And the Winner Is…

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We have been on the road now for nine months.  When we started this trip we thought we might be moving into our new house in Asheville, NC by next month—it ain’t gonna happen.  Here’s a photo of our house as of March 7th.


We asked our builder this week for an estimated completion date and he sent us this email message: “Estimated 6 months from February but there were some weather delays during the foundation construction.”  Keep in mind that we were originally told that they would start construction of our house in the fall and it would take about six months.

Now, we are enjoying our trip (and our marriage is surviving) but five or six more months living in an 8-foot by 21-foot tin can may be a challenge.  However, rather than dwelling on the negative, we are making this delay a positive (for you) by announcing a contest.  Guess the date our house will be completed and the person closest to the date will win dinner for two in Asheville.  We will accompany you and your companion to the Nine Mile restaurant and we will pick up the check.  It is one of Asheville’s top-rated restaurants–here’s their web site:

This contest is open to all readers of our blog, whether you are a relative, friend or complete stranger.  Obviously, you will have to travel to Asheville to receive your prize but people are constantly telling us what a great place it is to visit (we hope to discover this ourselves some day).

This week we completed our winter swing through Florida that started in December.  We had to modify our itinerary to make another trip to Gainesville, primarily for doctor’s appointments. Life is pretty simple when we are on the road and our only difficult daily decision is whether to kayak, bike, or hike.  Many days we don’t even know what the date is.  However, meeting with your cardiologist quickly brings you back to reality.  The good news is that our health issues are being successfully addressed and these occasional doses of reality only reaffirm our desire to lead full and enjoyable lives.

After Gainesville we camped at Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, the northernmost barrier island on the Atlantic coast of Florida. When we were deciding where to live after retirement, Fernandina Beach was one place we seriously considered until Ed decided he couldn’t take the prolonged summer heat of Florida any longer.  It’s still a great area to visit and Fort Clinch is a great park with the fort, beach, kayaking, and biking.  Here are some photos from the  three days so we were there.

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Patty walking on the beach—it was  cool when we arrived as the northeast U.S. got another cold winter blast.  We complained but it was in the 60’s during the day.

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Driftwood on the beach—across the inlet is Cumberland Island National Seashore.  We once kayaked from Fernandina Beach to Cumberland Island but, after almost being swept out to sea by the outgoing tide, Patty refuses to go again.

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Tidal pools on the beach

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View of a tidal pool

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There was no one around to photograph us so we took this “shadow selfie”.

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Ed flying one of his stunt kites on the beach—when our kids were young they would chase the tail of this kite along the beach.  Now he’s just a strange old man who likes to fly kites.

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When Patty took over the kite flying, some beachgoers scrambled for safety.

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Fort Clinch—another of the many forts built on the east coast in the 1800’s that were quickly obsolescent as artillery technology improved.

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Fort Clinch never participated in a battle so these big guns were never fired.

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The weekend we were at Fort Clinch they had Confederate “reenactors” manning the fort.  We talked to one soldier who participates in reenactments of the Revolutionary War, Seminole Wars, and the Civil War.

Ed got up early one morning to take photographs of the sunrise.  He would like to thank the inventor of Daylight Savings Time who made the sunrise one hour later, and also the readers of our blog for whom Ed took the photographs. Because of them, Ed enjoyed a beautiful sunrise.

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When Ed saw these cloud formations he jumped out of bed, knowing that the sunrise would be a pretty one.

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The water on the beach reflects the sky.

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The sun makes its appearance.

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Someone else enjoying the sunrise

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Is there any man-made work of art more beautiful than this?

Last week’s blog included a photo of an unidentified object and we asked our readers to identify it and its purpose.  Here is the photo and another close-up photo of the object.

Blimps Collage

Congratulations to Clay Mottley who correctly identified the object as a blimp used to prevent drug trafficking.  The blimp, known locally as “Fat Albert”, is tethered to the ground and contains radar that allows it to detect low-flying aircraft.

14 thoughts on “And the Winner Is…

  1. Hey guys:

    Thanks for those photos and words about Fernandina Beach, a place about which I am familiar. The shot of Fort Clinch brought back memories of when we were there and we met and heard stories from ‘Agarn’? I thought I saw him marching with drum in group..

    I predict you will be in (we’re planning a trip down for sure, if I do not pass of old age first!) your new retirement home before the Pats win their next Superbowl! by say Oct 21st!


    Mike & Denise

  2. I was going to say December 24, but we did that and it was horrible! I wouldn’t wish that on anybody! I’ll say November 1 – a pessimistic date, but when it’s earlier than that ( and I lose 😦 I love Asheville) you’ll be thrilled! And well done on surviving in an even smaller box than us – 8 X 25.

  3. Gs.

    Don Holmes
    CH2M HILL Inc.
    215 Carter Point Road
    Sedgwick, ME 04676
    207-359-8412 (office)
    207-409-7186 (mobile)

  4. I have to ask what does “complete” mean when it comes to your house contest….closing date, move in date, CO date? (^_^)

  5. Is there a chance your builder is related to Thomas Friedman?

    “One Friedman Unit is equal to six months, specifically the “next six months”, a period repeatedly declared by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman to be the most critical of the then-ongoing Iraq War”

    I’m going to guess November 16th.

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