Friday, August 5, 2011
Funny how things work out sometimes. It's been a crazy busy time as we've been helping our firstborn son and his wife build their new house and get their existing house ready to sell, hoping it would sell by the time we were done with the new house. As it turned out, the old house sold before we were done with the new one, and so son, wife, and 3 kids moved in with us for the time being.
We lived together before for a few months 6 years ago when grandchild #1 was a newborn....when we didn't also have a young woman living with us....who had just returned from her summer vacation. We all get along pretty well, but husband and son also work together all day 5 or more days of the week, and what young American mother wants to share tight spaces with her mother-in-law 24/7?
Enter the bungalow heaven. Sam and Amber graciously offered to share their restored bungalow in the city with us for for a bit, to give us all a little more space. So I am taking a break from our busy pace and enjoying quiet evening meals with my husband (no TV-hooray!) and slow starting mornings with coffee and computer (in spite of a couple disagreements with the coffee maker) in a beautiful old home in an area filled with restored craftsman and bungalow houses, with front porches aplenty on quiet streets lined with mature oaks. (For regular readers of Amber's Blog, the homes pictured are typical examples of the scenery, not the Samber home.)
I marvel that I can walk or ride my bike a short distance through these relatively quiet neighborhoods for restaurants or groceries or banking or library, pedal to downtown museums, a local university, or along the gorgeous 3.5-4 mile bayshore boulevard overlooking the bay for walking/biking.
I've lived in this area for most of my life, but because I live and work across the bay, I haven't made time to explore the city much for history and culture and fun activities. I'm usually driving through or stopping only at contractor's offices or government buildings, or the Samber house. But this week I discovered opportunities for a group bike ride featuring city restaurants and a walking historical tour of Ybor City, both of which made my "fun things I'd like to do" list.
I've watched fish jumping in series and shore birds fishing with the downtown skyline and harbour shipping yards for a background. I found the locations (previously unknown to me) of two great photos by Amber, posted to her blog (note the difference between her shot and mine :-), and I hope to find another (the chain and tank) in my meanderings.
I watched a rider in training coax her horse through some jumps at a stable just steps from the water's edge of the bay. I ate a gyro and overheard a t-shirt and jean clad couple at the table next to me discuss their potential partnership, marketing strategy and profit, with the slowly dawning realization that their business was prostitution for out-of-town clientele willing to spend BIG bucks for a "high-class" "model". wow. what a person can do in the city.
Tomorrow will have to be a heavier work day to make up for what I have NOT accomplished these past two days, but I definitely do not regret taking time to enjoy this bit of bungalow heaven.