Naples Florida: An Embarrassment of Riches

Looking South We had a lovely trip to Naples, FL — the first time either of us had visited there. Fine weather, the beaches are great, the food was the best, and the ambience was other worldly. So much money: luxury automobiles, multi million dollar homes, and high ticket restaurants. in other words, we fit right in!

The week was just about perfect. The only glitch was the surprising absence of sea shells from the sands of Captiva. During our last vacation there, about the same time of year, there were hundreds; not this trip.

Oh well. We did have several nice excursions, to the pier, the (multiple) shopping areas, and the many restaurants. We even made it to the beach! All this during a dreadful snowstorm in Richmond. We thought we had beat Old Man Winter: not! It snowed the week we returned, and every week since! Can we go back now?

See more photos on my Flickr stream.

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013Alma and Cherie, Kansas City 2003

Our 24th Christmas together is here. Has it been that long? I can still remember, as if it were yesterday, getting off the plane in Kansas City and driving up to St Joseph for this first time. It was cold, very cold, and snow was on the ground. Dark, cloudy, and blustery. Priding myself on following directions (this was long before nav systems!) I pulled up to a cozy rancher on a short street with a school at the end. Knocked on the door, and Mr. Borghoff appeared, with these words: "Welcome, David."

And there was the entire Borghoff family! Alma, who always acted a little shy but was easily the wisest and toughest of the bunch, Sandra and Karen, the older and younger sisters, eager to appraise the "New York Jew", and, of course, my wife to be, decked out in one of her famous, and thankfully now packed away, Christmas sweaters. It was quite a lot for me to take in at one time, let me tell you!

And now, these years later, we miss it so much. It was always a good time — lots of laughs, not many tears or shouting, few surprises, but even fewer disappointments. The trips to the Plaza in Kansas City. The nighttime drive around Krug Park. The big party at Bob and Janet's, featuring refreshments taken on ping pong tables. The many trips up and down the basement stairs, loaded with presents while Alma and Cherie kept up late Christmas eve, wrapping and reminiscing.

Christmas morning. Presents stacked waist high in the seldom used living room (where the second Christmas tree resides.) We each had our own place to sit, carefully refined over the years. As the family grew, some of the younger, and some of the more picky, stood during the gift exchange. Then it was off to church (second time in two days) and then the party for the aunts.

There was a particularly nice time for me, when the three sisters went off to visit friends or their own homes, and just Alma, Floyd and I were left behind on Scott Street. Soon Floyd and I would depart for our annual Christmas drive along the neighborhoods of St Joseph, but, for a time, the three of us got to rest, and got to know a bit about each other. It was peaceful there, in the family room with Mr. and Mrs. Borghoff. I hope they knew how well I thought of them, and I wish them another Merry Christmas, as we all remember them, and thank them for their grace and kindness. Merry Christmas.

Thanksgiving 2013

Admiring the table...

After a lot of hard work and preparation, we were happy to welcome our relatives from Missouri and Florida to our home for Thanksgiving. I think everyone enjoyed the menu:

  • candied sweet potatoes
  • potato gratin Parmentier
  • cranberry Cherie
  • summer corn with red bell pepper
  • green beans with garlic and ginger
  • bread, sausage, cherry, nut stuffing
  • turkey Extraordinaire.

Prior to and after the Thanksgiving feast a plethora of activities were enjoyed, including lunch at CanCan, a pizza feast, roasted hot dogs, the inevitable auction (with surprise bidding!), a bowling competition, scrabble, pet hospital, photo opportunities, etc. We certainly hope everyone enjoyed it as tremendously as we did!

No Doubt Fall is Here!

D800 Nikon 24mm f1.4D800 Nikon 24mm f1.4D800 Nikon 24mm f1.4

The rain comes swooping in on strong winds and the leaves are blowing. Not full color yet, but in a few days Autumn's browns and golds will be in full view. Of course the thermometer has dropped, causing the first hint of a frost, the furnace to ignite, and the flannel sheets to return to the bed. Summer was too short!

We are saddened by the turn in Mrs. Farmer's health, but in admiration of her strength and return home. It is always a warm feeling to look across the lake and see her house, knowing she is there, and hopefully enjoying the view of our home. Get well Mrs. Farmer!

In a few weeks we will have company for Thanksgiving! Our blessed relatives from Missouri and Florida will be visiting Copperpenny Court, bringing carloads of laughter and cheer to our door. What a delight! Even now we are planning an old fashioned menu with roast turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin pie. It will be a Thanksgiving holiday to treasure! We are really looking forward to it!

Fall Arrives

Nikon 85mm 1.4 AI-sNikon 85mm 1.4 AI-s

Summer ended yesterday, and the weather has been cool, sunny, and glorious. The ground still wet from Saturday's storms. This is outdoor weather: golf, gardening, photography, and getting chores done. And the dogs are loving it!

Certainly for many this is back to school season. The yellow busses are making their way throughout the neighborhoods and roadways, early morning and mid-afternoon, and children's backpacks, tennis shoes, and jeans are popping up all over. The new Fall television season is upon us, and, for me, some of the best literary fiction is hitting the shelves. Time to get serious about cooking again.

And so another year at Copperpenny Court begins to wind down. However, there are still some highlights ahead: for us, a trip to New York City, my birthplace. And we expect guests for Thanksgiving! Finally, niece Darcy is going to have another little boy very shortly. I am lobbying for the name to be David natürlich, but I think it is a lost cause...

Summer's Last Push

The Last  TomatoGrape Expectations

The week following Labor Day and it will reach mid-nineties, but it is all downhill from here. Football season is upon us, the kids are back to school, and it is getting dark too, too early in the evening. Accidentally killed Sid the black snake a few days ago. Sid — you should not have gotten under my car! We will miss you!

Our lawn will soon be aerated. The irrigation system will be shut down for the season, although it was barely run this summer. Tomatoes will come from foreign lands, not from the market on Saturday. The leaves will start to turn. Another cycle on Copperpenny Court.