Amelia SanJon Gallery
Amelia Island Artists
218A Ash Street., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
904-491-8040, 904-557-1195 cell
Island Artists Workshop (for workshop schedules)
count down is here as today is "the" day. It has been a
very trying and tiring week trying to get ready. The surgery date
was postponed a day which gave me some extra time to prepare but also
threw my schedule off. Most of all I have been told to not
drink or eat after midnight tonight and I dread having to be thirsty
that long since surgery is not until around 2 pm. I have also
been concerned about my mom who was hospitalized with a flu bug.
Although she is back home, at 91, even a cold can cause
severe problems. Keep her in your thoughts.
favorite vendors, Kings Produce, are back to the "Downtown Farmer's
Market". It's strawberry time and they have the best.
Keep the frost off those berries, Tommy. I will be ready
for some when I get out of the hospital.
Go check the out and tell them I sent ya!
and to the story...
sunset cooperated as I prepared for a week of family fun and one of the
last days at the gallery before that week off. Bruce is great to
fill in any time I need off to spend with the family who come so
far, and so seldom that I treasure each time we have these visits.
never get tired of the sunsets from this view, the same one which was
the subject of that recent painting. Just because it is at
the Ritz Carlton does not mean it is not still sale.
City Hall, my gallery next door neighbor, reflects the setting sun as
the hopes for improvement in the downtown falls into an abyss of
uncertainty by city fathers, who rescinded decisions to do improvements,
already voted on and approved. In my opinion I think it was a
very short sighted, but then I don't live in the city and can't
vote, but I can still be mad at them. One of my friends said, as we
sat having a glass of wine, watching the sunset on the porch at Brett's Restaurant, "one of the charms of Fernandina is that
it never changes, mostly because its City Council can never agree to
do anything." So not all is perfect in paradise.
the family here, staying with my sister who now lives on the island it was one of the best visits we
I could stay at home, with hubby, sleep in my own bed, and still
enjoy the giant slumber party going on at Sis's house. My brother
and his wife really enjoyed the close proximity to Fort Clinch, even
walking, biking and running to Starbucks each day in the other
direction. My brother, being from Washington State is addicted to
one of their fancy, smancy coffee drinks. We had a new to the
island guest this time, our next door neighbor growing up, so the tours of Fort Clinch had to be done by
the resident guide, and turtle lady.
who grew up next door to us in Fall Branch, Tennessee, is
like a member of the family, and came at our urging to accompany Mom
Aunt Helen on the flight. It was a big deal for her to come
since she is terrified of heights and would only sit in the aisle seat,
flying most of the way with her eyes closed, with some calming meds to
get her on the plane. We appreciated her
we did the tour it was good to be back in Fort Clinch, even on a
limited visit. The sun was low making a dramatic backdrop for the
dune plants by the fishing pier.
tour guide I exited though the back gate at the park, using my in house code, and touched
on to the northern most end of the island outside the park,
the circling around for a minute or two at Old Town so see the Pippi
Longstocking House. It was the abbreviated nickel tour.
of my mom's requests was for some fresh fish while here. I was
dead set on granting that wish, but with lots of people headed in a lot
of directions, tide charts, and weather conditions which were to
deteriorate soon, the window of opportunity was brief. When the
time came to go, only Orie and sister-in-law Denise were willing to go
with me. Orie was a reluctant participant and only did it to not
let me down. As luck would have it, before I could get the second
line baited, Orie was yelling "OMG, I think I caught one". She
landed the fish, I dehooked it tossing it back because even though it was big by fresh water standards it did not quite measure
up here. I rebaited her hook, and resumed attempting to get the second
line baited. Again I hear, "OMG, I have another one". She
was so excited and had to have a photo to verify her bragging rights to
fisherman hubby back home.
We do lots of "two" things besides see the sights, and that is sitting and
talking and eating and talking. Jacksonville relatives, Nephew
Chris and his family joined the party a couple of evenings. His
sister, Neice Julie, one of our favorite and few girl family members, flew in a
few days to mostly aggravate her brother. Why is it that men
don't like to get their photos taken. Photos are memories, we
don't care what you look like. It was a very relaxing time for
all, especially mom, who always wants to cook and wait on us when we
are visiting. This time she was banned from the kitchen. We
only relinquished the space when she insisted she was going to make a
family favorite, macaroni & cheese.
Some of us get a special diet of chicken strips when adults are eating adult? food like broccolli.
eating adventure was to go to Mayport to visit our favorite seafood
restaurant on the waterfront there, Safe Harbor. After the ferry
crossing we were very disappointed to find a sign saying the restaurant was closed
for renovations and would reopen in the Spring. The fish market
is still open though. Instead we went to Singleton's, next door, whose fame is
that they have never ever washed the dirt off or painted any of the walls
from the first day they opened many, many years ago. Lots of
memories stored there as well as saving money, while building character
in an old rundown water's edge popular "fish camp" type of restaurant.
Just so happened it was Niece Nicki's birthday. Old lady school marm she is now.
Mike in his aviator glasses steals one of Mom's fried oysters.
The glasses are for a dry eye condition he has. It seems he
was unable to find anything but sunglasses which would give him the
side protection from the drying breeze and air conditioners. A
good hint for anyone who needs that kind of glasses, he found a pair of
ice climbing googles he could get outfitted in his prescription,
problem solved. We thought he should get a leather aviators cap
so he could look like Snoopy when he is after the Red Baron.
is always fun around our family. Julie says that when asked to
describe her family, instead of saying they are smart, sophistigated,
or elegant she just says "crazy". As Julia Sugarbaker said, "I'm
saying this is the South and we are proud of our crazy people. We
don't hide them up in the attic, we bring 'em right down to the living
room and show 'em off. See, no one in the South ever asks if you
have crazy people in your family. They just ask what side they're
took a lot of food to feed those who came and went but in usual family
style it was still way too much and we ended up with a fridge full of
leftovers. Much of which I later froze for the days when I will not
feel like standing in the kitchen. Putting food together was
always a fun filled time in the kitchen with all pitching in. Men
were often on clean up detail and there is no one who can dirty more
dishes cooking than a Jones girl.
like brother Mike is caught with his hand in the food jar again.
Pistacios this time. Thankfully I was behind the camera so
my numerous reaches in the bag were not recorded.
Opps, now the chocolate kisses. That will require another lap to the pier and back.
accept lovingly and openly those who are not family as full fledged
members. Nicki's one and only, Bobby gives Orie a nice shoulder
and neck massage. Much needed after reeling in all those fish.
The line forms to his left.
Eric, has met his grandmother in Orlando on the front end of the trip
while David and Rizza and granddog Bella were able to make it up to the
island for a day and night toward the end. You can see poor
Bella's boo boo. Her front leg was broken just after her last
trip up here. She still has several weeks to go in the cast, but
she doesn't let it slow her down very much.
Low County boil for about 25 people rounded out the eating marathon.
Local Fernandina shrimp of course. I decided to turn the
picture taking over to someone else for a change since I am never in
any of them. Want my face recorded for memory time some too...
The Jones Girls.
family (except for Bruce) that was there that night. Of course
you know how it is with men, don't like to see themselves in photos.
sister with baby brother and one of the few greats in the family, great
grand children that is. The other two are up in Minnesota and
were not able to make it this time.
Reagan and I collaborated on a painting which was given to
Grandmother Mimi/Sister Susan for her birthday. Reagan, who is
quite the artist herself, had not seen the finished product and was very happy with the end result.
weather had turned chilly toward the end of their stay so bundling up
in my 40+ year old, soft snuggly quilt was a feel good moment in more ways than
was a great visit, with family members all coming and going and not
were ever together at any of the events but Mom got to see all her
grandkids that Susan and I provided her with along with all of her
children but one. We made lots of memories to treasure.
other crazy men in my life who are and always to be missed, my dad on the
right, who has been gone for many years, and my old pastor and almost family, of 40 some
years. The photo was taken at mine and Bruce's wedding 24 years ago. These two men who were
such an important part of my life both gone now. R. V. Wells
passed away last week. One of the most unique men I have ever
known, from football coach to minister he most of all loved people, no
matter who or where they came from. R. V. had aged a lot but this
is how I like to remember both him and my dad at this stage in their lives, the
images I see in my mind when I head back into memory lane. Two
men who celebrated a sense of humor and being a little bit crazy in
this world of serious issues. Always good to laugh and both of
them could do that for you. Many stories flood the memory
involving humor, wit, and practical jokes that made them both the
unique men that they were.
(Please take a
moment to consider:
These photo-stories have
always been offered completely free, to simply share the wonders of
nature. Thousands of hours have been
poured into them and it has even become necessary to enlist the
services of a paid email service to send out the large numbers who now
receive them. So, with the current economic situation if you are able
make a small donation to help ensure the continuation of the stories it
would be greatly appreciated.)