A Work in Progress

A mourning dove (Zenaida macroura), taken in U...

Image via Wikipedia

We enjoy the last vestiges of springtime in Florida. Mornings are still soft and cool, but summer’s humidity is a footstep away, so I try to enjoy these moments when the sun is not so fierce.

At night cicadas fill the air with drum-like humming and morning brings the sad, haunting song of the mourning dove in coos of three. Its mate answers back in kind, its call filters through the rustling of the palm fronds… “Ladies in grass skirts”, my mother would say about the palms. I never asked if that was a saying she made up or if it was something she read.

Scolding blue jays argue amongst themselves while out front, two mockingbirds fight it out over a female, chasing each other across a baby blue sky. They dive and curve around unseen air currents with graceful arcs that quickly slices the air with razor sharp turns as they change direction and aggression. The two are evenly matched and neither gives in. The chase lasts for hours, with only short breaks to tree sit and woo the lone female who seems uninterested in either one. The phone rings and I do not see the resolution. When I look up again, they are gone.

I continue with web page writing and enjoy the work. I have a new assignment and this time, it comes with instructions on how to upload it to a website that my boss will use for creating the page. My guidance? Just go in, poke around, and learn it. Ah, the optimism of youth! I come from a generation that learns the old fashioned way: by repetition. I am a rote learner. Step me through it a few times and I’m good. I can teach myself to write a sonnet. I can teach myself how to can. But navigate a program? I’ll try, but not this weekend. This is Mother’s Day weekend.

I’m also working on my newest work: a fiction based on facts. Because of Spring Break visitors and harvesting the vegetable garden (meaning many hours spent canning) and several other things, wordpress blogging has been put on the back burner, as have my good intentions over learning how to navigate this site. Unfortunately, the hours required for blogging and learning wordpress on top of everything else just aren’t there, so I beg your patience. At least until I get 300 pounds of tomatoes canned.

My short story, Tin Can Tourists, adds a new twist to early Florida tourists, many of whom camped in their cars or tents, cooking their meals in cans held over the car’s engine.  These makeshift meals soon became picnic events, and the article offers up a closer look at one such gathering, as well as a detailed description of my aunt’s 1938 “housecar”.

DeSoto County Historical Society

P.O. 1824

Arcadia, FL 34265


Ask for “Recollections II” (NOT the first book). I’m page 28-30.

$8 for the book (It’s a non-profit, so I get no pay, but it’s a credential)


About conniekauffman

Woman. Middle-aged. Opinionated. Fiesty (she's told). Smart. Loving. Creative. Blunt. Kind. Contradictory. Go Figure. And funny. I always forget funny. Kinda funny, when you think about it. As a business owner, I am interested in how other businesses run and often comment on various websites. As an almost-empty-nester, I comment on weekend getaways in Florida. We enjoying "discovering" out of the way places and quirky venues. As an aspiring writer, I will also chronicle my attempts at obtaining an agent. At the time of this writing, March of 2011, I am uninterested in self-publishing for a variety of reasons.
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10 Responses to A Work in Progress

  1. Richard Posner says:

    Just stunning description! May I use some of this as examples for my Freshman Composition classes? “Go in, poke around, and learn it” is how I’ve mastered computer hardware and software since 1982.

  2. Richard, I’m honored! You are more than welcome to use it in your classroom lessons.

  3. Dragonish says:

    I think I’ve said this before, and if I haven’t, I should have: I love how you use words to paint your surroundings so we can see (and hear, and smell) them too!
    You’ll be fine learning to navigate that program and upload your stuff once you have the time to play with it 🙂

    • Oh, I thank you for that compliment! I try to draw the reader into the scene and I find using all five senses to describe gets the job done best. It’s so good to have you here!

  4. Stoblogger says:

    Such a lovely description of your Floridian morning.

  5. Rose N says:

    Interesting. I didn’t know one could cook over a car engine!

    • Connie says:

      Hi, Rose! I’d heard of using the heat from a car’s engine to cook food, but was surprised to find that it was quite common in the early days of tourism. Thanks for dropping in!

  6. Tigerhawk says:

    Funny about that…even though it’s completely the opposite side of the state, I have vague memories on some of this during my time in Jax. Thanks for the refresher. 🙂

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