Back to California

Although I’m doing better, there was no way I would be able to walk the long distances at the airports today so I asked for wheelchair assistance.dsc04256Thank you Dave and Phyl for picking me up from the airport. Dave came in to wrestle the luggage!

Out of the house!

We drove back to Virginia last Friday. There was no help driving from me of course, Billie did the entire 800 miles/12 hours. Since then, I’ve been resting and have discovered the comfort of a heating pad on my sore left hip. Today, Billie went for a bike ride with her friends. JD picked me up to go have coffee at Cups. Yay! I got out of the house. L-R: JD, Donna, Billie, JoRee, Kenny.dsc04253

Happy Thanksgiving!

By Sophia:50161292238__da521062-78e3-4087-9629-884cf6fdb49aNo turkey this year. We made just two dishes (longest title ever): Pan-seared Oven-roasted Pork Tenderloin with Dried Cherry-Port Sauce with Onions and Marmalade AND Roasted Butternut Squash with Browned Butter and Hazelnuts.dsc04251Delicious!

Stella helps with recovery

There has been nothing to blog about. I’ve spent the last 7 days recovering from my bike crash. What a slow process. I walked (hobbled) up to the Tiki Bar today with Billie – 1/4 mile maybe – oh my!dsc04237The view from our table.dsc04234My left arm and shoulder seem fine except for the road rash section, my right thumb still hurts a lot, and my walking is slowly improving.dsc04242


Ice packs, heating pad, ibuprofen, and rest have been ongoing for the past two days. Thank goodness for NFL football games today. Yesterday, I watched shows that I would never have chosen otherwise like Vanderpump Rules and Love and Hip Hop. I can walk unaided now, although slowly, and am on the road to recovery.

Bike ride #4

Or … how to mess up a perfectly good vacation.

Our goal was to drive north, over two bridges, to the next barrier island and then do a 30-mile round-trip ride to McKee Botanical Garden to see Nature Connects: Art with Lego Bricks. We parked at a boat launch. dsc04227The National Navy SEAL Museum:dsc04229A rest stop at Avalon Beach:dsc04230dsc04233Back on the road, I turned to read a sign, got too close to the right edge of the roadway, slipped over the edge, and went down. Hard. Really hard. A construction worker, Justin, rushed over. He lifted the bike off me, got my phone, and called Billie who was ahead of me. A pickup truck stopped to see if I needed help. No, I didn’t want an ambulance. But I also couldn’t put any weight on my left leg and couldn’t move my left arm. Mike and Susan in the pickup loaded my bike in the back, Justin helped me walk to the truck and into the cab, and we drove back to where Billie’s vehicle was parked. Billie rode back on her bike. With help, I made it to bed where Nurse Billie brought me ice packs, ibuprofen, and went out to get a heating pad. We made a deal that if I wasn’t feeling better by Monday, I would go to a local doctor. Crap!

Bike ride #3

This was my best opportunity to check in with Weight Watchers this month – still below my goal weight!dsc04220We stopped at Nelson Family Farms on the way back. Billie bought some fresh fava beans – never had those before.dsc04222The longest stretch of road was on Indian River Drive. No shoulders but also not much traffic.dsc04223Beautiful homes to the left, their docks on the Indian River to the right.dsc04225Miles = 30.

Willie C Reagan

We drove to the art studio and home of Highwayman Willie Reagan today, located in Vero Beach.dsc04207This studio entrance didn’t work so we went to the front door. Willie gave us a tour of the art in the living areas. Note that the painting extends onto the crown molding frame, made by Willie. He called it his panorama style and told the rest of the Highwaymen that was his unique feature and they weren’t allowed to copy it.dsc04208This one especially painted for his wife Don:dsc04209In the upstairs studio, there was a big selection of his paintings. One of these paintings was purchased for $75 – he bought it back for $1000 to the delight of the elderly woman who owned it. dsc04212Willie and wife Don:dsc04213We each bought one of his giclees.dsc04219dsc04216This was a very special day. Willie and Don were so gracious and welcoming.

Florida Highwaymen Heritage Trail

After Al’s Family Farm, we rode back into Ft Pierce and followed a self-guided trail to learn about the Florida Highwaymen, a group of 26 African American landscape artists in Florida. They were self-taught and created over 200,000 paintings. Mostly from the Fort Pierce area, they painted landscapes and made a living selling them door-to-door to businesses and individuals throughout Florida from the mid-1950s through the 1980s. They got their Highwaymen name because they also peddled their work from the trunks of their cars along the eastern coastal roads.

Pine Grove Cemetery where three of the artists are buried. When Pine Grove Cemetery was started, blacks and whites were still segregated, even at death.dsc04176Many of the Highwaymen attended high school at Lincoln Park Academy where they received art lessons from Zanobia Jefferson. When Lincoln Park Academy was accredited in 1928, it was one of only four accredited black high schools in Florida.dsc04180The Dunbar House was the home of Doretha and Alfred Hair and the main gathering place for some of the Highwaymen.dsc04183A car pulled into the driveway to see if Doretha was home (she wasn’t). We noticed the sign on the door.dsc04182We felt so lucky to be able to meet and talk to one of the Highwaymen, Willie C Reagan.dsc04181Eddie’s Place was located here, a juke joint where several of the Highwaymen congregated and where Alfred Hair was killed in 1970 at the age of 29. As we were reading the sign, a man across the street was yelling, apparently at us. He came across the street to tell us Alfred’s brother was “just over there” in the parking lot and then pointed to spot where Alfred was shot – near the palm tree which he planted to honor Alfred. dsc04187The Highwaymen Obelisk is 20-feet tall and features mosaic duplicates of Highwaymen paintings.dsc04190Every stop along the trail had an information-packed sign. This one for the only woman in the group, Mary Ann Carroll.dsc04196The west wall of the Intermodal Transit Station features 26 engraved plaques that list the names of each artist mounted on a huge mosaic of a colorful Royal Poinciana tree, which was painted by many of the Highwaymen artists in their landscape scenes.dsc04202The home and art studio of A E “Bean” Backus, a well-known (white) Florida landscape artist, but not a Highwayman. He is credited with teaching technique to several of the Highwaymen and influencing the styles of the rest of them during a time in our history when it wasn’t a popular thing to do.dsc04206Miles = 27.