Why Florida Worries Me



They really grow ’em big & juicy down here – plenty fresh cucumbers, tomatos, corn on the cob etc to eat. We arrived Sat P.M. – not too tired after being on the road so long – Dad Hattie and Eloise start on their journey to the “Deep South” – really beautiful here about 76 degree here now & was 82 degrees here Sat. The nites get cool, sleep under two blankets. “Dick” is out trying to mow the 2 x 4 lawn. Lois.

First the giant oranges, two of them, on a little fake trainbed, with the stark warning: ‘ORANGES – The Kind that Grow in Florida’. Then the note – so innocuous, so brainless, so dull. Sleep under two blankets??? What is this, a tutorial? And finally, the last straw, the thing that really worries me is her last line. I’d say there’s plenty to be worried about there.

Let’s add some Northern quasi-Lutheranism to this whole thing. Let’s erase these worrisome thoughts and add some tart cranberries to those oranges. Let’s make Oranges in Cranberry Coulis. And for god’s sake let’s get Dick in the house and off the lawn.

Recipe for Oranges with Cranberry Coulis (It’s a nice, light fruit dessert)

For more on oranges, here’s a Zesty History of Florida Oranges


7 thoughts on “Why Florida Worries Me

  1. Coulis is the perfect topping for many desserts. It can be easily modified to suit our own taste or availability of seasonal fruits and can also be made ahead. The recipe for oranges and cranberry coulis is lovely!

  2. A friend’s comment on facebook this morning reminded me that there is a story behind the story – which I had forgotten. There actually was a Dick in Florida who must have been in the hidden recesses of my mind as I wrote this post.

    One winter I went to live in Florida with my then-husband. I was in my early twenties. We bought the most adorable little Airstream to live in, and stopped and set up house in a small campground somewhere in the middle of the Florida Keys.

    Most everyone there was old – 60 probably being the median age.

    There was a lovely little beach and so on the hot humid days I would put on my bikini and go to it, to paddle around in the water and sometimes to fish a bit.

    On the beach almost every day there was this old man stuck in a low webbed beach chair. He was like a frog in almost every way – his body was shaped like a frog, he had skin like a frog, his face was a huge droopy frog shape, and his white baggy feet were encased in strange slippers which made him look even more frog-like. One day he called out to me, “Hello there! Where are you from?,” and to be polite I had to go talk to him (though I would have rather just been quiet).

    It turned out that Froggy was from the same town my mother grew up in, in Maine. And not only that, he knew my family, and had been my grandmother’s doctor before she died. This town was a small town, so this meant that he and I were in a sense rather well acquainted already.

    Every day he was out there, and every day I was there too he called me over to chat. Chatting was not exactly chatting though because he didn’t have a lot to say but as he called me over to say it, his eyes roamed as if they were heat-seeking missiles over every single part of my bikini-clad self. It was mortifying. Not because I didn’t look good – I did, being lucky enough to have the genes to be fit and healthy. But it was as if he had forgotten his manners (if he ever had any!). I felt like a Playboy centerfold without having asked for being one.

    I tried to avoid him, but he always called me over. I took to wearing more and more clothes to go to the water’s edge – and it was terribly hot, I was sweltering. First I went to a one-piece swimsuit, then added a t-shirt to that, then finally shorts too.

    Froggy had a wife – she was a thin tense woman who didn’t like me one bit. This upset me, because it seemed to me that it should be her husband she didn’t like in this situation – not me, since I was running as far away from him as I could aside from completely and finally never going to the beach (which is actually how it ended, and it sort of cast a pall over the time we spent there).

    Mrs. Froggy pretended to like me, though. Before her husband could call me over she would, sometimes. And this is how she did it: “Little girl! Liiitttttlllle Giiiirrrrrrlllll!” And those two words were filled with the most amazing weight of nastiness. Little girl. I can still hear her calling them.

    The winter ended, we left, never to see the Old Frog family again. I told my uncle about the man, and he laughed. He said the fellow had a reputation for being that way. He also said that he’d been one of those old country doctors who likely had never really had a degree in medicine, but who managed to practice anyway. And that Froggy also had not diagnosed the disease my grandmother died of (spinal cancer) in time to do anything (even if she would have wanted to – she probably would not have wanted to do anything but let nature take its course), but instead had told her she had arthritis.

    So yes. There is some reasoning behind the simple when I get worried about Dicks out on the lawn.

  3. Oh, I don’t know, having “Dick” try for a good mow of the lawn doesn’t sound worrisome to me(oh, there is SO much one could conjecture about the state of that lawn, though!), perhaps I am not the one to be arbiter, though- I have always appreciated Dick’s efforts just about everywhere.

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