Summer in Florida …
That usually means two or three things:
- Morning begins clear and beautiful. No clouds in the sky with brilliant sunrises and scenery
- Mid-day, the humidity has increased, and brings clouds. People come into Total Wine and complain about the heat. I’m like, “And you live, where…?”
- Late afternoon/early evening. Thunderstorms release the tension created by humidity and heat. Lasting five-ten minutes, they chase my fierce Doberman Pinscher (big baby) into his kennel. I sit on the lanai watching the rain evoke my childhood memories of Sandusky, OH – on the porch watching the rain flll the gutters.
- Until Thanksgiving, the National Hurricane Center website is checked daily for potential threats. The generator is ready in case of power outages. An evacuation plan is in place.
- So far, we’ve been lucky. No major storms have arrived since before we came here. Our home was built to the most rigorous hurricane standards. But we are prepared.
Life slows down
- We live in a much more populous area than Rapid City, SD. But advantages available to us here in SWFL outweigh the disadvantages.
- We can take a day trip to Miami or Key West or Orlando or Tampa. We don’t much. Why? We have our own resort right here. We have a private pool and spa. Our boat can take us to downtown Fort Myers, the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers Beach, or Pine Island. We have a convertible to take a jaunt to the countryside or beach.
- We have at least a three-day weekend together (more on that below) and were thinking, let’s do something. We decided that “something” would be floating in the pool, cooking meals, drinking good wine, and being together. What else is there?
Today I passed the third of seven examinations towards the Total Wine Professional certificate. Italy was extremely challenging. I began my exploration of wine around 1993 to prepare to take a group to Italy in 1996, figuring I ought to know more about the culture.
That trip was memorable. We spent time in Venice, Siena, Florence, and Milan. I only wish I had known then what I know now regarding Italian wine because, as I studied for this test, I became aware of how many important places we visited in regard to wine culture. Ah, well.
Next up, I get to revisit France. My second TWP exam was only over Bordeaux – a significant place for French wine – but only one of about seven major French wine regions. The next exam covers ALL the rest of them. I am particularly aware of my lack of knowledge regarding Burgundy. History? Sure. Wine culture? Not so much. Oh well, time to put on the graduate school mentality. Looking forward to it, actually.
Considerable time and effort was expended working on this website over the last month in order to make all the scores to the music of the Choralis Constantinus 1508 available as free PDF downloads. One can now go to:
and click on a title of a specific motet to obtain the music. A form must be filled out, since we wish to track how many scores and which scores are being requested and where they are going. If you wish a score and have issues getting one, just drop me a note and I’ll get it to you.
Michelle and I are contemplating a return to Konstanz in 2023 to celebrate my seventieth birthday. We wish to revisit the city before all our friends retire. Missing the Hafenhallenteller, the Franz Fritz Weinkellerei, Reichenau, and everything and everyone there.
- I go in for cataract surgery tomorrow. It’s normal, I guess, for people my age, but I’m still not thrilled about it. The second eye will get surgery on July 15th. Evidently, they’ll fix my astigmatism, allowing me to go without glasses for the first time since fifth grade. And Michelle will take time off from work to drive me there and back. So, we have some enforced together time for a few days.
- Michelle’s been promoted (again). The administration came to her to ask her to take over a team that had been in disarray from an ineffective team leader. She wrote her terms for the switch and, now currently supervises eleven(!) clinicians, overseeing about 400 residents … at least until they hire someone to replace her on her old team. Proud of her. I always believed in her. Glad she has finally been able to spread her wings.
- Loki is gradually becoming the dog we want him to be. He is stubborn and has some inbreeding character flaws, but my work with him is slowly paying off. I have only two main goals for him now: a) Stop terrorizing our beautiful calico cat Taco and learn that when she runs from him, it is not an invitation to chase her and, b) bicycles are not a threat. The latter goal is closer to achievement than the former.
- We had a fantastic visit from my sister Sue and brother-in-law Rand in early April, followed by a visit from three old friends from Arizona State University days (40 years ago now!). I was able to gift Rand some Blanton’s bourbon and also share some other rare bourbons he can’t get in Ohio. Claire, Marie, and Sharon are as lovely and fun as they always have been. I had forgotten how much fun they were together. It was a treat for us to host all of them here in such a short time span.
- I sent complimentary CDs of the Heinrich Isaac music to four former professors – all of whom I consider formative to my growth as a musician and as a human being. The fantastic side effect was to receive phone calls and emails from them thanking me for remembering them. It made me feel good that I was able to share with them the good that they had engendered by influencing me. Thank you, Lewis Phelps, Carl H. Kandel, John MacDonald, and Robert D. Reynolds.
- Growing season here is coming to an end. My last tomato was eaten last week. The herbs need to be replanted in the shadier of the two beds and the winter bed (in direct sun) will go fallow until October.
As Garrison used to say, “..and that’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” Free feel to check in. We’re always glad to hear from you