What do you have when you cross 4 Horst girls and a blue mini van with 26 hrs of travel, almost 2000 miles, a visit to Sea World, some time to relax on the pure white sandy beaches of Siesta Keys, and 4.5 days? Lots of memories and reason to smile..
We decided to take one last sister getaway quick before Julia takes the plunge.. So we managed a flying trip to Fla.. What a time.. Orlando was first on the itenerary.. And we got in on Sea World’s Christmas Shows- I loved that. Can you believe they had an outdoor ice skating show in 70 degree weather? And I was fascinated by the “sea of trees” which included a lake, multiple Christmas trees and lights-made up of 7 miles of garland.. As always the animal shows were incredible.. But the top was probably their “O Wondorous Night” show which included the Christmas story and 30 different Christmas Carols..
We had good memories of a family trip to Siesta Keys a few years ago, so that was voted destination of choice.. Wow.. I had forgotten how splendidly gorgeous the area was.. We had so much fun just being together and walking the beach, and relaxing. The vegetation is such a great combo of south (Live Oaks and Spanish Moss) and tropical (a variety of Palm Trees, hibiscus flowers and a flock of parrots in a tree beside our pool..) And what would a trip to Florida be if we hadn’t stopped in Pinecraft for a little home cooking.. 🙂 Every time I clean the garage and come across my sister’s ever enlarging seashell collection, I attempt to write up a law forbidding the trend.. But every trip to the beach, the PERFECT shells are collected, and dragged home to the garage collection.. So if you happen to know a use for perfect sea shells.. 🙂
Way to soon it was time to head north to reality and the overworked parents who awaited us.. We took a short cut on the way home- thru rural northern Fla and passed at least 15 boiled peanut shacks.. Deborah wanted to stop to get in on a local experience.. But Julia’s sights were set on Paradise Lane.. Family.. 🙂
So I arrived home- at 4 a.m. , bone weary, but in time to help prepare to butcher, embrace the north wind, and with a little bit more love for the blessing of a wonderful family.. 🙂
Butcher Day is deeply rooted in my mom’s heritage.. Pappy loved the day. Even yesterday, he stayed on, like the patriarch.. Watching the excitement, ever willing to taste the pon hoss, pudding, or fish and give his opinion.. 88 butcher seasons behind him.. Aunt Janet asked me what my thoughts were on the day. At that point I was just weary.. “It’s an art” she said.. And I agree.. Aside from the experience and the treat of the fresh meat- it’s a good time to just enjoy being with family, and appreciating each other for our own uniqueness.. A time to make memories.. And a reason to sleep really good that night with a freezer full of meat.. PTL
Photo credits: Emily, Deborah, and Julia