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.


  1. great mix of birds in that last photo. Hopefully those trees are being replaced for the grandchilren. The bird houses are very rustic and must take a fair bit of time to make so I hope they are a fair price.

  2. The plight of the elderly often makes the heart heavy. The self employed do not have the social security cushion. At least both have found a way to keep going.
    I worry what they will do when their health no longer lets them even do what they are now doing.
    Quite sad.

  3. Hi Anna, thanks, yes the birds were so cool all sitting there, it was like a morning convention where they were all getting ready to go out for the day. Ha. The bird houses were thirty dollars and quite large. The woman mentioned to Gary she would sell them to him wholesale if he wanted to take them to the flea market to sell, but he told me when were half way home, too late to make a deal with her. Darn.

    Hi Patti, thanks, yes I often think about these things too. We see so many folks selling stuff in their garage sales or alongside the road and so many boarded up houses it is truly said, and we see those still trying to make a living. Those who have no resources, skills, health, or otherwise are not seen, that's even sadder to think about.

  4. these are trying times indeed.
    I just keep hope for better days.

  5. The symbol of our country lunching on roadkill pretty well sums it up.

  6. Hi Meredith, thanks, yes I too try to keep a positive thought and help others when I can.

    Hi Dennis, thanks, I didn't think of the bird that way, but you are correct. That guy with $1200 in permits for the side of the road just got me how the government has it's hand out for every little thing especially since we just paid our house taxes and our house value went down, but our taxes went up - how can that be. Huh?

  7. What unusual finds and stories. I love to find out real people stories about towns I visit. I hope she sells more of the bird houses for xmas!


  8. Adoro conhecer outros costumes, outtas historias.

    Um beijo..

  9. Hi Lorraine, thanks, I am finding just about everyone has a story to tell and if I listen they will usually tell me their story, nice to hear the background behind her beautiful bird houses.

  10. Hi Ma Ferreira, thanks, yes the customs of our country are different, it is fun to share our countries with one another.

  11. How wise was the person who suggested planting trees for a retirement plan? Maybe we should all tell that story to the young.
    Sounds like a bittersweet day for you.

  12. I just love those cedar bird houses. I wonder if she sells them online--I would buy one if they were the right price.

  13. Lots of food for thought today. I wish we valued our elders for their knowledge and wisdom.

    Love those birds...looks like a convention.!

  14. Hi Lori, thanks, yes I was amazed when she told us of her father telling her and her husband to plant the ceder trees, very wise indeed. Bittersweet but a small glimmer of hope for sure.

    Hi Rubye, thanks, the birdhouses were $3o each and well worth the artistic way they were constructed. I have to say I have never seen any like them before. If we run out of things to sell at the flea markets this week we will go back and if so I will let you know.

    Hi Smartcat, thanks, no we don't value our elders any longer, in fact much of human life isn't valued like it used to be hopefully those with kind hearts will keep perservering and win over those with the cold hearts. The woman with the bird houses and the man selling the fish were just such people, well above retirement age for both of them.

  15. Sometimes it can be good not to catch the photo, just to live the moment.

    The "state of affairs" issue is one I delve quite a bit. Then sometimes I need to let it go...but it is better to feel the empathy(most of the time).~Mary

  16. It was great taking this tour with you. Enjoyed the images. Thanks so much!

  17. Hi Mary, thanks, you are right the image of the eagle is etched in my mind, as he landed he looked around at his surroundings and I worried that a car might come by and hit him. I can see his head even now, turning left and right as he sat there on the road.

    I delve too much into the state of affairs sometimes I think and it affects me greatly, I do feel the emphathy.

    I like to point out the state of affairs on my blog occasionally because I think the human condition is important.

    Hi Elizabeth, thanks so much, I love photography and after reading your most recent post I'm sorry I didn't get a photo of the woman who made the bird houses and the man who sells the fish. I'll go back again and hopefully can catch them with their work. The woman was so proud of her bird houses and the man so proud to be selling his fish, their love of what they are doing so strong - there was great beauty in both people.


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