Ruminations from the Rock and Beyond

The Ugly, the Bad and the Good – Not Necessarily in That Order

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond Jory Westberry Let’s start with the Bad. The 30-foot Brazilian Pepper (BP) tree invasion is killing our native mangroves on Isles of Capri by crowding them from the sunlight they need to survive. Native to South America, they were introduced as an ornamental tree, but Avast, me hearties, they’ve changed the landscape and threaten ... Read More »

Artist Diane Reed Eiler Creates in Many Mediums But There’s Nothing “Medium” About Her Work

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond Jory Westberry Long time Isles of Capri resident Diane Reed Eiler has established her reputation for vibrant watercolors, stunning acrylics and beautifully created oil paintings. Recently, at the beautiful home of JR Rognrud, a showing of Eiler’s work was displayed in a gallery setting overlooking wide expanses of blue Gulf water from the second ... Read More »

I’m Just Wild About Stars and Candy…

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond Jory Westberry “Stars on the Water” and Candy Morgan, that is. Eleven years ago, Candy Morgan visited me (the principal of Tommie Barfield Elementary at the time) with a proposal for an after-school support program for second graders called “Stars on the Water.” The original inspiration came from Reverend Kyle Bennett at St. Mark’s ... Read More »

Strange Goings On… And It’s Not Even Halloween!

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond Jory Westberry I love the exquisite blooms, flowering trees and swaying palms of Southwest Florida and, even though it takes a lot of work, it’s totally worth the effort to sustain beauty in my own yard. When I walk the dog, ride my bike or drive around the Isles of Capri or Marco Island, ... Read More »

The Thrilling 2017 Isles of Capri Yard Sale – Treasures for All!

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond Jory Westberry It’s hard to believe that the first all-island yard sale was 30 years ago and they get bigger and better each year. 2017 was no exception judging by the numbers of golf carts, bicycles and cars that cruised the isles on January 28th looking for that “one in a million” find.” Each ... Read More »

There’s Nothing Like the Joy in Helping a Child, Agreed?

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond Jory Westberry When is the last time you noticed the shoes that a child was wearing? Or the way he or she walked? Or whether the shoes were appropriate for the activity? Often, we’re too busy, distracted and we have minimal eye contact, but nothing else; we really don’t look at the whole child ... Read More »

Recycling, Not to be Confused with Bicycling

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond Jory Westberry Let’s admit that we all have pet peeves; some of mine are irksome and some bring out downright ire. Take, for example, on one of my trips to the mainland on a recycling day, I noted that about 90% of the residents have their recycling carts out. That’s not an official number, ... Read More »

Humbug to New Year’s Resolutions? Not so fast!

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond Jory Westberry My friends and I were comparing our struggles with New Year’s Resolutions, and okay, resolutions in general, because they seem to fizzle out over time…like February. We decided that it could be our wavering memories, lack of progress or real commitment, or the insane insanity of our lives that makes it difficult. ... Read More »

Make it Count in SO MANY WAYS

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond Jory Westberry “I have one life and one chance to make it count for something…” Take a moment to ponder which American president made this statement and, true to his beliefs, followed through. He not only served his country, he was ethical, looked for the positive in people and situations and sought ways to ... Read More »

Another Great Place to Dine on Isles of Capri? You Bet!

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond Jory Westberry Thirty-five years ago, Grandpa Mikey Cooper moved his family “lock, stock and barrel” from the Tennessee hills to tropical Isles of Capri. Extended family from Oklahoma pitched in to help rehab “Poor Paul’s Fish Camp,” formerly an original 50s bait, tackle and grocery store, to create the remodeled Pelican Bend restaurant. There ... Read More »

A Salute to Our Veteran…And All Veterans

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond Jory Westberry He came to live with us from another state when he was eight. Up until his departure, raising a stepson was the hardest thing I had ever done. Through his pre-teen and teenage angst years, his ears were granite. He ignored us or paid lip service to our parenting; believe me, we ... Read More »

Love to Learn? Listen Up!

RUMINATION FROM THE ROCK AND BEYOND Jory Westberry Marco Island, Isles of Capri and nearby environs are full of intelligent, inquiring minds that search out opportunities to be more informed and inspired. Let’s face it, we could be watching past seasons of “Game of Thrones” On Demand to make sense of it before the new series starts, but what would that ... Read More »

Broader Scope to Service to Others – Dogs?

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond Jory Westberry Over a decade ago, my husband and I committed to fostering a puppy that ultimately would be assigned to a handicapped or visually impaired person. The organization that we partnered with, “Paws with a Cause,” is based in Michigan. Our black Labrador puppy was named Opal by the students at Tommie Barfield ... Read More »

Is That a Llama? Working in Grand Teton National Park

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond Jory Westberry Editors Note:  Please see other great articles on our national parks in our special edition. After I completed my undergraduate degree, I wanted to see our beautiful country so I headed off from the East Coast towards California with two friends. I remember thinking how HUGE and diverse it was, with pockets ... Read More »

Pointing Fingers

By Jory Westberry This year, more than any in recent memory, has been a political hotbed of accusations, misinformation, prevarication and unprofessional behavior. One has to wonder, “What in the world (or USA) is going on here? Didn’t we used to look to our leaders as Leaders? Weren’t we motivated by their education, articulation, humble beginnings, sincerity and humanity? We ... Read More »

What Does “Back to School” Mean to You?

RUMINATION FROM THE ROCK AND BEYOND Jory Westberry What memories do the words, “Back to School” tickle in your head? An end to goofing off and feeling so free that when the wind blows through your hair it erases any schedule you had? The time to play was paramount to even eating lunch or dinner when you were called; you dutifully looked ... Read More »

It’s Time to Pay Attention

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond Jory Westberry No one is around you to see you, so be honest with these questions. Raise your pinky if you voted in the school board primary election two years ago. I don’t predict many pinkies in the air because about 38,805 out of 185,016 of all Collier County registered voters voted in that ... Read More »

Whoa, the Dreaded Words

Rumination from the Rock and Beyond Jory Westberry As summer progresses, some of your children temporarily unoccupied by arts and crafts camps, drama experiences, nature field trips, organized sports, theme parks or other engaging experiences, may have uttered those dreaded words. “I’m bored.” If you haven’t experienced this declaration from your child or grandchild, you’re exceedingly lucky. I’ll tell you, ... Read More »