I think I'm finally getting back to normal. Well, as close to "normal" as I can, after a death of a loved one.
In the last six weeks, we've driven from central western VA, to central western FL. We took care of all my brother's business while there. Heat, humidity, wicked thunderstorms. Ugh. I have been to FL a few times. I must either visit at the wrong time, or the wrong places, but I've never said, "Oh, I'd like to move here." Ever. Never ever. I just do not like it at all.
Last week we drove to Maine. South Portland to be exact. We rented houses in both FL and Maine through Homeaway.com. The homes in both places were okay, both owned by women. Both pretty much represented accurately. However, staying anywhere away from home is stressful to me, husband, and the 2 dogs we took with us. It's just not the same. Sleeping in different beds, not mattresses we are used to, and who knows who else has slept in those beds!? Using utensils and dishes and cups and pans that aren't always clean when you get there. The pool at the house in FL was filthy and I was hoping to relax in the evenings by spending some time in it - which never happened. But, we were able to take the dogs, and feel secure about them staying in the homes, and they didn't come home infested with fleas. So, there are the plus points.
In Florida, as I said, we took care of a bunch of business which went, for the most part, smoothly. In Maine, we attended a dedication ceremony for my brother Mike. He had worked for the Portland Housing Authority for a long time. He was responsible for creating the four study centers which are accessible to under privileged students. He wrote the grants, got everything approved, and kept them up and running during his tenure. However, there was a LOT more that he did. Only a few people were there to state the things that Mike had done for them, but I know for a fact, there are hundreds of people currently out in the world, that have been touched by my brother's caring and heart. He literally took one student (well, there were probably a lot more than one) and literally took him to school every day, picked him up every day, took him to the study center, and took him home at night. Mike helped this young man avoid being in a gang. The young man's brother had been killed in gang-related violence. This young man was heading down the same road. My brother helped this young man stay out of danger's way, and helped him through school, and to get into college. Mike helped so many students do what they were told was impossible for them to accomplish - go to college and get careers. He helped them fill out scholarship applications, college applications, and sometimes drove them to the college. He helped them study for tests. He helped them get where they needed to go and do what they needed to do.
I'm very proud of my brother. He did good stuff for other people. I only wish that he had been alive to see the dedication, hear the stories, and know how many people he really helped and how they will never forget him for it. Success through education. It's something Mike believed in.
A few pics of our trip to Maine. We got to spend a small amount of time seeing a few light houses, and going to this little tiny beach near the house we rented. If I could afford it, and I could talk my husband into it, I'd move there in 2 seconds flat.
Yep, I enjoyed it. I would rent this house for an entire season if I didn't have 2 horses and a cat at home that need caring for. The dogs go with us, so that's fine. This house had a for rent sign out front, and it was mere steps from the beach.
Well, that's it for me for now. I have a lot of things to talk about but will save them for another day and another post.