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It’s fantastic to be young.  It’s unfortunate we don’t realize that until we’re old(er).  My brother-in-law  (really, isn’t there a better term by now?!  “___-in-law” seems so…legal!!) recently graduated high school and I was able to attend the ceremony.  I haven’t been to a graduation since my own, and this one showed me what 18 is like today – full of ideals; firm on your soap box; elated to be free from parental reign soon; unsure of the future; pleased at your own success of graduating high school.  Is this what I was like at 18?  Probably.  Or maybe not.  I remember thinking that graduating high school wasn’t really a big deal.  Why were parents crying and offering gifts of flowers and balloons?  Why were kids screaming like they just won a $10 million dollar lottery?  For me, it was just high school.  I knew this was just another step to climb over on my educational journey. 

The question, “Should I go to college?” never crossed my mind.  It was assumed.  Period.  You finish high school and then graduate college, that’s how it was in my house.  There wasn’t a sit down with the ‘rents telling me how important SATs and ACTs and college essays were.  There wasn’t a family meeting to see if I should go to a university or a community college, or to go somewhere far away or around the block.  Instead, I guess, it was always implied in my parents’ actions.  Besides, going away to college meant FREEDOM.  Cookies for breakfast, naps at 3pm, frat parties…you don’t get that stuff at home. 

I remember my guidance counselor in high school, ahh Mrs. Goodrich, tall with round glasses and gentle eyes, asked me what colleges I applied to.  When I told her the University of Florida, she responded, “That’s nice.  I think you should apply to FAU or PBCC as well, don’t you?”  I didn’t, and I didn’t do it.  Another assumption on my part; I assumed I would get into UF and didn’t see why I needed options.  I didn’t understand why an adult wanted me to build a net in the event of failure.  If I was confident in myself, why wasn’t she?  Again, to be 18 and full of ideals – and I guess assumptions.  My dad always says, “You know what happens when you assume?  You make an ass out of you and me.”  True, mostly.  Fortunately, this assumption panned out in my favor.  In retrospect, I totally should have applied to another college.  You know, just in case 😉   

In any event, it’s great to be 18 and I hope all the graduating seniors out there take a moment to remember this time in life when things are relatively breezy.  Remember to have fun.  Not that 20, or 25, or 30, or 50 isn’t fun (have you hung out with anybody retired?!  Party, party, party!), but you have more to lose.  (You think losing your car is bad, or your fake i.d.?  Try losing your house or job.)  Being 18 means you’re on the precipice of adulthood.  While you’re still young enough to be slightly irresponsible and make poor decisions without having major repercussions, you’re old enough to leave the ‘rents behind and be legally punished.

I’m so thankful I went to Venice after I graduated university.  With all the fuss over whether Venice will sink or swim always on the table, well, if it’s the former, I’m just glad I got to see it when I did. 

Now, with budgets getting cut faster than a Chuck Norris enemy, I’m thinking I need to jump on South Florida’s beloved Tri-Rail ASAP.  Can you believe I grew up in South Florida and yet I have never set my size 6 1/2 foot (just thought I’d mention in case anybody wants to send me cute shoes…hey, you never know!) on the Tri-Rail?!?  For those of you geographically misplaced outside of the tri-county (get it?!) area (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach), the Tri-Rail is a commuter rail service that runs from Miami to Palm Beach.  Just this week, officials said if they can’t get more funding, Tri-Rail services may shut down within two years, and the number of trains will start to decrease as early as next year.  (Read more about it here.)

This news makes me feel bad for cursing at the two Tri-Rail trains yesterday for holding me in traffic.     



This week was kind of busy.  Not my favorite cup of tea, but good for me once in awhile 😉  On Thursday, I ventured on a mini-road trip with BOTH my brothers.  We went to Tampa for the day to visit with my parents (who were there for a short two-day trip), and we enjoyed some sights around downtown Tampa.  (I love downtowns.)  And, while six hours in a car isn’t the most fun one can have, it was great to spend time with my brothers.  As siblings, you grow up and grow apart – life gets busy, no diggity – and I can’t remember the last time it was just the three of us.  Anywho, it was nice.  

Along comes the weekend, then, and it was filled with great music and some surprises.  We headed to SunFest on Friday night to see Slightly Stoopid and Pepper – two of JP’s fave bands.  They were really good live!  You know, after all my years of living in South Florida, I finally made my way to this annual event.  Another plus was the booth giving away free CDs – free CDs!?  Love it.  

This weekend was a 10 in terms of weather – the sun was perfectly pitched, the temps were comfy, and the sky a searing blue.  Saturday we checked out the festivities surrounding SunFest again, then headed to the pool.  With Captain Sailor Jerry in hand, it made for a great afternoon. 


Come Sunday, it was a great repeat of drinks, pool, sun – this time, though, we added my cousin JK to the mix.  She was down visiting from FSU, so that was a nice surprise.  I didn’t grow up with a lot of extended family around, so it’s always nice to catch up.  The night ended with our Big Sunday Dinner, which included homemade mashed potatoes.  Yum-o!  I love me a potato…especially one with butter and milk.

(And, yes, I’m alive E and I’m calling you back…xo.)

Dear Bad Drivers of South Florida,

I know the blue skies, tank top temperatures and palm trees can be distracting as you drive around South Florida.  So, a few notes you might want to take down:

1. That little lever to the left of your steering wheel, that’s for your blinker – use it.

2. Pay attention to the speed limit.  When the sign says 55, it doesn’t stand for the average age of drivers on the road.  Really.  It doesn’t. 

3. Is it imperative that you send a text right now?  I dnt thnk so

4. When it rains, riding the brake doesn’t help – try your windshield wipers. 

5. The left lane is for PASSING.  Not checking out the billboards on that side of the road. 

6. It’s not your fault if you’re lost.  But, it is your fault if you cruise at 15 mph looking at every sign while making everyone else slam on their brakes and bypass you.

7. Changing lanes should not be a 45-second ordeal.  Think Nike and just do it. 



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