances, played cards, went to dinners and shows with a great group of people.

Aaron and I took all kinds of classes at the clubhouse, you name it we did it. Aaron even took Flower Arranging and Mah Jongg one year. As a matter of fact when I needed a Mah Jongg player he introduced me to a lady that filled in for us.

Then there was the year we had to cut our time in Florida short, Aaron's sister took ill and since she was a single lady we had to be with her.

Then there was the year that Aaron needed emergency surgery while we were wintering in Florida. He had the surgery in December and it took the whole season for him to feel like his old self. That was the time that I started to drive in Florida, up until them he did all the driving. When you have to, you do it.

A few years after that my best friend and help-mate passed away. Six months later my sister-in-law passed away. I stayed up north that winter. When the time came to decide about going south by myself, gave it a great deal of thought and many sleepless nights, decided to go. If it did not work out I could always leave and go bach up north.

Being in Florida by myself for the first time was not easy. Those of you who are widows or widowers know that when you are a single person you are usually not included. I had to find other people who were in a similar situation. It took me a few years to find people that I could relate to. I started to build friendships

Then there was the winter that I needed surgery! What to do, go back to Boston in the freezing cold weather or have the surgery in Florida? Fortunalty I had a doctor that I had confidence in, he recommend a surgeon. I went ahead with the surgery and my recoverery went smoothly.

By this time I had made many friends and had a great deal of support. Steve and Carol came down and gave me lots of physical and moral support. And it wasn't bad sitting out on the patio suning myself. That winter Boston had huge snowstorms and it was bitter cold. I made the right choice!!

These past winters have been good but I've slowed down, I have to be selective how I spend my time, it takes me longer to do things, grocery shopping is a chore, I choose not to go to the mall because there is too much walking, haven't even gone to the most popular flea market, it's just too big.

When my husband was alive we did a lot of sightseeing, he aways found some interesting places to go. I still drive, but limit myself to places that are nearby. Some of my friends never drove, some do not like to drive in Florida, and some do not drive at night!

I'm sitting here trying to figure out why I remember so much so vividly about the times I have spent in Florida, after all it's only four months out of the year. Maybe it's because I have not moved many times in my life. I was born in Chelsea, Mass, lived there until I got married, lived in a house for forty years and now live in a condo for the past nine years.

Maybe it's because I have the opportunity to live a different lifestyle, meet new people and have experiences that I would never have had. Whatever the reason, I am glad that I have had the opportunity to experience these different seasons.

Sunday, March 19, 2006
For people who live in Florida I am sure they have heard this joke a million times but for those who do not live in an adult community it might be new to them.

I told this joke to a group at an American Marketing Association conference in Boston a while ago. The group consisted of people in their 30's, 40, and maybe 50's. Apparently they never heard it before, the response I got was terrific.

Here Goes:
Minna and Shirley hadn't seen each other for a while. Minna asks Shirley, "What's new?"
Shirley tells her that she has been dating a new fella.
Minna asks "Is he good looking?"
Shirley says, "No"
Minna asks, "Does he have money?"
Shirley says, "No"
Minna asks,"Is he good in bed?"
Shirley says, No"
Minna asks ""Then why do you go out with him?"

That's the old version

People have changed and times have changed.

The reverse punch line now is, "Why do you go out with HER?"

Driving Tips: Driving at Night.

Saturday, March 11, 2006
The other day I had the opportunity to go to the Sweet Tomotoes restaurant, it's not your usual sit down type of place.

If you come early enough you can avoid waiting in line for a long time. As soon as you enter you are faced with the longest salad bar you have ever seen, you name it they have it. Once you are seated you are invited to the Soup Bar, the Pasta Bar and the Dessert Bar.

There is no chichen or fish entre. There is chicken in the chicken soup, hamburg in the chili dish, and some fish in the assorted salads.

The restaurant leans towards a vegetarian style menu which attracts many people.

That got me thinking about an appetizer that I make.


1 onion finely chopped
1 small can string beans (drained)
1 small can green peas (drained)
6 crushed Ritz crackers
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
salt and pepper

Sauted the onion in oil. Mash the string beans and green peas. Add the crushed crackers and chopped walnuts. Season to taste.

Mix all ingredients together. If desired you can top this dish with a mashed hard boiled egg yolk which makes it look like the real thing!


Saturday, March 04, 2006
Ever since I made a post entitled "Now and Then" I have been thinking about "Then."

It was in the summer of 1947 when I was unemployed and looking for a change of pace from the dull office job that I had worked at for five years.

My cousin was an accountant for a prominent restaurant in the Boston area that had a concession at the Suffolk Downs Race Track. She knew that I was looking for work and asked me if I would like to work at the track selling cigars and cigarettes at the club house. I jumped at the chance!

What an education that was for me. I saw employees who were working for minimum wages throwing their money away on the races. They thought they could beat the system, but of course they always lost.

One afternoon a charming older gentleman stopped by to make a purchase, we got to talking and he told me about his son who had recently returned from the service. "Would I be interested in meeting his son?" I don't recall even hesitating and said "yes."

Sure enough his son called me and we arranged to meet. Well, his son was not as good looking as his dad but he was a charmer. He introducted me to foreign films, free programs at the Boston Public Library, Ford Hall Forum and college theatre. He didn't have much money but he knew what was available in the Boston area.

That was not the man I married but he turned out to be a good blind date.

Do young people go on blind dates today?

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