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Judy G.
I was raised in South Florida back in the years when it was a peaceful and wonderfully safe place to live. We lived a mile from the beach and could ride our bikes over the intercoastal bridge right to the best beach around. All my years of growing up I was a competitive swimmer and belonged to AAU. I granduated from Florida State University with a BS degree in nursing. I am recently retired but I'm thinking of going back to work to support my hobbies.
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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Don't forget to visit my Close To My Heart Website:

I've been missing you!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Raging River Rampage

Our oldest grandson is a whitewater rafting guide near Newport, Tennessee, this summer,and a couple of weeks ago some of our family members went and took a trip down the river with him.  My sister and my husband went, along with our granddaughter and our youngest grandson.  A good time was had by all.


     Two days after Christmas I flew down to South Florida to stay with our oldest daughter, who lives in Jupiter.  I about froze to death down there,  All I had were shorts and cropped pants, so I had to go shopping for a few warmer outfits.  Of course, back here in Tennessee, the temps were down into the single digits at night, so I felt lucky.  I did take some photos, though.  Here are a few:

The top picture is me and my sister, Janet, anthe bottom picture is of my daughter, Laura and me.  Christmas decorations were still up and the weather was balmy.  We had just gone to see “The Greatest Showman” starring Hugh Jackman.  Loved it!  It had some really great music.

While we were enjoying sunny weather in Florida, Laura’s husband and son were latterly freezing in Vermont.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


Even today I tend to brush the bottoms of my bare feet off before I get into bed at night - old habits die hard!  As a child in Florida, it was “required” to brush the sand off your feet at night, so it wouldn’t get in your sheets and drive you crazy.  I couldn’t stand that feeling!  It didn’t bother my brother at all, and his bed felt like a sand pile.  I never could figure out how he could sleep that way, but he had no problem.

I thought my brother, who was almost 3 years younger than me, was really lucky because he had his own private room with a full bath and covered porch with French doors over the garage.  He could hole up in his room all day, if he wanted too.  He had bunk beds, so occasionally I would spend the night upstairs with him.  Otherwise I shared a bedroom with my baby sister, who was 8 years younger than me.  To this day, she is my best friend, and still lives in Florida.

But I digress - back to the sand between my toes..... The fact was, we ran around barefooted and scantily clothed most of the time.  The heat was heavenly to us kids.  There was another drawback, besides sandy feet, to going without shoes - sandspurs!  Those wicked, painful, thorny burrs were always laying in wait for the unsuspecting bare foot to land in a patch of them.  These things would bring on the tears, because the thorns were difficult to remove, often requiring tweezer extraction by a sympathetic parent.

The first time my brother ever stepped on a sandspur was while we were playing in a park down the street from our house.  He sat down and squalled like a baby - and Loudly!  A man living right next to the park had seen what happened, and he came over carrying a small handsaw and offered to saw my brother’s foot off, of all things.  He said it as a joke, but my brother saw no humor in it - he just cried harder.

Eventually, the bottoms of our feet got so tough that those nasty thorns couldn’t get through the skin.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Here we are in our swim suits, ready to go to the local beach, which we did every chance we got.  In this photo, our parents still had to drive us over, but within a couple of years, we were able to ride our bikes over the old bridge and go to the beach ourselves.  It was only about a mile and a half away, and we could ride on the sidewalk going over the bridge.  Did we ever wear sunscreen??  Only when our mom made us, and the only things available were Coppertone and Sea and Ski - both rather ineffective.  My brother spent his entire young life with a blistered nose healing from a sunburn.  I just got red all over.  It took me many years to learn that redheads just don't tan easily, if at all. They just get more freckles, and then skin cancers later on.


That first summer in 1952, my grandmother, Edna, stayed with us all the time, because my mom and dad were so busy starting out with their new life, my dad going to cosmetology school (or beauty school as it was called back then).  Mom was organizing her new home just like she wanted it.  They had to buy some new "Florida furniture' - much of the furniture back then was made of rataan.  As you can see, she always wore a dress, but we were thrilled to be able to dress in shorts and sandals.

This is the side view of our house.  We lived on the corner, and you can see one of our orange trees and a palm tree in our yard.  The road you see actually end right at the Intercoastal Waterway.  You can see it in this picture.  It was so great to be that close to the water.  We went fishing all the time!


     We spent three wonderful days with our youngest daughter and her family for Christmas.  It was only about a 3 hour drive away, so it was a quick trip.  We did have torrential rains for about an hour, but after that it was just fine.  We ate way too much and received gifts we didn't expect.  All in all, we had a great Christmas, and I hope you did too.  Our other daughter lives in Florida, and their weather was in the 70's and basically beautiful.  I shall be experiencing this in about 3 days, because I'm going to Florida to stay with them for 9 days.  My DH has opted to stay here for some peaceful days on the farm with the TV all to himself.  Hmmmm, I see shopping and fun in my immediate future!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Our First Winter in Florida, 1952

           When December came, we had our photos taken in our back yard to show the folks back home, I suppose how we were NOT freezing to death in the sunny South.  The only change in our apparel was long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and a sweater for Mom.  Winter in Florida was actually the most beautiful time of the year, and still is, because that's when all the flowers bloom.  Poinsettias were huge, wild bushes, and amarylsis popped up everywhere.  Also, a big plus - the mosquitoes left town!  In 1952, the masses of winter tourists still had not discovered our little neck of the woods  (Lake Worth), so things were quite peaceful for us.  By this time, my father was going to cosmetology school and working as a nightwatchman at James Melton's Autorama, an antique car museum nearby.
      I can't remember whether I ever mentioned this before, but all five of us were red-heads, which always turned heads whenever we walked together somewhere.  Through my school years I was always called "Carrot Top".  Grrrrr!

 This is our official 1953 Christmas Eve photo, which became a tradition.  Some of our cousins, who had moved to Florida too, are in it.  My brother is on the left.  I'm in the middle, and Jan is sitting on Karen's lap.  This is out of chronological order, but it's a good photo, so I put it in.  Of course, at that time, all our trees were real. 

     Our grandparents were ones who came down and stayed for a few weeks at Christmas, and this is a picture of my dear grandmother, Edna, in our "Florida Room" celebrating her 65th birthday.

     By this time one set of our cousins had gotten the Florida fever, and they had moved to Lantana, a town just south of us.  Apparently their dad, Uncle Vick, must have taken this photo, because only their mother, Aunt Alice, (in center) is there with our grandmother.  In front is baby sister, Jan.  Holding her is me.  Behind me is Barbie, a dear cousin my age.  Then in the back from L to R are Alice's mom, Aunt Edith, (my grandmother's sister), my brother Jim, my grandfather, Elmer, Barbie's brother Fred, and then Alice's father Ralph.  I guess that makes Barbie and Fred our second cousins - right?

Monday, December 11, 2017


     How wonderful it was discovering all the new things that life in a tropical paradise had to offer!  Our house had no air conditioning in 1952, but then no one else's house didn't either.  In Illinois, there was no such thing, so we didn't miss it at all.  I can't remember, as a child, being bothered by the heat and humidity, mainly because we ran around all the time only half dressed and barefooted.  Fans were used at night to sleep, and there was an exhaust window fan that was in one of the windows in our "Florida Room" that pulled the hot air out of the house so that the cool night air could get in.  Of course it pulled the mosquitoes in too!  Every night, before we went to bed, we had a mosquito check and swatted those that we could see.  Sometimes our walls got kind of bloody.  Ha!
     As you can see, we enjoyed eating outside on our patio, and did it often.  Our dad also took us fishing at an inlet nearby, which became one of our favorite pastimes.  We lived right near the Intercoastal Waterway, and we would climb in one of the mangrove trees over the water and spend hours fishing for "toadies", which were toad fish or puffer fish, that were excellent eating.  Of course, everything we caught, we had to clean.  Toad fish were delicious, but their livers were poisonous.  We cleaned them by cutting off their heads and then turned them inside out by peeling the skin back.  The skin was kind of leathery and had no scales.  Toadies were weird fish, with front teeth that looked like human teeth.  They were shellcrackers and needed these teeth to break open barnacles.

                                               The scrapbook page I made with these pictures.

               Fishing at the inlet.  I had the toad
               fish, and my brother had a channel

               catfish that had a really sharp spine
               on it's back that could give you a
               painful sting.

Sunday, December 10, 2017


     For the past week I've started re-doing the scrapbook my mother kept of when we were children, growing up in south Florida - way back in the early 1950's.  What a wonderful life it was!
     I was actually born in Illinois, not too far from Chicago, and our summers were short, and the winters were horrible!  I can remember getting bundled up in that cumbersome snowsuit to go out and play in the snow for 5 minutes, and then wanting to come back in because it was too cold.  Apparently, my parents were ready to make a change, so in 1952, my dad, who was a beauty supplies salesman, and mom sold our house and moved to Florida in the summer of 1952.  He went down a month or so before us, because my mom had just had a baby girl in April, but in June we all got on our first plane - my grandmother, my mom with our 3 month old baby sister, my brother (age 5), and me (age 8).  These first photos are of us leaving, arriving, seeing our new house, and the scrapbook page I did of the plane ride.  We got off at Palm Beach Airport, which was a lot smaller than it is now.  More will come later.

                                            I'm the little girl in the yellow dress. 

Growing up in south Florida in 1952 was an amazing experience, and you'll hear more about it soon.