Thursday, January 29, 2009

Birds and Hot Tubs

Am very uncomfortably scrunched in my car in front of the de Funiak Springs library, picking up their wi-fi though they're not open yet. Breakfast is in 10 minutes, so I'll have to be brief.

Haven't mentioned the great birds I've been seeing at St. Petersburg and The Villages: wood storks, egrets, herons, pelicans and LOTS of ospreys.

Did do the hot tub with Susan, then again in The Villages with Judy Lawrence. Was there only two nights, but did get a chance to visit with Judy and with Pat Collins as well as see my friends Carol Cohan and Muzzette.

Arrived here yesterday afternoon, helped decorate the tea room with a number of pieces of my cloth and some artifacts (I am worried about security, but I'm living with it) and then attended a Chautauqua Network meeting: people from Chautauquas in Maine, Colorado, Ohio, New York and of course this one in Florida, and several other states. The conference on Africa starts today.

And I'll be setting up a table to sell and sign my books.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saying goodby to St. Petersburg area

Thursday afternoon I gave a talk in Sarasota at the home of a former Guatemala Peace Corps Volunteer, Marcia Lang. Some of the guests had been in the Peace Corps, and many were well-traveled. Very interesting people. I didn't use the PowerPoint, but with all my artifacts there was a lot of visual.

On Friday I did my second talk for ASPEC (Academy for Senior Professionals at Eckerd College), this time for a women's group, though there were some men there. Susan Luehrs was the organizer, and she helped me set up and tear down, as she has been doing almost all week. This time I did the PowerPoint thing, and I ran a little over time. I have to learn to be a bit faster with that.

Afterwards we stayed to watch a showing of The Great Gatsby, with Redford and Farrow. Great film. I'd love to see the British version that will be shown next week, and the discussion of the two, but I'll be long gone by then.

Saturday Susan and I traveled 40 minutes up the coast to Palm Harbor Library, where I only had three in the audience. One was a girl of about 12, which was a nice change. No PowerPoint, and I think it went well despite the poor turnout.

Last night we went to a great concert by The Florida Orchestra conducted by Stefan Sanderling, who is the music director at Chautauqua as well. He gave a VERY interesting pre-concert talk, and I was delighted to be introduced to him afterwards. Here in St. Petersburg I've also seen an Albrecht Durer exhibit and been to the Dali museum. Tonight I plan to do the hot tub in this complex, as the weather is a bit warmer (in the 60s).

Tomorrow morning I leave for The Villages. I'll say a fond farewell to Susan and Dick, and to St. Petersburg. Great people in a nice place.