Yesterday was my 57th birthday.
Our original plan was to celebrate it by going out to dinner at the restaurant of my choosing. That all changed when friends of ours invited us up to their place in Venice for the day. Brenda said they’d expect us at noon. We left the Suite Pea at 11:00 using our GPS to make the easy 1 hour drive to their Winter home. Just as we were within a few miles of our destination, the GPS quit. Completely. We spent the next several minutes going around in circles trying to get our bearings while I tried to input the address into our truck’s GPS system during traffic stops since it’s enabled while moving. Noticing we were 20 minutes late, I texted Brenda to tell her “Be patient. We’re lost.” Within seconds Bogie calls & talks us the rest of the way in.
We met David (Bogie) & Brenda Bogie back in Oct. 1988 when our Detroit Diesel Allison plant in Romulus, Michigan sold off the engine portion of its business to Penske, transferred the transmission portion to its plant in Indianapolis, Indiana & us with it. Our UAW Union in MI had negotiated for us to transfer to IN with not only our General Motors seniority but our plant seniority as well. A much appreciated act as far as we were concerned but one that was met with a lot of resentment by UAW members at the IN facility. It was evident by comments & treatment by some of our IN union brothers & sisters. But not from Brenda.
Brenda walked over to our work stations, introduced herself, welcomed us, & offered to assist us in any way she could whether in or outside of the plant. That action endeared her to Don & I forevermore. We met Bogie a short time later while he was working Skilled Trades in our plant. Again, an extremely nice & friendly person. Over the years Brenda & I often worked together & our friendship grew closer. Don moved up into management & he will tell you that Miz Bogie was one of his best & favorite employees.
We were welcomed warmly by both of them to their home & given The Grand Tour. They have a beautiful place in a quiet neighborhood near the Intercoastal Waterway. We visited for a bit then Brenda suggested we grab some lunch at a Tiki hut styled restaurant on the waterway named Pop’s Sunset Grill.
The food was delicious, the company even better. Brenda & Bogie treated us to both to lunch to celebrate my birthday. We were informed by them that since we weren’t in Indiana to celebrate the occasion with family, they, as our Florida family were making it a special day, & they most certainly did.
After our meal, Bogie took us on a tour of Venice & Nokomis. Venice is a very charming city & easily accessible for walking or biking. The beaches are plentiful & very nice from what we could see, they were packed with folks enjoying the warm, sunny day. Bogie even took us by the airport where the terrorists that changed America forever on 9/11 had earned their pilot licenses. I would have taken more photos but we were all so busy gabbing that I didn’t get but a few.
Back at the Bogie’s home we said our goodbyes with plans to have them come for a cookout & campfire soon. Before we left though, Brenda had another surprise. She handed me a batch of her fabulous peanut butter fudge. Of course I’ll have to fight Don off as he too loves Brenda’s fudge. Getting some of Brenda’s fudge every year at Christmas was something we always looked forward to.
Thank you Bogie & Brenda for making my birthday a special & memorable one.
CALOOSAHATCHEE WEST PRESERVE
We’re just a few miles north of the Caloosahatchee River & situated between the Caloosahatchee East & West Preserve. I called their office to inquire as to whether or not Tucker could walk with us. The answer was yes & the conservationist I talked to suggested we hike the west section as the east was in the midst of construction & he added, the west side was more scenic.
The entrance is very inviting & our initial impression to it was good. Unfortunately we were disappointed with the overall preserve. The main trail & it’s off shoot are short. Too short for a serious hike. The boardwalk section was the nicest part of the walk but that eventually ended & became a mowed path. It wasn’t very scenic or quiet, as traffic from nearby I-75 could be heard throughout the preserve. Also, unlike the name suggests, it doesn’t go anywhere near the river itself, although a small feeder stream does run through it & culminates at the Caloosahatchee. The biggest let down though was the lack of any wildlife sightings. Nary a bird, a chameleon nor a gater.
If you ever find yourself in this area & looking for a nice place to hike & view wildlife, I would strongly recommend avoiding this preserve & visiting the nearby J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island instead.
We get exciting news!
My daughter called today with great news. Our 2 oldest grandchildren, Brad & Maddy, will be flying down from Indiana over their Spring break to visit us. We are excited & looking forward to spending time with them. BUT, if you know them, please don’t mention the visit. They don’t have a clue! It’s a surprise!
Here’s lookin’ at you kid………………..