Years ago, I had a friend named Beth Hollenbeck, who ran Eco-Action and the EcoStore, a retail store in College Park that traded in products made of recycled materials, organic cotton, or hemp – things like that. I met her when she was selling toilet paper made of recycled paper out of the back of her car. It was at an event at Mead Gardens in Winter Park before she opened the EcoStore. I bought toilet paper and other things at her store, including a horse head swing made from a rubber tire. She displayed a photo of my grandson swinging on it.
Do you still send Christmas cards? By mail? It seems to be going out of style, but I think that’s a shame. It’s such a thoughtful gesture to – at least once a year – let everyone you know, love, or have been friends with that you still think of them.
After my new website was posted, a friend who has visited our property sent me an email suggesting that I should take photos around my place instead of using those “stock photos”. When I assured him that every one of them was taken by me on our property at Lake Lucy, he was astonished and said I should add photography as one of my trades, as in “jack of all …”
As most of my friends know, I’m more than a little in love with this incredibly beautiful earth of ours. I love trees, owls and whippoorwills, mountains, the Everglades, sun and moon, leaves, flowers, weeds, coonties, raccoons, horses, green anoles, gopher tortoises, collies, black racer snakes, sunrises and sunsets, Lake Lucy, and more.
Thanks to Charlene Edge, my writer’s seclusion is lifted. Being a writer tends to be a rather lonely career, but having a writer friend is a blessing. I had not had one for many years. No one to bounce ideas off or share rejection slips with or -- oh, joy! – acceptances and sales.
Writing is a solitary, often lonely, job, and writer friends are precious. Charlene L. Edge is my Writer Friend. We met long before I knew she was a writer, maybe even before she was a writer. Maybe even before she knew she was going to be a writer. She is now the author of an important book about her youth and young adulthood spent in a cult. Her book is titled Undertow, My Escape from the Fundamentalism and Cult Control of The Way International, which won the gold medal in 2017 in the Florida Authors and Publishers Association President’s Book Awards Autobiography/Memoir category.
Nature has been one of my primary interests since I was a little girl. I remember catching fireflies in a jar and bees in my hands in Miami when I was younger than six. I remember the first Scarlet Tanager I ever saw when I was about ten, and watching a pair of Baltimore Orioles build their pendulous nest and raising their families. I remember the red fox that emerged from the wetland and looked at me for a moment with one paw raised. I remember trying to count the number of calls the Whip-poor-will made outside my bedroom window when I lived in New England, and I waited for the call of the Chuck-will’s widow on its return to my Florida woods each March.
When I was 13 years old, I started carrying a small black looseleaf notebook with me to record things I read, or heard, or thought. Some were poems, some were a sentence or two from a book, or a thought from the preacher’s sermon, or maybe a Burma Shave sign. If bumper stickers had been common back then, I’m sure one or two would have been written in my little book.