I grew-up in Strongsville, Ohio, which was then a sleepy bedroom suburb southwest of Cleveland. 

I moved to Florida in 1988, lived in tropical little Cape Coral for six years and then Tampa, which I love, for the next 11 years. There’s much to do in the still small-town-feeling Tampa metropolitan area of 3 million-plus folks, and some of the greatest people around to do it with. After Peace Corps I returned to Cape Coral to live. I still have a home in Tampa, and travel there and to Orlando to visit family and friends.

In 2006, I joined the United States Peace Corps and spent three years living in and loving the ancient, beautiful, small, landlocked country of Macedonia, which leaves me with three places I call “home”:
Ohio – where I was born and where most of my wonderful extended  family and “old” friends still live,
Florida – where my sweet sons, daughter-in-law and fantastic little grandsons and a host of amazing friends and I now live, and
Macedonia the place that holds a huge piece of my heart and more wonderful friends.

How lucky can you get? Three places to call home and each filled with friends and family, all of whom are part of this wonderful life I am creating.

Here are a few of my favorite things about my Florida:
One of the things I love about Florida - the woods. Photo courtesy of my wonderful friend (MWF) Malinda Antonik-Borgner.

The woods, rivers and natural springs of Florida are amazing.  So much attention is focused on our beaches that locals and visitors often forget, or are not even aware, of Florida’s inner beauty.

I love to kayak down her lazy waters, walk in her prehistoric-feeling woods and swamps, and see the tropical beauty her hot and steamy climate produces. Our trees are so diverse, their flowers so stunning, and their scents so romantic.

Timid, but almost ready.

Hibiscus come in many vibrant shades.

Not so shy, and the credit goes to http://www.flickr.com/photos/hz536n/4192027302/

And, there are lots of varieties.

The canals of Cape Coral where I walk each morning.

Canals are common place in Cape Coral, and although the Cape is no Venice, it has a beauty of its own.

Gator Soup. Photo courtesy of MWF Malinda Antonik-Borgner

Another common sight in Florida, Alligators – this one resides at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

http://www.gatorland.com - 2009 Photo Contest Gallery / Reptiles / "Gator Line" by Jason Cordoba

I have kayaked with them in view, watched them float by in suburban lakes where I walk, and seen them wide-bellied and piled high like logs at touristy alligator parks.

Looking laid back, but still dangerous. Photo courtesy of MWF Malinda Antonik-Borgner.


Their sanguine swimming style can be mesmerizing and completely belies their predatory prowess. (Love the words sanguine and belies, thanks for giving me a reason to put them together in the same sentence.)


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