Miami Journal – Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sometimes your plans work out; sometimes they don’t.

Ed and I set out this morning for Islamadora, the second key in the string that goes out into the Caribbean. Going there to walk along the beach and eat at a restaurant is one of his favorite ways of relaxing.

But part way through the first key, Key Largo, the traffic came to a standstill – because, Ed says, of weekend vacationers. So we turned around and looked for a way to get to the water on the Atlantic Ocean side of the island. Not as easy as you might think because the shoreline is filled with condos and private homes. Finally found a vacant lot (for sale) in a residential area. Walked through it to some big rocks at the shore. Sat and talked, soaking up the sunshine.

Our conversation ranged through nature, the Creator, our health, the economy, our own finances, our grandchildren, the state of the church, observations about leadership, the joys and troubles we’ve seen, the expectations that Hispanic pastors have of their bishop, missions promotion in the Southeast Conference, and the outlandish things Jill (Ed’s wife, a nurse) has seen and heard at Baptist Hospital where she works in the neonatal department, to mention a few. Don’t you wish you could have been with us for this high level conference?!

On the return trip we saw a lot of this.

mangroves1

Mangrove “forests,” which play many vital roles in the enioronment. They survive in salt water by excreting the salt through their leaves – think of that! Their complex root systems provide sanctuary for young fish and crustaceans. Unfortunately, this type of shoreline habitat is disappearing from the state of Florida at an alarming rate.

The above photo is from Google, not from me – the work of Dean Richard Pettit.

So I drove to the Keys but got no Key lime pie.

Some things are the same even in different cultural settings. On my late afternoon heart health walk I went, as I normally do here, through the Kedndall Indian Hammock Park. An ice cream truck was playing the melody “Turkey in the Straw,” the same tune I hear from the ice cream truck back home in the development where I live. I was touched by this simple sound that weaves through my life. Perhaps it weaves through yours, too.

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