Pensacolakid's May Adventure

Here is the main forum about Navarre Beach. You will find tons of information, condo/beach house rentals, and discussion about the most beautiful beach in the world. Welcome to Paradise!
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PensacolaKid
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Fri May 15, 2015 3:51 pm

Hello my NBL forum friends. P'kid here. I wanted to share with you my latest and greatest adventure to God's country the first week of May. I have kept this journey a secret from my friends down Navarre way on purpose this time and I hope I have not hurt anyone's feelings. The reason is as follows.

As a few of you know, starting in very late January and ending with my mom's funeral on April 18th, my mom went through a very very tough period of time, physically. That suffering weighed mighty heavily on me as I and my wife were the sole caregivers to her while she was in the hospital and the nursing facilities. My one brother was in Birmingham and for all practical purposes was worthless during this ordeal, although his help in clearing out our mom's house (yes, on top of everything else, I sold and completely emptied mom's house of 49 years) was greatly appreciated and the other brother was in rehab keeping his word to our mom to seek help. His state of life over the last 15 years certainly hastened her death, I am confident of this. He just got his 90 day chip last night. THANK GOD ALMIGHTY. I only mention this to drive home the point that physically, emotionally, mentally (thankfully not spiritually) I was a basket case and needed to be silent, get away and be in the place my soul is fed. Mom was in hospice the last 8 days and my wife and decided that when she passed and after the service, I should get away. This is what I did and this is my very short story of that brief, albeit incredible trip. Not only was this trip for my soul, it was also a time that I would lay my mom's and dad's ashes in the place they both loved dearly and frankly the place they gave me back in 1969...Navarre Beach.

I get up on Sunday May 3rd with the intent of going to Sunday School and Church. However, the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a good idea to leave Houston around 10 am and drive over to Navarre. That way, I could be there that night and take in some things and also be ready to hit the pier on Monday morning versus driving at 3 am on Monday. So, I packed my gear, loaded the car, apologized to my Father for missing (although He and I did some talkin'...actually a lot of talking on the way down to paradise) church and I-10 I hit. I made very good time and actually got behind a couple of rabbits in Louisiana and in MS. Made it to the 110 exit in Pensacola in almost record time of 7 hours, 20 minutes. As I am exiting, I am contemplating a host of things to do and decide because I was hungry to grab a glass of wine and an appetizer at the Fish House on the Bay in P'town. Ahhhhh.....the memories, the food, the view...all were fantastic and I enjoyed my hour there. Will always be one of my very favorite places to eat and have fun. So, I get back in the car, make my way down Bayfront Pkwy to three mile bridge. As I am about to exit the bridge (I love looking at Butcherpen Cove on the left and Old Navy Cove on the right as you move toward Gulf Breeze) I remembered someone on the forum telling me about the Bridge Bar. It is the first little tri-plex right on the Bay as you exit the bridge. Think it is green in color. Anyway, I go in, grab a nice glass of Chardonnay and sit on the deck watching THE most incredible sunset. This place absolutely rivals Juana's for the view. Fell in love with the place and it will now be on my list every time I go back there. They even have a pool table. Great place.

Back in the car and down 98 to the fabulous Days Inn and Conference Center next to Taco Bell. More on this later but I will tell you, the Days Inn lost many points with me this time. I spent an hour or so getting my gear all rigged up for the first day of fishing. Well, the morning came and the alarm went off but for some reason, I had a very tough time getting out of bed but I did, albeit a bit later than I would have liked. I did go to the pier and actually watched for the first hour or so. How could anyone, not relish the experience of being on that pier. Even to just walk and see and listen. It is just so incredible. Anyway, the surf was red flag and very choppy even out to the end of the pier. Many surfers were out there and there were some very big and nice waves. I failed to mention that the weather was simply spectacular. The folks out at the end were catching Kings, of which I am not a fan. I don't like the taste and I have caught my fair share in my life and although fun to fight, once you done it once, you have done it many times. I am not going to catch something I am not going to harvest. So, anyway, after a little while, I go back to the car and grab my fishing gear and go fish for a while. Not much luck but did catch some small Spanish and I threw them back. At around 11:30, I decided to give Loggerheads a try for lunch. That is the pier bar and grill. Had a burger while watching the water and folks, they make a darn fine burger. Very good and I will be back. After lunch, thought I would put the ol swim trunks on and hit the beach. No swimming cause of the red flags but I did set up my umbrella, chair and cooler and had quite a lovely time by myself just looking, thinking, smelling, listening and just....being. Oh...forgot to mention that I made a visit to Half-Hitch Bait & Tackle and Randy was working the store. I love that store and Randy is not only a good guy, he knows his stuff so if you are ever in need of fishing knowledge or gear and are in the Navarre area....go in and see him. After the beach, I went back to the hotel to shower and change and was contemplating where to go for dinner. I chose East River Smokehouse. Now folks don't get me wrong here, ERS has a lot going for it. You can't beat the locale and ambiance it superb, the set up with the bars and kids play area, TV's, seating, etc., are all wonderful and I am quite sure they do a lot for the community but in my humble opinion, I think the food has suffered a bit. I actually ate there twice this time, once for lunch and once for dinner. I am not real impressed with the food, although I will say, the Pulled Pork at dinner was better than usual. They also have some pretty good wings. So, back to the hotel for a night's sleep. Yeah.....not so much. Going back to the Days Inn, it too has a lot going for it and I have stayed there since they built the place...literally. Of the three hotels in Navarre they are always the cheapest and it shows in many areas. That night, the idiots who were staying on the same side as me (the Winn-Dixie) side) decided to have a knock down, drag out, couples fight at 11:00 pm and again at 2:00 am. I mean cussing, screaming, slamming doors, you name it. I woke me up twice and I had to get the front desk to make them stop. They were actually kicked out that night. Insulation in that hotel is non-existent. You can hear people in the parking lot like they were in your room. Guess what, happened again the following two nights. Both times had to call the front desk. The last two nights were not fights but drunks wanting to talk fishing at 3:30 am, outside sitting on their truck tailgates. And the breakfast(s) at this place, horrible and basically cold cereal, stale bread and hard boiled eggs. Lousy!!!

So Tuesday rolls around and I know the Blues are flying. Very excited about seeing the Blues again. Oh, I don't know, my 20th time in the last 3 years. Same program, same kick ass show but more on this in a moment. I first decided to go to the pier and try my luck. Same conditions as the wind both days was blowing sustained 18 and at times it felt like 22-25. Makes for good King fishing but the water was so stirred up and the only thing biting were the Kings. So, I stayed until around 8 ish and went back to shower and get ready to go down to the base to see the Blues. Did so, grabbed an Eggwhite Delight from the best Mickey D's on planet earth and down 98 I went. Rolled down the windows to get the salt air in my face, opened the sun roof, put on some Jimmy Buffet crossed the 3 mile and made my way down Bayfront. For those of you who may not know or who have not explored the downtown area of Pensacola or the Bayfront area as well, I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is one of THE most impressive and cool downtown's in America and loaded with history. I travel extensively and have seen hundreds of towns and cities and P'town is second to no one, including S.F. As I travel along going to the base, I feel the need to swing into Joe Patti's if for no other reason than to smell the smells and see what is new. I know in a couple of days I will be back to stock my cooler. More on that later. I turned left on Barrancas and that is such a wonderful view when you hit that bridge that goes over Bayou Chico. I turned onto Navy Blvd and in a matter of minutes am showing my ID to the officer at the gate. I adore being on that base. Everything about it from hearing the jets departing to clear the air space for the Blues to seeing funeral processions come through and of course, the golf courses and the Spanish moss hanging from all those old oaks. I park and am pleasantly surprised that although it is 9:45, I am about the 15th person in line. They don't open the gates till 10:30. So, I happened to strike up a conversation with the couple in front of me. They are from California and their son pitches for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. They were here to take in the series with TN. Great couple and I enjoyed speaking with them and telling them about the area, the beach and of course the Blues. The gates open and like a kid heading to the next ride at Disneyworld, I walked as fast as I could to get my seat on the right next to the rope. Front row seat and lovin' life. The Blues come out of their hanger area at exactly 11:30 and the show soon starts. Cobalt blue skies, a bit of wind, low humidity...relatively speaking and another phenomenal show put on by the very best pilots in the entire world. None better. Once the planes landed I once again put on my sprint walking shoes to beat the traffic out of the base and that I did. On the way home, I decided to stop at SAM's the restaurant directly across from Joe Patti's. Just incredible food. The Gumbo is killer and the cheese grits are like culinary crack. Once you have them, you need them!!!!! :shock: This time I decide to go home via the beach road and in hopes of possibly finding a resting spot for my mom and dad's ashes. I stopped at a few places and almost put them back on the Sound beach but decided not to and continued on. Again, windows down, sunroof open, Jimmy on the radio and had a lovely drive back to Navarre Beach. I went back to change into my beach swimming gear and did the whole beach thing again. Loved every minute of it. Something bizarre happened though while I was sitting there. I heard something over to my left (at the first Lifeguard stand) and it was the Santa Rosa Country Sheriff's arresting a dude on his knees. They handcuffed him and took him off. I asked a young lady sitting close to me what transpired and she said the guy had been there all morning, acting very bizarre, stripping down to his underwear and then digging a hole, lying in it and fondling himself in front of people. He apparently also waved a pocketknife at people. That did not last long and the cops took him off. He was obviously on something. After I had had enough sun and stuck my toes in the water, I went back to the hotel and showered and came back to the Pier Bar for a cold one or two. Guess who I ran into? Our ol' friend, Dolfnfan. Our very own reef diving, videographer and drone flyer. Great guy Dolfnfan and I enjoyed my conversation with him. I look forward to seeing him again in June along with Kenny and Dale Wilder, Randy and maybe even a few others. I leave there and on my way home decide to stop by Juana's for a view and a view did I have. I went to the inside bar and had a glass of wine with Matt who was departing the next day for Indiana for good. I asked him what he was on to leave Navarre for Indiana and he said it was a kid/family thing. While I was sitting there, I met Stevie Hall, the local music talent and had a great conversation with him. Just the two of us talking about Navarre. Back to the hotel and guess what, more drunk idiots that feel the need to carry on conversations in the parking lot whiles sitting on their cars. The Days Inn attracts a rowdier crowd that is for sure. The front desk got them to stop but now my patience in wearing thin with this property.

Wednesday morning rolls around and I am on the pier at 5:45 and ready to go. I make my way out to my favorite spot almost to the end and on the western side and put my gear there. I have a bubble rig on my new Penn Spinfisher reel with 30 lb. yellow braid and a 60 lb. flourocarbon leader. To those non-fisher people, this makes no sense but that's ok, I like reliving it. Probably overkill a bit for Spanish, my fish of choice but better safe than sorry. At around 6:15, the Kings let loose and they are being hauled in right and left. I am still seeking Spanish though. I am on the eastern side with an 18 mph wind in my face, doing all I can to send this bubble rig flying and as I am reeling in....BAM, :shock: :shock: :o :o , I am fighting something that is not a Spanish. This thing takes off toward the Octagon and I have to follow it to keep it from wrapping around a piling. I eventually get control of it and get it to the surface just below the pier to see that it is another KING. I have just landed a King on a Bubble Rig. I have never done that before. We gaff it because I can't haul it up and I give it to someone who said they would take it home and eat it. otherwise, I was going to raise it up with a net and let it go. Over 20 kings were taken that morning along with two monster Cobia. In addition to the King, I also caught 3 very nice Bonito that I gave to one of the locals whose brother fishes for Grouper with them and I also caught a very nice Spanish. Overall, I could not have asked for a better or more fun morning. I think I stayed until 11:00 ish. I then decided to take the beach road down to Pensacola Beach and one of my favorites....Peg Leg Pete's. Yep, got me some Grouper bites, a bowl of gumbo and a dozen on the half shell. What a great place. Love it!! I also saw a bunch of small sharks caught and released and I also saw another disturbing, actually two disturbing things. One, I am fishing next to these two local early 20 something "pier trash" idiots. The Remora (sucker fish that attach themselves to sharks and turtles) were every where and especially around the pilings. This damn fool, says.."I'm goin' to catch me one of them." He gets one to bite, hauls it up and throws it on the deck. Actually kicks it toward the center of the Octagon. I reel my line in, put my rod down and looked him squarely in the eye (I am one pissed off SOB at this point) and said.."are you going to use that fish? No! Are you going to eat that fish? No! Then why did you catch it and then just kick it over to die? Cause they are a pain in the ass and good for nuthin'! I agree with you that they are a pain, but they serve a purpose and you needlessly killing it will do nothing to effect the population, so why not throw it back? I ain't gonna! So, I grabbed it and put it back over the side to swim off." This is the Pier Trash that I have spoken about for years. These are local idiots who do not respect nature, the pier or others around them. They are few and far between and not a reflection of the older locals but they are a problem. I went to the office there and asked if there was a rule against needless killing and stock piling Remora. The guy who is always in there said, none other than making a pile of them. So here we have a dilemma. Either put up with it, say nothing or say something and potentially get into it with these morons. The pier will do nothing. I chose to get into it and fortunately it did not come to blows although I was madder than hell at this stupid little sh*t. The next thing was even worse and there should be a rule and it should be against the law and I wish someone had literally knocked these two idiots out cold. A dude caught a 7.5 foot, what they thought was a blacktip shark. They fought this thing for an hour until it was near death from exhaustion. The guy that caught it wanted to cut the line and these two aholes said they would gaff it and take their chances getting it off the pier should it not be a black tip. Well, I later found out that they indeed did gaff it and decided not to harvest it and threw it back dead. I actually believe, had I seen that, I would have either called the cops or in my younger years, beaten the living hell out of both of them. I was livid and again, a prime example of the uneducated, moronic, local pier garbage that ever so often raises their ugly heads and taints the pier with unwanted and unneeded acts of foolishness and stupidity. Well, if the shoe fits, they are stupid people!! I may catch hell from some of the locals for speaking my piece but it exists and it is what it is. So, a bad ending to a glorious day on the pier. Back to the hotel to shower up and get ready for the local concert at Juana's for The Brothers Osborn. Supposedly this duet is an up and coming progressive country act. The deck was pretty crowded and I had a great seat. I was a bit surprised at the short act...maybe an hour and they were gone. I was so tired that I left Juana's, grabbed that pulled pork at East River and went back to the hotel. More talking that led to the front desk manager having to quiet these selfish people. My game plan was to get up early on Thursday, hit the pier, take my haul, clean the fish over in the Sound, go to Joe Patti's and stock my cooler and then head home.

I wake up at 5:00 am, pack my bag for the trip home and get in my car and head over to the pier. I noticed when I left my room that the wind was much calmer than the last several days. Once I paid my admission and started walking out on the pier, the surf was just about flat and the wind was down. The water was stunning and I started fishing at roughly 6:15. The end of the pier was so calm and you could literally see the ocean floor next to the pilings. This usually equates to a very slow fishing day with perhaps the lone Mahi-Mahi coming through. They like the water calmer. I was hoping for some because a few years back, I caught two one morning with my Bubble Rig. Well, needless to say, the fishing did not pan out but the views and just being there was joy enough. I decided that if I had to leave, I would do the right thing and leave early. When I got into the car, I said I wanted to drive down the beach road and check out our house we are renting in June. I did so and was going to lay my mom and dad's ashes near there but there was a car already in the public lot so I decided to go down a bit further. I found the perfect place, said a short prayer and that will remain with me and my family but their ashes are on Navarre Beach. My faith tells me they are absent from the body and present with the Lord and those are actually meaningless at this stage and really it is only for those still here. After all, Luke 23:43 says that Jesus told the prisoner hanging next to him that on that day, he would be with Christ in paradise. I hang my hat on that promise. Once I did that, I went back to shower and load the car and off down 98 I go. Joe Patti's, here I come. I picked up some Red Snapper, Pompano, Grouper, Scamp and Royal Red's (shrimp) and they are in my freezer now. I get on the road at about 9 and make it to Houston at 4:30.

It was once again, a fantastic and beautiful in more ways than one, trip to paradise. I look forward to my trip in June with family and friends and probably another 2-3 day'er at least for me in August and September. I will have pictures and post those probably tomorrow, once I get them uploaded.

Thanks for your eyes in reading this. Hope it brought some joy just hearing the tales of God's country.
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lvthebch
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Fri May 15, 2015 7:16 pm

Your posting brought me much joy! I enjoyed every word and almost felt like I was in Navarre! So very happy that you got to take a few days and be in your favorite place and do some of your favorite things. Very healing, I'm sure.



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PensacolaKid
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Sat May 16, 2015 10:47 am

Thank you lvthebch. Yes, it was relaxing. My only regret was that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were very choppy water days. Red flag days. I could only get my feet wet really as even right up to the beach it was a washing machine.
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Floridawant2B
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Sat May 16, 2015 2:59 pm

Pensacola Kid,

Enjoyed reading about your trip. Too sad about the two incidents that you witnessed and upset you. Knowing the area and the places you were at (Navarre Pier, Juana's, Peg Leg Pete's, Joe Patti's, etc) adds to the visualization of your trip. Looking forward to our trip in September.

Glad you had the chance to get away after your mom's "graduation day" :) Good to hear your brother got his 90 day chip...(been praying for him and you and your fam).
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PensacolaKid
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Sun May 17, 2015 8:35 am

Greatly appreciate it Floridawant2B. I really like your description of mom's departing flight. That woman was a saint, kind to everyone she ever met and had a smile on her face just about every time you saw her. She endured a living hell the last 12 years or so. She is sadly and deeply missed but I know for an absolute fact, she no longer even remembers that pain. We are getting ready for our June trip with friends and all that is entailed before a trip to include work and travel and figuring out the dog situation and I am also getting Lasik done on my eyes 2 weeks prior. Hopefully with God's hand on the eye surgeon's hand, for the first time in my life, without corrective lenses of some sort, I will be able to see the dolphins play from the beach.
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Pete
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Sun May 17, 2015 9:05 am

Great narrative. I'm sure one of these days our paths will cross at a Navarre beach attraction.

Anyway, the mentioning of both mackerel and SRCo Deputy Sheriffs reminded me of a event yesterday.
Our church has an annual smoked Boston Butt BBQ "Pig Roast" event (open to public) and yesterday was it.
(My role is as an assistant to the assistant, assistant grillmaster.)
Anyway, that required folks showing up and getting the smoker going about 0430.

We also have Deputy Sheriffs who occasionally sit in our parking lot and/or use our picnic pavilion to sit and do "paperwork". (we like having such a visible presence, off and on, at the property - in fact a few years back our priest was running late to our early service, and got a speeding citation as just before he pulled in! :oops: )

So yesterday, the deputy was also there at 0430, at a picnic table doing his shift report, by flashlight (he knows about the electric lights, but didn't want to "use our electricity"? Maybe also to be less visible?).
Anyway, as he was finishing up, he gave the grill-crew a tub of smoke mackerel salad/dip that was AWESOME! (goes especially good with bloody Mary's)

I think we have the greatest Sheriffs around in this county/Navarre!
Cheers, Pete
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Linda
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Sun May 17, 2015 4:43 pm

So sorry to hear about your Mom's passing, PKid. It's not easy and the grief process can really be a strange one. I lost my Dad in 2011. Very calming and meditative to be on the water and remember him. I know they are in a better place but the beauty of nature is what I enjoy on the days I'm especially missing him. He was a fisherman - cast nets. I've probably mentioned that before. Anyway, I think a trip to the beach was a good move. Very loving of your wife to suggest that. Take care.
Nidrah
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Mon May 18, 2015 10:17 am

P'Kid, Thank you for sharing your story! May the Lord bless you!

(As a Catholic, I have a standard prayer for everything)

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.

Amen. +

You and your family will be in my continued thoughts and prayers.
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PensacolaKid
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Tue May 19, 2015 9:07 am

Thank you Nidrah and Linda. I greatly appreciate it. Very kind words! :)

Pete, I feel we will. I will let those around the area know when we are there and perhaps we could meet. I will also be back in August and possibly late September.....both again by myself. It helps to have a company car, company gas, customers along my path and a wife who knows I despise Houston, Texico and is supportive of me leaving for a couple of days, here and there.

What does it say when one lives 40 minutes from the Gulf (Galveston) but will instead drive 7.5-8 hours to spend 2.5 days in Navarre, Florida? :shock: :o :D :D :D :D :D
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PensacolaKid
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Tue May 19, 2015 10:07 am

I meant to mention that on one of the days I was on the pier, the weather was simply outstanding with cobalt blue skies. I hear a thunder and look above me and see some of the new(er) F-22's overhead coming from Eglin. What a sight and what a noise. Love it. The gunships were also going crazy over the time I was there. I love hearing the soothing boom, boom boom whilest sitting on the beach or fishing.
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Kenny Wilder
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Tue May 19, 2015 10:43 am

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PensacolaKid,

I’m glad that your wife was wise in persuading you to take a break from the understandable mourning of the loss of your dear Mother by taking a trip to Navarre Beach. There were times when even Jesus Christ had to get away and pray about His ministry. I believe that Navarre Beach visits are refreshing of our mind, body and soul. It appears that your trip to Paradise was relaxing, positive and spiritual with God’s presence, love and mercy.

Your detailed report should be a must read for the readers of this forum now and in the future.

God Bless!
Kenny Wilder
NavarreBeachLife.com ~ Owner/Administrator
Constitutional Conservative
Florida Master Naturalist ~ Coastal Systems and Wetlands
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dolfnfan
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Tue May 19, 2015 12:02 pm

I always enjoy your trip summaries, P'kid. Glad you found the perfect spot for your mom & dad.
Sleep late, drive fast and don't take anything seriously...
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EastBayBabe
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Tue May 19, 2015 2:06 pm

P'kid - So sorry to hear that your Mom has passed on. She is no longer in pain and is in a much happier place. Be strong and know that she is being well cared for in Heaven. Hugs to you and your family.
May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.
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PensacolaKid
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Tue May 19, 2015 2:12 pm

Thank you Kenny and Dolfnfan for the very kind words, sentiments and blessings. I look forward to seeing you both (and hopefully, Going Nuts) next month (June 27th - July 4)

Dolfnfan, it is a spectacular place for their ashes and I am happy about that but even more so that my faith and even Christ himself (Luke 23:43) says that that is exactly what they are....ashes to ashes, dust to dust. My mom was a Christian and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when she departed her body, she was present with God and His son, Christ. And....that happens to be in paradise, one even more glorious than Navarre. I know that is hard to believe, but that is what I am hanging my hat on.

My daughter has an old message on her phone from my mom to her and she played it the other day and it made me sad but only for a moment. I know I will see her again. All is good!
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Lagunatic
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Tue May 19, 2015 9:21 pm

Larry,

My deepest condolences.
Remember, where your treasure is, there your heart is also.
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