A 25th Anniversary

Tom_Laura

It was 25 years ago this weekend that Laura and I met. Hard to believe how fast time flies. It was Furman Homecoming Friday night, and we were both there under unusual circumstances. Here’s the story…

The Friday night of Homecoming Weekend students begin constructing floats on the mall. Well, not really “floats” in the technical sense, but displays. The alumni come back to wander along the mall and party with the students. There was always music and free food, and at one time there were even fireworks.

At that time Laura lived just around the corner from Furman. She had just given a big chemistry test that week, and had just celebrated her birthday. She was tired from staying up and grading papers, but couldn’t rest because of the noise from campus. She decided she would head over and at least enjoy the music in person. Continue reading “A 25th Anniversary”

Anniversary at Kissimmee Prairie

Kissimmee Prairie Palmetto Scrub

Monday Laura and I celebrated our 22nd anniversary. We usually like to get out and travel a bit on our anniversary. It was cold and windy, even in Florida, so a paddling trip or boat ride was out of the question. Instead, we decided to head inland to the Kissimmee Prairie, a 54,000 acre nature preserve north of Okeechobee.

Our directions from Amy were to drive down to Orange Avenue in Fort Pierce, then head west until it ended at Highway 441.  It was 25 miles of the straightest road I think I’ve ever seen on this side of the Mississippi.  It was another 20 miles on 441 through some of the most desolate countryside in the state.  There were large ranches and orange groves dotted with small single-wide trailers.  I couldn’t imagine living out here, especially in summer.

When we got to the Prairie we found a large flat area that alternated between palmetto scrub, grasslands, and wetlands interspersed with palm tree and live oak hammocks.  A couple of dirt roads traversed the area, but for the most part the only way to see the place was on foot. Continue reading “Anniversary at Kissimmee Prairie”