Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Tumbleweeding in Florida

Wandered on down to Nashville in the rain and put ourselves to bed in the Holiday Inn Express eating grocery store food while watching TV. We "stayed up late" (10 PM!)

Headed south the next morning -- a decision comes soon---Westerly to New Orleans or Easterly to Florida...
After a passable night near the Florida border (By passable I mean everything except the hour-long debate between two guys outside at 2AM and the baby next door whining itself awake at 5:30 AM) [Bless all those moms with babies]...
We had some sun and book-reading knowing that rain was coming.... we headed into Florida and the rain returned... "but it's a dry rain" ;-) Well, at least a warm rain.
We're having fun wandering about.... pretending that the journey is the destination..... stopping now to get a 1 lb "WhatABurger" for our lunch and then we're thinking of wandering through Ocala National "forest" then down the East coast... or not, or maybe...whatever....

Merry Christmas Eve!

We drove on Daytona Beach, something I did at age 12 the last time…. it is still drivable... we did some bird watching then kept driving south on A1A down the tiny slit of land out in the ocean until we ran out of hotels. Finally found a Dirty-Day's-Inn where other homeless people were staying... up that is.. the big evening Christmas party lasted until 2AM but with earplugs we outslept them and awoke late ... walked on the beach again, saw more birds...

Now south some more and toured Hobe Sound Bible College which was more than we expected... even saw a guy wearing SHORTS on the campus—whew! Otherwise a time tunnel--circa 1955.

Then westerly to Lake Okeechobee remembering a campsite there in 60 MPH winds in the 70's... now North to Lakeland where we plan to spend the night.
Sharon's sprint access allows the shotgun rider to dial up the Internet to monitor the roads, look up questions, resole arguments. or send emails -- while the other person is driving... not many emails for me—I’m on vacation.
Big rains this afternoon amidst tornado like clouds--no problem, we're from Indiana they looked normal to us. (though we found out later they blew away many roofs)
Next day, dodging Tornados we headed north again. Wound up near Winterhaven and took in a spy movie in the evening....
Next morning by 10 am we're off tumbleweeding again, the first shower-per-diem passing a while ago... today we're going to look at an historic Holiness site I visited as a child-- Lakeland Holiness camp meeting--if we can find it, then maybe let the wind blow us past another major holiness tourist site--Brooksville (AKA Headquarters.alt)
Floating with the current we found Lakeland Holiness Camp Meeting grounds, a place I last visited at age 12. Sure enough, while everything else changes, an independent camp meeting is predictably the same. It is sort of a "poor man's Brooksville" or I should say a "Brooksville for the separatist holiness movement folk"... that would be those who still don't cut their hair(women) but they allow themselves expensive cars--Caddies, Lincolns, and super-Buicks...interesting where one denies or allows excesses --all of us do I suppose. The "cultural Holiness movement" is holed up in places like this awaiting.... awaiting something.
After this we drove through WesleyenBrooksville and "did every street." We were delighted to see how that place has developed. They have another bunch of acres with $150,000-$200,000 homes springing up like weeds.... "Wesleyan Village" is for the NextGen of retirees.... impressive....

It is a symbol of one of the things I LIKE about the old-folk-Wesleyans.. across the board when the chips were down that generation voted with the next generation rather than protecting its own preferences and possessions... these are the folk who permitted youth conventions to look like rock concerts and hired the teens to rake their leaves to get money to go to them, these are the adults who swallowed their own music and let "praise choruses" dominate worship...they paid for buildings they didn;t need for themselves... and so much more....this is just one more example here in Brooksville-they risked having a bunch of their own camp-meeting-type cottages on the market unsold so that they could expand for the next generation... they knew the next generation would not retire in camp meeting cottages or rusty trailers ….so now the boomers will have a tidy place to retire to.... that match the laymen's houses and parsonages they had in life....the boomers get everything.
Then we hastened to Gainesville and fell asleep in our hundred dollar beds....we like Country Inn & suites best... then drove the next day to Knoxville where we had a delightful breakfast with Jim & Tommie Barnes, former Pres at IWU cum educational consultants afterwich we drove all the way home to our beloved Marion and returned to our own beds at the end of a week of wandering pronouncing it a good 2700 mile ramble.
Now we are catching up at home and are headed to Houghton where Sharon is the feature speaker at some sort of adult education conference this coming week --so hi to all my friends who are getting to Florida a week after I left.


Ashby said...

10pm. I'm rolling on that one! I keep realizing that the older I'm getting the later I stay up. See, my nights usually start around 10 or 11pm. You are getting up when I'm finally going to bed!

Samuel said...

that was a fun writing venture - have you been reading Coupland too :)

coach d said...

ashby--I have more reasons to go to bed than you do... at least one more ;-)

Jenn Swift said...

I thought of you over Christmas break... I was driving the West, you were driving the South. No Tornados on my end... mountain snows instead. It crossed my mind that you had trekked many of the hills I was speeding by. Nice summary of the "where the wind blows" trip you had.

pk said...

Missed you in Florida. Sounds like you really vacationed!

coach d said...

Yeah I was there the week before you arrived..when you got there I was in the north again.... had other family plans that week with Sharon