I'm not really sure how to begin this, except to say that it has been like waking up from a beautiful dream, and trying hard to keep sleeping so it won't stop. I returned to Austin last night from a week long visit with my #2 son, who lives just north of Tallahassee outside a beautiful small town called Havana. Four acres of enormous pine trees - complete with owls and magnolia trees and big camellia bushes in full bloom. It was raining and freezing cold the whole week, but it was a visit to restore the soul. (We also had a fine fireplace with plenty of wood to burn) The picture is of my son Charlie, loading wood north Florida style - a man on a backhoe keeps it neatly piled, and the way to buy is to keep a notepad with the number of armloads one loads into the car. I don't know if it is because I am an artist - but I have always said that this region, of all places on the planet, is the one that literally feeds my soul and fuels my creativity - and I have sorely missed it in the 14 years since I left. I insisted that he and his wife take me to Panacea, which is my very favorite of the little coastal fishing villages just south of Tallahassee - and of course I had to stop at the classiest "tourist treasure" shop we could find. (there aren't but three there, as it hasn't been found by the tourists yet.) This is the front of "Linda's store," - a very classy spot with a fine mixture of gorgeous and tasteful antiques and totally tacky tourist stuff. This was her last day in business, so she helped me out with a big bag of seashells I had promised my grandson, Jake, - and told me he doesn't need to know they aren't native. I think they are all from Indonesia. (it isn't seashell season in north Florida.) We laughed and made memories here that I will never forget! On the side of this building is a big mural depicting a mermaid - lighting wasn't good due to cloud cover. As I said, this region causes me to want to get out the watercolours again and start painting - I saw a picture on every street corner and some in between. The little house across the street is vacant and very colorful - and I am threatening to run away to Panacea and live in it. Wonderful thought!! The next installment will be pictures and descriptives of Hook Wreck Henry's seaside cafe - a friend of my son's from high school has opened this wonderful establishment - gourmet cuisine in a seafood shack setting - right on the water, with it's own fishing boat. When they were in high school, I never expected that they would turn out so well - educated and productive and still friends. They were very imaginative in their mischief and misdeeds!! I felt more love in the hugs from these guys, and laughed more than I have in many years. I'll do it again maybe in the spring when the dogwoods are in bloom.