My first report from the ‘Sunshine State’ is an optimistic one.
Naturally, I follow the weather in Hibbing and all the Minnesota stuff on the internet. It’s been cold up there.
Now down here it’s been cold, too. A different kind of cold. A cold that gets to my bones. As strange as it may seem, last week there was a ‘wind chill’ warning for Naples–it got down to 37 degrees one night. Believe me, a veteran of Minnesota ‘wind chill factors’ it’s a whole different feeling here. But, that’s behind us now. We’re back in the 70’s and 80’s for the foreseeable future. Hate to start a blog with the weather.
Since arriving in late November, I’ve been doing some ‘readin’, ritin’, and rithmatic’.
Readin”. I got hooked on Richard Russo and it’s been both good and bad. He’s good but I get frustrated because I can’t (on my best day) develop characters and humor like he can. The best read I’ve had lately, however, is ‘The Shoemaker’s Wife’ by Adriana Trigiani. Adriana has some Chisholm roots and her story goes back to the days of immigrants and settling in northern Minnesota. She does a marvelous job with capturing the times. It reminded me of my first book–an historical fiction–titled ‘To Bless or to Blame’. So much so that I sent Adriana a copy of that and the sequel.
Ritin’. This morning I passed the 25,000-word mark on my next novel. (That would be about a quarter of what my previous novels were . . . but I’m going strong and the story is coming to me at a scary pace. The working title of the new story will be ‘WAITING’. I know that the prologue to ‘TWELVE’–my last book–suggested that Father Mickey was in a good place and that I’d be moving on to some new adventure without him and the familiar cast of characters. Well, Mickey wasn’t done with me! I thought I left where he needed to be . . . but he has a way of getting restless. Maybe some of that transfuses through the author’s hand. I like what’s happening.
Rithmatic’. Living both here for a few months and home in Hibbing most of the yeqr does have its costs–especially when there are some expensive projects on my house at 2808–windows and doors. Gail keeps the homestead going and does the back-breaking snow-shoveling, etc. (Hope to reward her with a little Florida vacation next month for all she does). During the cold snap here my AC/Heating system died. A replacement cost of over $3000 . . . and my computer died as well. A new MacBook Air added over another $1000 that I didn’t have. So my saving account dwindles. Fortunately, my teacher’s retirement went up $7.00 a month and Social Security another $8.00 monthly.
Being on a fixed income sucks!
My grandson, Jack, will graduate in May so I’m planning to stay down here rather than drive back north and fly back down. I’m told that May gets awfully damn hot but my daughter and grandkids have made the adjustment quite well. Jack has been accepted at a prestigious college in Massachusetts that I’d never heard of. Babson. It’s an elite school but Jack is an elite kid.
Next week my oldest daughter, Shannon, will be down for her annual visit and I look forward to having the company. She will spend almost all of her time here beachcombing. Then, hopefully, Gail, and in mid-March my old high school buddy Dick Nierengarten will spend two weeks with me and a month at a place he has rented these past few years. So, I’ll add biking to my daily regimen.
Please feel free to comment. I like to be in touch with anybody who takes the time to read my blogs.

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