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Back Home! Shoeless in Florida; Suzy’s FL To-Do List; Too Many Geese! Medical Lake; “No Way!”

Good news… after flights from Spokane to Denver to San Antonio to Orlando, Corvette Chick is safely back at home in The Villages visiting Her Lovely Mom Ruthie. Fellow Villagers Lynn and Bailey Spence drove Ruthie to the airport and picked Suzanne up. What great friends!  

After getting a good night’s rest after her long flight, My Lovely Bride decided that she needed a run before it got too hot. Oh, No! She thought she had a spare pair of running shoes at the house, but alas, she was shoeless. Off to the store which just happened to have a pair of Saucony performance runners in bright neon fuschia. She claims that they are lighter, more comfortable, and faster than her old shoes. (Plus, they look really HOT!)

While Suzanne is back in The Villages spending quality time with her mom and sitting with several people for readings, she also had a few minor items on her to-do list…  hair salon (so what’s wrong with the stylist in George, Washington, pop. 501, I ask? Well, I looked it up, and there is none. Okay, she’s off the hook on that one.); mani-pedi-cure (I’m not sure of the spelling of that two-fer); spiritual attunement; driving her Corvette; hanging big photos from Antelope Canyon on the wall; riding her racing bike; etc., etc.

With My Lovely Bride on TDY (a military abbreviation meaning “temporary duty”, usually at a distant or remote location), I have been spending my time with double workouts each day. Monday was kayaking and running. This view of Clear Lake’s shore rock formations gives you an idea of the topography. These rocks are basalt (volcanic magma) from the Miocene Period, between 7 and 17 million years old. The lake is a popular stop for Canada geese (due to a paucity of goose hunters, the population of geese has exploded in recent decades), which unfortunately leave lots of poop around the waterfront area of our campground. It’s like walking through a minefield…. The lake has lots of Ponderosa pines surrounding it, and the shade from these trees helps moderate the high temperatures just a bit. It’s been 90-93 in the sun, but only about 80-85 in the shade. 

This shot of a small sailboat on the dock was taken at dawn after dropping Suzanne off at GEG (Spokane International) for an 0630 departure. Most of the boats on the lake are used for fishing and waterskiing, but there have been several canoes and kayaks out in addition to mine. 

On Tuesday, I rode my bike up to Medical Lake, a small community built around a lake that had been used by American Indians for therapeutic purposes centuries before Europeans came here.

Medicine men would place their patients next to very hot stones, then pour lake water on the stones; the steam was said to help cure afflictions. The Spokane Tribe’s name for this lake was Skookum Limechin Chuch, meaning “strong medicine water”. They also collected salt crystals from boiled lake water and carried them away for those unable to come to the lake. (Then some 1890s-1920s entrepreneur figured this might be a lucrative business opportunity…)

Even today, the area has a medical flavor… just back from the shore of the lake are the Eastern Washington state mental hospital and a home for the developmentally disabled; there is also a women’s prison nearby. I found this historical note interesting: writing in 1900, the Superintendant of the mental hospital complained that the most violent patients from Western Washington had been sent to his facility on the other side of the state. He noted that “some of them are vicious and desperate men who have lost little of their cunning by becoming insane.” This photo is of Lakeland Village, a residential facility for the developmentally disabled. Its name in 1914 was The Home for the Feeble-Minded. It is a beautiful facility, and there were several residents on a field trip to the waterfront lake where I was riding. 

I was also fascinated with this additional piece of lakeside trivia: in its resort heyday, 1900-1920, a record was set on one particularly hot July day, when 1,400 bathing suits were rented. (I’m trying to visualize standing in line to rent a bathing suit for a couple of hours…) Okay, folks, would you prefer these or today’s fashions? (I know what my answer would be.)

Your Faithful Correspondent has also been busy walking puppies and meeting new neighbors in our campground. Our next-door neighbors, retired USAF first sergeant, Rich, and his lovely wife Trudy, asked if their two granddaughters, Kali and Delaney, could meet Rudy and Gretchen and tour the coach. Grandma brought them over and the girls showered our puppies, Gretchen in particular, with love and affection. She is now totally spoiled! The girls were also fascinated with the photos on my computer of My Lovely Bride with President George W. Bush after 9/11. They said he was really cool, and that he and Lincoln were their favorite presidents.  I asked Trudy if she’d like to get in this picture. Her instantaneous reply: “With this housedress and no makeup? NO WAY!”  

1 Comment

  • angeldust
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Thanks for letting Suzanne loose for a brief respite back at TV. Shared some great messages…she did! Following the blog has been a great experience for those of us not familiar with many places you've been. Continue on safely….


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