Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back and Under Pressure

We got back late Thursday night. Friday was a wash as all three of us were beat from the 14 hour trip. Saturday was putting everything away with hopes we could get it done before anyone called to show the house. No one did. Today was outside work prettying up the yard. Two months played havoc on it. Still did not get everything done so will have to finish tomorrow. No one called. Next will be some work on the inside. All of this brings to mind a song by the famous band Queen. Take a minute and enjoy it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Almost Time to Go Back

We have been just cooling our heels since our last post. It has been very hot. The best time to do anything is early in the morning. Mostly we are doing some brush clearing, tidying up the area and some dog training. Once in a while we will venture out for a ride or a day trip but we have kept those to a minimum for the past month and a half.

Early in July and through the latter part of the month we had a rain shower mostly every afternoon. That would cool things down a bit and make the temperatures for sleeping just about right. This picture is a view out of our back window just after a storm. The latter part of July through early this week, however, was very dry and some times the temperature, here on the lot, got up to 107F/41.7C. That made it about 101F/38.3C in the trailer. The heat was probably harder on Guinness than us for he did not understand early on how to cool down. He learned quickly, though, and started to take siestas in the afternoon. At night he would come alive....very alive.

We did take a day trip to Jekyll Island beach, about 2 hours south of here. We traveled there because they allowed dogs on the beach. Our local beach at Tybee Island, 45 minutes away, does not allow pets of any kind at anytime. Guinness had not been to the beach since our outing at Dewey Beach for a Doodle Romp back in late April. At that time he was kind of wary of the water and the sound of the waves. If you look at our last post, he fell in love with the water last month. We have taken him back to the river several times and he has become very comfortable with swimming.

We arrived at Jekyll Island beach early (9 AM) and the water was like glass. No waves to speak of and the water temperature was very warm. We had Guinness on his long leash (50 ft./15m). When we got on the beach he was like a little kid seeing it for the first time. He loved it. Once we settled we went straight to the water. He wasted no time. He went right in frolicking and swimming. We had a ball for him to fetch and that was the game for the rest of the morning. He hated to leave. So did we, but by 1 PM, we had had enough.

In late July, we were able to make contact with a family who adopted one of Guinness' siblings. Her name is Lucy. Lucy's family lives about 2 hours from us in South Carolina and we made plans to go there for a brother/sister reunion. When we arrived, Lucy and Guinness did not seem to recognize each other. We had hoped their would be some sort of recognition, but there was none that we could see. Lucy was the last of nine in the litter and is quite a bit smaller than Guinness. This did not deter her, however, from making sure he knew this was her house and she was the boss. He gave her the space she needed and after a while they seemed to accept each other very well. This was very obvious when we departed for Lucy's mom was holding her as Guinness got in the truck and she seemed quite distressed that he was leaving. All in all it was a very pleasant experience and Lucy's family was exceptionally gracious and hospitable to us. The quintessential southern family.

This coastal region has excellent opportunities for the freshest of seafood. There are many shrimping companies close by and most sell their catch right off the boat. It is typical to get a pound of fresh, live shrimp, of good size, for $2.50-$4.50 per pound. We have taken advantage of that many times. Blue crabs are also abundant here. Joyce, being raised in the Baltimore area, loves here steamed crabs (covered in Old Bay seasoning of course). Over the past few years it has been difficult to find crabs in the Baltimore area that would not empty your savings account. That story is different here. Blue crabs are abundant and inexpensive. We get a dozen of mixed sizes for $10.00. Large males are $15-$18 a dozen. We have had several crab feasts of our own in the past month or so.

Being alone on this land is so peaceful. This is the first chance we have had to be here for any length of time. Prior to this we have not seen any wildlife other than a few birds and an occasional squirrel. There a tons of deer in the area and they remain elusive, although we did see one when we first arrived. Lots of fresh tracks every day, but they come through here at night while we are asleep. A raccoon has raided our trash area so we now hoist all trash into a tree until it is time to dump it. Armadillos are around, but they also come out at night.

Joyce put up a hummingbird feeder and has attracted a gathering of the tiny aviators. They are a hoot to watch. We see several hawks in the area and hear them quite often. Turkey vultures are a very common sight, also. One of our regular visitors is a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers. These are very large birds and are very loud when calling to their mates. They are beautiful. The most exciting visitor was a large Barred Owl. The picture is the best I could get with the camera I had. He sat in the tree and watched us for about an hour. He/she was gorgeous.

Next week we will be heading back to Maryland. Our efforts will be to get the house sold. We will try to do some upgrades, but they will be very limited. It doesn't seem very many homes are selling in our area yet.

Our next big trip is in October when we attend our first Army Security Agency-Philippines reunion. More on that later. The next week will be spent getting ready to pack up and head back. Ugh! We hate this part. Some day soon, though. No more heading back.