With such an extreme, it’s hard to believe the year we have been through, but we’re almost at the end of that tumultuous year, and still not in any better shape. Then again, this whole year is for the history books. We were lucky to escape the endless hurricanes others suffered, but we dealt with the winds—I had to have my pool screens reattached twice already—and COVID-19, and/or the flu, or the other illnesses that seem to have plagued this wonderful earth of ours. Plus, we somehow got through the elections—and the winners are calling for a coming together, something we haven’t seen in 4 years at their hands—but we’ve made it anyhow. What will this new year bring to us that is a complete surprise? Hopefully not a new and different disease! We’ve had enough of that for a while.
*I’m a proud member of TWO Kiwanis Clubs, and my first ever Kiwanis Club was the Marco Island Club. My girlfriend Shirlee Barcic was the President for three times running, but I knew her as the owner of a Travel Agency on Marco, named Vann Travel, and I worked for the airline PBA, so I would call on her. That was in the 1970s, and we’ve been friends ever since. Well, my Marco Kiwanis Club just had their annual Installation Banquet at The Speakeasy, with one of the best BarBQ’s I’ve ever tasted! Those ribs were so juicy and tender you didn’t even need teeth to chew them, but they sure helped anyway. Our President Pat Hagedorn held the audience in the palms of her hands. Her speech was speckled with laughter, love, happiness, and recollections, but then again that woman always spreads cheer and laughter, no matter where she goes. She spoke of all the children we’ve helped this past year and over the years, and we were proud to be a part of such a beautiful organization as the Marco Island Kiwanis Club. Then she installed our new President, Mr. Lucky himself! He was also a cheerleader to our organization, and had us singing—wow, does HE have a beautiful voice—and laughing and enjoying. You could tell he would follow in Pat’s footsteps and be another GREAT president.
I sat with Bryan & Rondi Hauser, and a wonderful table filled with people who cared about the kids and the friendships that can be made through our organization. My only drawback is they meet at 7 AM for breakfast! I’m not a morning person! Many times, I wish I could just wander in after breakfast. Also, at this fun meeting was John & Arlene Coff, whom I adore, and oh my goodness, so many more. I miss meetings here and there, but I’m hoping this year, with no job to go to anymore, I can get myself out of bed and to the meetings; but in the winter months and the tourists and winter residents here, it takes me at least ¾ of an hour just to drive there, if not more. However, I’ll try to be more faithful now that I don’t have anything else to go to except the East Naples Kiwanis Club on Friday morning at 7:30 AM, and it’s not as far for me to get there. Sadly, our Marco Kiwanis Club has had to cancel our fundraisers so far because of this lousy COVID, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, so we obey. We have no idea what these next few months have in store for us, but we do know that every single year, when people start coming to Florida to escape the winter weather up north, the flu usually follows them. I HOPE you have gotten your flu shot. I never miss it, so I haven’t had the flu in about 10 years… but this year could be different, so I get the shot whether I like it or not.
*The Botanical Garden is now selling tickets to Night Lights in the Garden, and if you’ve never been, you really are missing something! You might make an extra effort this year. First, it’s outside! Second, it stays outside and people stay a safe distance away from each other, which is easy outside. This year their displays will be “Roots,” and it’s really interesting. A work of art, at its ROOTS. When my son comes in from Albany, NY, each year, that’s the first place we go. They have music playing throughout the park, and escorts to help along the way when needed. You must see this at least once, but every year they feature a new form of art. One year they had Dinosaurs, huge, snorting, fire breathing, tail moving, Dinosaurs! However, make your reservation soon. Everyone who lives here or has visitors here, or who visit here on their own, seems to want to come to the Botanical Garden first, so make your reservations now!
*On behalf of my family and myself, WE want to wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving! And if you’ll be with family, enjoy the love and friendship you share. If you’ll be with friends, I’m sure you’ll be thankful you have friends who love you and care about you, and they’ll be so happy you came!