We had a good couple of days while down in Homosassa this week. Most of our "stuff" is unpacked and out of boxes. We must remember to give the recycling collector a nice tip this Christmas! It's all organized, and mostly set in place. Just the little decorative stuff, and collectibles, that we kept that need to be cleaned and put away in the cabinets. It was so strange, going through everything we packed up. Some things we looked at and said to ourselves, why did we keep this? Other things were true unexpected finds....like a set of dishes we had received as a wedding gift 31 years ago, and had never used...brand new dishes now! Al's mom and sister love the house, and will be very happy living here year round, as will we in the winter months. I have to remember to take some pictures and post them.Wednesday I had many errands to run with my mom, so we set out early to get those done. I did bring her back to the house for lunch, as we had friends from New York visiting us. It's wonderful to see folks that you haven't seen in quite awhile, and Missy and Ricky were no exception. Ricky has family in the area as well, and they have been looking to buy a house down here as well. This week turned out to be the week :-). They contracted on a house right there in Sugarmill, about 5 minutes drive from us. We're so happy for them. We had a nice lunch, and it was wonderful to relax around the pool on the lanai, chatting with good friends. Late in the afternoon, we had our first good storm of the season, thunder, lightning and torrential rains....this has been the first real good rain since we've arrived at Christmas. It is needed badly down here.
Thursday we embarked upon a new adventure...becoming volunteers at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. This does not bring us an RV site, as there is no campground at this park. It does bring satisfaction in helping a wonderful attraction stay open. It depends on volunteers very much to help in all facets of park operation, and they just ask for a minimum of four hours a week per volunteer. This week we attended volunteer orientation, where we learned a bit about the park and were taken on a tour of all the facilities and shown the various jobs that they are looking to fill. Next week we will start training for these jobs. Al is starting as a boat driver....they have boats that ferry passengers from the Highway 19 entrance to the main entrance of the park on Fishbowl Drive, about a 15 minute ride down the Homosassa River. He will also have an informative talk to give while ferrying the guests along, so he is going to have to learn that :-). I have chosen to start as an interpretive cart host. These are carts that are set up with information and exhibits relating to several different animals in the park. These carts are set up on the boardwalks at the individual animal habitats, and we are there to talk about the animals and answer questions. It sounds very interesting to me, and a neat way to learn about the animals and also to interact with them and the guests. As I learn more about the park, next year I may move onto a "park host", who walks around the park and interacts with guests and answering questions. I think it will be fun, and give us new experiences.
Thursday afternoon we headed back north to Otter Springs, but made a detour over to Rainbow Springs State Park Campground. We had received an email from folks we met at the RV Dreams rally in April, Nancy and Neil Savage. They were staying at Rainbow Springs and invited us to stop by for a nice chat and dinner. This is one of the nicest parts of the RV lifestyle, is the great people you meet and become friends with that you most likely would have never met at all! We had a lovely time, and the talk just never stopped. I was so glad to hear that their plans for getting out here on the road are coming together, although more slowly than they would have liked. But that goes for most of us, doesn't it. Again, like us, they have to find the best way to work things out for themselves, as each couple has different circumstances and responsibilities. The important thing is to not give up, get out there and follow your dreams as best you can. It was so great to meet up with them, we so appreciate the time people spend keeping up with our travels, and knowing that my love of this beautiful park, and writing about it, has brought the same love to it from more folks. If anyone ever has questions about anywhere we've been, or places we've worked, don't hesitate to write to me, or comment; I love hearing from you and will be happy to elaborate on anything.
Thanks for all the comments and support out there. We are back in Otter Springs this weekend for our work "week", some stormy weather is supposedly on tap, but I'll try to get out and take some pictures to liven things up. have a great day out there!