Sunday, November 27, 2011
State of Affairs
We took a drive in the country yesterday. We passed a local tourist shop and stopped because we were drawn in by the larger than life fiberglass sculptures of shells and fish.
There were shells, totems, wind chimes, wood carvings, and more all from foreign countries. The only locally made items being sold were these cedar bird houses. The woman who made them happened to be there to collect a check. She said she used to be a farmer but was too old to do that now. She said years ago her father told them to plant the cedar trees on their land for their old age. Now she said they cut them down and mill them to make the bird houses. She said little did she know they'd actually need those trees in their old age. Somehow I knew the woman really needed the money from the bird house sales.
Farther along we saw a guy selling fish alongside the road. We recognized his old pickup truck from last year around the holidays, so we stopped to see what he had. Last year we bought some lobster from him to celebrate the new year. This year we bought some fingerling lobster tails. He said his permits run $1200 a year to sell fish on the side of the road. Permits from weights and measures, fish and game, health department and one other I can't recall. He said he doesn't fish commercially any longer but buys from the big Florida fish companies because it is too expensive in permits to fish and the quotas are too small to make a living. He started fishing in Florida in 1959. Somehow I knew he missed being a fisherman in the gulf.
It was nice to take a drive in the country but sad at the state of affairs of so many. On the way home we saw a mature bald eagle on the side of the road checking out some road kill. We drove by too quickly to catch a photo of him, but it was a joy to see our majestic national bird. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.