I’m sitting in the airport waiting a painful 4 hours to board my flight to Charlotte, North Carolina. A good time to write some updates, right?

I’ve been in Florida for 3 weeks now and the weather has been splendid. It’s mostly been in the upper 90s, but it doesn’t feel as hot as New Bedford. The hurricanes passing through the Gulf have given us an awful lot of wind, very dramatic clouds, and gigantic waves, but no rain, really. I punished myself for about 20 minutes trying to catch some waves on a boogie board, but the surf was a bit rough, so I read a book on the beach instead and gave my stomach a nice sunburn.

I wake up almost every morning at 6am to a cold doggie nose in my ear. Sheila, the Jack Russell Terrier, loves to snuggle and often stands on my chest to greet me and smell my morning breath. She will sometimes just sit and stare intently at you until you sit upright and give her a pat on the head or give her a nod to let her know she can give you a hug. If you sit upright and stare back at her instead, she turns her ahead away as if she’s shy. Stanley, the Boston Terrier, is just like a grumpy old man. He usually follows my mother everywhere in the house, but when she’s not home I take her place. I have opened my door from napping midafternoon to find him sitting at the door, like he’s guarding it for me.

I rented 2 videos from Network Video and when I realized they were $4 apiece and I only got them for one night, I convinced myself that I should finally get a Netflix account. It’s been rewarding so far. During my trial week, I watched ‘Barton Fink’, ‘Rendition’, and ‘There Will Be Blood’. The latter of the group really solidified my appreciation for Daniel Day-Lewis. I’m really looking forward to his newest film ‘Nine’ which is still in post-production.

I haven’t been knitting as much as I had thought I would. I have a big stash of yarn that’s sitting in the corner waiting for me to separate it and figure out what projects I’ll make with what. I did finish the shawl I started when I flew down from Mass, but I have yet to block it. It’s not exactly shawl weather in Florida, anyway. I happened to walk past a cute little yarn shop in Ft. Walton Beach, but it was closed so I didn’t get a chance to browse it.

I’ve learned how to identify an alternator in a car. The last weekend has been a trying time for both my father and brother as they spent almost 25 hours working on my brother’s Saab. He was told the alternator would need to be replaced, and they had the idea that they could easily remove it and replace it themselves. It’s a small car and requires you to remove several parts just to look at what you’re trying to get to. Many hours and parts and bolts later, my brother discovered that the alternator simply wasn’t completely plugged in. Now the car is in pieces and he doesn’t have the patience to put it back together. I guess he’ll have to go back to riding his bike to work for the next month.

I have realized there’s not much of a job market within biking distance of my parent’s house and a so-far unreliable truck isn’t making it easy. My dad tried to fix his truck before leaving, but it still has a leaking gas line, so if I got a job, it would have to be just nights after my mother has returned with her truck. The few places I’ve poked around at all tell me there are no positions available, anyway. It might be better when I return and the holiday spending season is nearing.

There has been a death in my family and I’m flying to North Carolina to live with one of my aunts. I figured I could be of some use around the house because she has a 9-year-old to care for and a beauty shop to run. It was her grandson who passed away. My parents were going to vacation in North Carolina for a sort of family reunion in a month, so I will just rendezvous with them when they arrive. It’s crazy that I’ve barely finished unpacking from moving down to Florida and I had to repack last night for this month-long trip. As usual, my carry on full of camera equipment weighs more than my checked bag full of clothing. This is only the second time I’ve had to fly in a month, but I can appreciate my dad’s patience for airports.

For those of you in New Bedford, I know you’d like to hear that I miss the city very much. And I do. I miss the ease of being able to walk 1 mile from my apartment for work, groceries, a cup of coffee or a taco. I miss running along the public beaches just before sunrise. I miss the historic buildings and the sidewalks (these are pretty much nonexistent in this area of Florida). I miss the smell of the fish plants rolling up the hill from the harbor. I miss the hourly clanging of police and ambulance sirens. Oh wait, I don’t really miss that. I especially miss all of the people. For any of you that read this, please, please keep in touch. You can email me a photosbyjandrews@gmail.com.

I’ll close this with just 2 hours left until my flight. I think I’ll watch a movie online with my new Netflix account. Cheers and be well.