18 May 2008 | Fernandina Beach, FL
Ever since we arrived here, we've been on the go. So much for the laid back lifestyle. Mind you, I'm not complaining - we've been having a wonderful time.
Our delicious lunch at Karibo on Thursday - fat, tasty wraps with potato salad and a wedge of melon, dinner filled with laughter that night at Surf City with Sandra and Steve and their friends Lily and John - steak and baked potatoes with sour cream, started us off on a whirlwind of dining out and enjoying the fellowship of good friends in this attractive town.
We met Bill (and his dog Limo) at Tiger Point Marina on Friday. He has kindly agreed to let us tie up there for a few days while his electrician does a thorough diagnostic assessment on Madcap and installs our new charger. Later in the week, our new wind generator and solar panels arrive and will also be installed. Jim will write a posting on all the details of that.
Enterprise had a really good weekend rental rate so we picked up a Dodge Caliber (neat car, Liam!) and headed off to the UPS Store in St. Mary's to pick up a parcel that was waiting for us. We were also pleased to find mail and packages waiting for us at Steve and Sandi's. St Mary's is a pretty little town just across the border in Georgia. Many of our friends were there for Thanksgiving and we were glad to explore the place. We signed our names on the wall at the Read 'Em Again Book Store - a really nice one - as we picked up some new reading material. We sat on the swings along the waterfront, chatting with local folks and gazing out at the Georgia marshes across the river - now greening up with spring growth.
I got my hair trimmed at the well positioned Aveda salon on Centre St- it's been growing out from my usual short cut since Christmas and I thought "Why cut it all off?" so I just got it shaped a bit. Today, Sunday, it feels really hot so probably next time it all goes!
In the evening, Sandra, Steve, Jim and I started out with drinks in the leafy courtyard of the Florida Place Inn, moved on to a fabulous Mexican dinner at Pedro's and finished off the evening at the Community Theatre. The play was "A Bench in the Sun". It is always enjoyable to take in some local theatre and this one was no exception. It was an older cast and all the volunteers were in what we'd call the "senior" category, and Jim and I just loved the reminder that there is much to get involved in and have fun with, no matter what the age.
Jim had a reminder of a different kind the other day - and another bit of culture shock. We are so accustomed to Bahamian streetside conversations, that when a fellow about his age called to him as he walked through a residential area, he went over to talk. The first question was "Are you from around here?" to which Jim replied, "No, I'm Canadian," thinking that would create a warm, pleasant feeling (Feel free to chuckle here) No warm feelings followed and the man then asked him for a cigarette, which he didn't have. That's when things took a turn for the worse. Jim said he knew this wasn't a good situation and turned to walk away just as the man said, "You're not going anywhere; you're arrested." Just as thoughts of knives and weapons went through Jim's mind, the man grabbed his arm to turn him around and hit him across the face. It's a good thing it was an open handed slap or he'd have lost teeth. Jim said he was so startled that he shook himself loose, pointed his finger in the man's face and said very loudly, "You stop that right now!!" The fellow looked surprised and immediately turned and walked away. Jim figured he must have a mental problem because he didn't seem drunk.
Normally, neither of us would do anything more than say Hello as we walked by someone in a situation like that. He thinks that he was just so much in the habit of encountering friendly people that it never occurred to him this would be any different. We all laughed at Jim's reaction - anger and admonishment rather than fear. Good thing it worked! (Can those of you who know Jim picture him doing this?? He's got a fierceness that shows itself now and then.)
Every single other person we've met here has been fine and friendly. This incident will neither stop us from walking through the neighbourhoods here nor being sociable with folks we meet. That's what we've spent months enjoying. It has just made us more observant and careful again.