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Nothing like Christmas in Florida
bressler color

I hope you folks had as fine a Christmas as we did and are looking forward to a wonderful New Year and waiting to see what God has in store for each and everyone. I never see what's coming as bad as it seems, but rather to see what possibilities are out there for me to tackle and learn from.

Julie and I ran down to Sarasota to see our grandchildren as well as Julie's sister and husband and to talk to our daughter and her husband when the opportunity appeared. We had to take Downgirlsit because there don't seem to be any dog sitters around during the holidays. There were some conflicts. Our daughter's family lost their very special dog, Lucky, because of old age and just had to have another. There is a shelter down there called Last Chance, which is a place for animals that seem to be too old, cranky or unlovable. Jenny, Dan and the boys fell for some dog called Montey. The vet said he was about 5 years old. I would guess Montey was more like 10. He weighed about 125 pounds, walked with a gimp and smiled a lot. They said he was a dog, but when he was sleeping, he could have easily been mistaken for a large pig. When he spoke — dogs can do that, you know — he sounded like someone with a bad sore throat gargling with bad tasting mouthwash. When he slept, which was most of the time, he made a sound resembling a truck needing a valve job.
Downgirlsit was not doing too well because Jenny also had two cats and a rabbit. We are going to have to take our dog to therapy as soon as we get home.

It rained every day down in old Sarasota. The beach was a no-go and our big entertainment was walking the dogs, kicking the cats and keeping Downgirlsit from eating the rabbit.

You know what? This Christmas was the way it is supposed to be because we had time to not only see our family and share our love with one another, but for a time we all forgot much of the world's problems and just believed that everyone else did, too, at least for now.

I almost forgot this story. We were in Florida during the season — which begins from the day after Thanksgiving and will last until the day after Easter — and the place is packed. We tried to find one of our old favorite restaurants — it's really a fast food place with atmosphere — called Salty Dogs. It's right on the water and the view and eats just can't be beat. Well, the place was packed and not a parking spot to be found. Dan, our son-in-law, said, "I know a great place downtown and off the beaten path that has fine eating!"

Off we went to an open air spot called, "If you can eat it, we got it!" We ordered up the specials: chili dogs, slaw dogs, chili and cheese dogs, along with plain dogs. These had to be washed down with large chocolate milkshakes — this is Florida, you know — or Cokes and don't forget the fries and onion rings. We ate. The bill was $70 plus tip. My credit card company will have a Happy New Year. My stomach will not recover until June.

We had a terrific time with the Maxwells and left soon after the neon sign over our bed began to blink with the words, "Visitors and Fish stink after three days." Our daughter has some sense of humor.

When we reached Jesup, the rain stopped and the sun began to shine. I knew we were almost home. Downgirlsit slept the whole way, Julie napped a little, and I just enjoyed driving and thinking about my big old ugly chair and my very own pillow, which I truly missed.

We're home now and all's well.

What did you do this Christmas? I'd do it all over again!

Thanks, God!


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