Christmas Light Show At The Botanical Gardens in Largo, Florida

Good morning fellow bloggers

As you know with my on-going health issues, it’s been hit or miss on which social events I have felt comfortable in attending. It has really depended on how much discomfort (pain and swelling) I am experiencing on a particular day. It’s been a bit frustrating, as I have canceled out of so many fun events these past 2 months. However, I am trying to get out when I can so I don’t become too depressed just staying in my RV all the time. It’s been a challenge for me I will admit as my quality of life has become extremely limited (at least for now). I keep trying to remind myself that there are others out there that have conditions much worse than me. Terry’s previous fight and positive attitude to try to keep going on until the end with the spread of his cancer and all the pain and discomfort and disappointing prognosis he kept receiving from his medical staff despite aggressive treatments was something that I keep reminding myself about and it has given me strength to try to keep moving on despite my frustration.

On this past Thursday, 12/26 I attended an uplifting Christmas event with my Tampa Bay Adventurers Group at the Botanical Gardens in Largo, Florida. This was followed by a visit to a place called “Crabby Bill’s” for a few beers with some of my TBA friends. Luckily, I survived the night and managed to stay around for a while without too many health issues. I cherish those moments when I can make it thru the night.

Unfortunately this weekend has not been as good. The pain, swelling and discomfort has again become problematic, so I am just sticking around my RV and praying my condition improves soon.

Enjoy the video and the pictures I’ve included from Thursday night’s event. The weather was perfect, about 68 degrees. Couldn’t ask for a better night than that!

Twas The Night After Christmas….

Twas The Night “After” Christmas

by spearfruit

Hey All,

Exactly one year ago the night after Christmas of 2017 my family and I returned back to my brother Jan and sister-in-law Gail’s home after going out for dinner. When I went out to the lanai area and called for my dear dog “Roxy” there was no response? When I put on the outside lights I discovered that my little sweet “Roxy” was floating lifeless in my brother’s pool. I was devastated. Roxy had been a part of my family for over 15 years She was a loving and faithful dog and brought me so much comfort and companionship, especially crucial after Terry’s death just a few months prior. Roxy (like Terry) will always be missed by me. My heart will always ache especially feeling guilty that I was not around at a time that my dear Roxy needed me the most, when she had fallen into the pool and I was not there to help or save her .

As a tribute to my dear “Roxy” I will include a short video blog originally done by Terry back in early September of 2016 when we were living at Pensacola Naval Air Station while Terry was undergoing his first series of Chemotherapy. Although it’s been 2 years since this video was taken, it feels like it was just yesterday. I miss my dear Roxy and my dear Terry so much.

Luv, Gary

 

Holiday Mixer at Ruth Chris Steakhouse on the Eve before Christmas Eve

Hi Everyone,

Hope you all had a nice Christmas. Mine was okay despite my current medical challenges.

As I mentioned in my last blog, my friend Beau drove here to Tampa from Melbourne, FL to spend the Christmas holidays with me. She figured I could use some company especially since I’ve been couped up in my RV for the past 5 weeks trying to recover from my surgeries.

In past years, my immediate family usually got together for Christmas, but this year was an exception.

My older brother Jan and his wife Gail were on a 10-day cruise. My younger brother Randy has been under-going some medical treatments so it was too hard for him and my mother to come here to see me in Tampa. Likewise with my current medical condition it was also too difficult for me to travel 6 hours to the Fort Walton Beach area to be with them.

Attaching a quick photo of my Mom taken by my brother on Christmas eve by his Christmas Tree. My Mom seems to look younger and younger each year. Can’t believe she’ll be 96 years old in mid March!

It was so nice for Beau to take the time to drive here to Tampa. I had a lot of activities tentatively planned for this past weekend, but was concerned that with the ups and down of my medical condition with constant swelling and sproradic episodes of severe pain from my recent surgeries, I wasn’t sure how many of these events we’d actually be able to attend.

Luckily Beau is such an understanding person and she didn’t care one way or another if we went to these holiday events or if we just sat around and relaxed in my RV watching movies for the weekend.

Beau arrived here on Saturday afternoon and that night we were able to partake in a few hours of fun in downtown Tampa with one of my meetup groups at the Tampa Bay annual Christmas Boat Parade (see previous blog). Unfortunately at about 9 PM when my pain became more intense we had to curtail our evening and return back home.

On Sunday evening we went to a Holiday Mixer at Ruth Chris Steak House with my Tampa Bay Adventurers group. About 70 people attended. This was followed by a short walk to see some of the Christmas lights in downtown Saint Petersburg. Luckily that evening I survived the night!

Unfortunately on Christmas Eve we were supposed to go out with a small group of people to attend a musical religious service, but we had to cancel out at the last moment since my pain intensity became too severe to attend.

On Christmas Day were supposed to attend a Christmas buffett with some friends at a restaurant on the beach from 2 to 4 PM. Beau was then planning on driving back to Melbourne later thatvafternoon to beat the holiday traffic. Once again on Christmas Day, my condition did not make it suitable for me to make the one hour drive to where we were to meet everyone as I woke up in a lot of pain again. So around mid day Beau left back for Melbourne and I rested up for the rest of the afternoon.

It’s a bit frustrating that my activities these days are still a bit limited and I have to assess my condition each day and to then make a decision of which events I can handle and which ones would be too problematic for me to attend. Hopefully, I’ll start seeing signs of improvement soon. It’s been a long and hard recovery.

The rest of this blog contains some photos from the Sunday evening Holiday mixer. Enjoy!

Having some fun with Beau’s fur coat! Playing the part of an Ape!

Annual Christmas Boat Parade in Tampa

Hey Everyone,

Merry Christmas. Including a short video and some pictures from a meetup event we went to in Tampa on Friday evening. Beau drove from Melbourne, Fl (about a 3 hour drive) to spend the Christmas holidays with me.

This was the first time attending a meetup with this group called “50 Plus Explorers.” The evening was a bit nippy but the sky was very clear. There were alot of people out and about enjoying the holiday festivities. We stayed out until about 9 PM until my pain became too intense to continue on. At least we got out for awhile to take in some fun.

Hanging out with the 3 little pigs. Was filling in for one of them who was on break!

Home For The Holidays with My TBA Group

Hey Fellow Bloggers…

As you know it’s “touch and go’ with me these days as to what I can and cannot do because of my on-going heath issues and very slow recovery from my surgeries.

On Friday evening, after having pretty much stayed around my RV all week long in continued pain and discomfort I had to get out for awile.

This Christmas house party was hosted at the home of one of the Tampa Bay Adventures who lives in Seminole, Fl. We had about 80 people in attendance. It was nice to get out if even only for a short while.

Happy Holidays My Friends!

Hope 2019 will be a better year!

Luv Gary

Boat Parade in Treasure Island with TBA!

Hey All,

Sorry I haven’t blogged for the past week or so, but been a bit “down in the dumps” with my on- going heath issues. Still much pain and inflamation now lasting for over a month! Every so often, when a get a few momentts when my pain subsides for a bit, I try to get out there to embrace the moment.

Last Sunday evening I particpated in a Christmas boat parade in Treasure Island with my Tampa Bay Aventurers (TBA) group. We were one of about 100 boats that entered into that contest. Had about 90 of us all together from the group on our boat.

Going to post a few photos from that event for your enjoyment. I tried to keep myself and all my other fellow TBA’s “Merry” throughout the evening! I think I succeeded!

We came in 4th place! Not bad for 100 boats in the competition!

I might also post a couple of short youtube videos from this event in a seperate post, so watch out for them!! Have a great rest of your weekend!

Luv Gary

Some Things Never Change!

Several weeks ago the letter and post card below was forwarded to me from my old friend Dawana, that I got to know while attending ROTC basic training at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina back in 1978. We were both in the same ROTC training unit back then.

In the above photo, Dawana is the girl in the middle in the white dress and I’m the guy in the brown plad shirt in the middle behind her. This is a copy of the original photo taken in 1978

Several years after that ROTC training camp , I sent Dawana that short letter and post card while stationed in South Korea in 1983 & 1984. (That’s the picture of the correspondence I posted above).

Since then, I lost touch with Dawana after all those many years. However shortly after Terry died in September of 2017, I happen to come accross Dawana’s old address and to my surprise I found out that she was back in Florida living in her old childhood home with her elderly Mother which was only a 1 hour ride from me in Tampa.

So one day, I decided to take a drive to Dawana’s home to see her and to catch up. I can’t believe that I hadn’t seen Dawana for 40 years!

The photo above was taken by me in September 2017.

Dawana has since moved with her elderly Mom to a new home in Georgia. However, a couple of weeks ago Dawana had returned to her previous home in Florida to prep it for sale. While sorting out her things, she happened to come accross the old letter and post cards that I sent to her over 35 years ago. I couldn’t believe she had kept these two letters all those years!

Whike re-reading what I written back then, I realized in that note that I had broken the same foot bone that I fractured just a couple of months ago!.

I’ve always had brittle bones despite being so active. Since I have osteopenia and osteomalcia I am subject to easily fracturimg my bones which I have broken so many timed throughout my lifetime. It certainly doesn’t help that I am also somewhat accident prone and clumsy by nature!

It was so nice of Dawana to have saved those old letters that I wrote to jer so many years ago. as it brought back fond memories!

Some things just never change. It seems that during a good portion of my life I have been subject to moving around while in one type of cast or another. However, I’ve learned to cope with it. That’s just life!

P.S. Some day I’ll write about an interesting experience I had in Tokoyo, Japan when I traveled there back in 1983 while still wearing the walking cast on my foot from my injury in Korea.

Have a great rest of your week!

Luv, Gary

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