The retiree blues just got a new refrain …

So this is how the retiree life gets along in Brevard. Check your garden. Again. Bitch about weather you can do nothing about. Stare at your spiffy unridden bike. Drive to the store even though you don’t need to. Wonder if you got any real mail today.

But then there’s the rehash of a road trip that pushed all the old guy crankiness far to the side. 

April 17, 2018

Ellen/Reid: Well, if you believe the weather forecasters we are on the cusp of spring in Brevard. That’s a mighty big if. Allegedly it will be 78F tomorrow. I’ll believe it when I feel it. Like you guys, the weather here has been just plain awful; cold, wet, clammy. Geez, Ellen, a near foot of snow in St. Paul on April 15? What the …? No one can like that. Reid, I’ve not checked how Oakland is but has to be a damn side better than the Midwest and East.

Just walked in the door from trout fishing west of Brevard with Dave Hemminger. And unbelievably at the very end was something rarely if ever seen; the biggest fish, by far, caught on literally the final cast of the day. Dave hooked a monster and was able to steer it to the guide’s net. It was incredible. I have never witnessed anything like it. That’s on top of one helluva six day stretch of fishing – he hooked a nearly 200 lb. tarpon last Thursday off of south Miami. He fought the behemoth for an hour and 20 minutes before the hook apparently broke through its mouth.


My friend Dave fought this bad boy – actually, most big tarpon are females – for more than an hour. If they handed out certificates for near 200 pounders, he’d get one.

I think both he and the fish were exhausted. I never got a single bite although the highlight of the day was fishing for bonefish in the flats well offshore. It was an incredible environment although it was maddening that when the guide shouted ‘fish at 11:00 o’clock!’ I could never see the fish. He thought I wore the wrong color polarized lens, and that may well be but it was irritating to not see a single fish. At the end of the day, your dad just isn’t a very good catcher of fish. (Reid, you and Tim will fish the same stretch of trout water that Dave and I did the day after Thanksgiving.)

There are some pea and lettuce sprouts popping up in the garden. It’s good to see something finally start to grow although, distressingly, my raspberry plants are inexplicably dying. I’m not sure if it’s drift from nearby herbicide use or what, but the plants are withering away. I dunno. This isn’t what had been planned on. The blueberries are getting along fine, however. 

My new bike still languishes in the living room although it’s hoped that the maiden ride will be yet this week if the weather holds. Robbie said they had a big bike race in town while I was away fishing in Florida. But watching bike races just isn’t my thing. I want to pedal to the grocery store for bread or to Oskar Blues for a cold beer. 

Ellen, I just laughed out loud this morning at the photo of Georgia’s world-record bed head hair. What a tangle. That means she must’ve slept like a log. I hope she liked the stuff tossed in the box. I tried to minimize the number of pieces you’d have to pick up. Pretty considerate, huh? Still hard to wrestle with the scenes of snow armageddon up there. That’s just plain sick.

Reid, keep me posted on what’s going on in California. It’s nice that you’re pretty close to your mom. Nice to have family nearby. I’d like to see some photos of where you’re staying and what the work place looks like, too. How are you getting around without a car? You likely don’t need one. If you wouldn’t mind a visitor I’d love to come out for a couple of days around a weekend.

A young woman with two daughters moved into the house next door. She must be a florist because she’s had pots galore of cut flowers on her front porch. She had some raised beds for dahlias built in her backyard but they are so long and narrow the boxes look like coffins. Kind of weird but that’s the way things are in the ‘hood. The remaining still-to-be-finished four houses in the development have all sold. That’s a good thing. Based on what I’ve seen of their placement on the lots, my place still shines for the spacious backyard view. It feels like a good move to be out here. Now all that’s left to do is make sure the raspberries grow and to ride the bike. And catch more fish.

Love, Dad


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