The World Mourns

It is not very often that an event is of such magnitude that there are people around the world, either directly or indirectly affected, however, the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, September 8th, is one of those events. Even those who hate the idea of a monarchy are still feeling sad, in some cases, much to their surprise. How could you not like her? I realize that is maybe a bit of a generalization, maybe a stretch, but not by much. The longest running female leader in history! It is mind boggling thinking of the history she witnessed over her long reign, in many cases, first-hand. But I don't need to tell you all that do I because chances are, you already know it. What some know, while others don't, is that your favorite blogger, along with her beloved husband and eldest son, saw the Queen pretty darn up close and personal. If you've not already done so, you can read all about it here

So that was the biggest news of last week. But, on a much smaller scale, and I emphasize the smaller, FSU is now 2-0. Ten years ago that statement would have elicited a puzzled expression on a readers' face, but these days it is a pretty big deal. The best start to the football season in years. Beating LSU was so exciting, in part because it was so unexpected. We are cautiously optimistic. :)

In a first for us, we watched a whole lot of the US Open tournament, marveling each and every day at the athleticism and mental fortitude it takes to play tennis at such a high level. Bravo to all who even made it to the tournament! 

Perhaps it is because we are now involved with a paddle made to hit a ball over a net? Is that why we watched? I have no good answer to that question, but I can say that we are still at it bright and early most mornings. Today we arrived a little later because Bruce had some blood drawn first thing. The sun was blinding as we drove to the courts.

What's missing in the above photo? Any ideas? How about the power lines being empty of crows??? Where are they you wonder? So do I! We shall see tomorrow morning when we leave at our regular time.

Do you want birds first, or pickleball? 

Birds it is! The hawks are coming out in full force after a quiet summer. This guy was just outside the back door, staying perched for about 30 minutes. 

The above is a Red Shouldered Hawk which is quite common around these parts. For weeks I've had the photo below on my desktop to share and now seems appropriate. The only trouble is, I'm not quite sure what kind of hawk we are looking at.

Duh...that's what Google is for. Turns out it is an immature Red Shouldered Hawk. Or is it? Now you know! Another beauty perching in the trees out back was this Egret, a bird you've seen countless times before but the light was so pretty, I could not resist.

Before we head over to Dover Shores, here's a little something to talk about. I think it was Friday morning, while Bruce was reading the newspaper, that he exclaimed..."you are in the newspaper!" Indeed I was, having written a Letter to the Editor the previous afternoon. 
Seeing the open paper laying there much later in the day it occurred to me that there was a time when people I knew read the newspaper and might call or text me when they saw my name, but those days are long gone. Well, Mary saw it so there's one person. At any rate, I have been sending letters to the Sentinel for years and now you can as well because I've included their email address!! In reality, the older I have gotten, the less worked up I get about things I have no control over, thus my letter writing has diminished over the years. Not entirely though.

No pickleball yet??? Almost time!

But first let's talk about how cool Bromeliads are, shall we? There are hundreds and hundreds on the grounds here at Lake Pineloch Village, a whole bunch of which are just outside the back door.

File this factoid under the heading of "learning something new every day" because who knew that a pineapple is in the bromeliad family? 

Having written my last post where I extolled the virtues of pickleball and the wonderful people we have met, I mentioned that I needed to bring my camera along more often. When I grow up, I hope to hit the ball like Kathy who is cool and calm on the court, not to mention, wickedly accurate.

The gang is all here...well not really, but a few of them anyway. 

That would be Lisa (l) and Cindy in the front and Karen and Debbie in the back. Not a one of us would have never met if not for pickleball. While I don't think it holds true for any of these ladies, it is not all that uncommon to read something like this post where a person proclaims that pickleball saved their life. While I know that sounds crazy, I do know a few people who might say the same thing.

Also last week, a new woman came and invited her friend to meet her and she would teach her how to play. Shockingly, Gigi was keeping score in no time, something that is more often than not, a stumbling block for new players. Jake, a super sweet young man and great player is looking on.

On Friday we went to watch Greg and JC in the fall tournament, both of whom are pictured below on the far side of the net. (Mr. Peck looks on from his chair.)

The crazy thing is that the two men on the near side are guys we met earlier in the week when they came to check out the courts. Paul and Walt are a couple who moved down from Louisville, KY and are deeply immersed in pickleball which has allowed them to make friends, many of whom came from Davenport to cheer them on. 

Should you think it is only old folks that play, the youngsters bracket was going on at the same time and provided some highly entertaining matches. We even met a young man who said he is on the University of Florida team.

I learned from the wife of the young man on the left that he is a wedding photographer who spends every weekday playing pickleball. It's a crazy phenomenon how addicting the game is, that's for sure. 

Okay, the courts are great, but the bathroom closest to the courts, not so much. The city needs to do something with this place, sooner rather than later.
In excellent news for me, birds are plentiful around the courts with an eagle sighting last week and today a Red Tailed Hawk watched over the proceedings.
Inflation, particularly for food and other consumer goods continues, seemingly unabated. I am always in shock seeing the carts filled to the brim at Costco.
I noticed today that while regular gas has come down a bit, diesel fuel is still crazy expensive, adding to the cost of all of those goods.

So I began this post talking about the Queen and her place in history over the last 70+ years, and it makes me wonder, what next for Britain? As most of you know, we have family there, thus my heightened interest. Let us hope it is not a cold winter because how in the world will people pay their heating bills what with an 80% rise in energy costs? Will the new Prime Minister be effective? How about King Charles? Will the pieces go together as neatly as a jigsaw puzzle? (this was fun btw)
While I fear not, hope springs eternal doesn't it?

your friend,