Friday, February 5, 2010

Exploring The Area...

Yesterday we drove over to Old Town to check it out. It had been 10 years since I'd been there last. Best time to visit must be on a Saturday evening as it was really dead for mid-day on a Thursday. Thursday is bike night so probably later in the evening there would be a large number of bikes there to look at but none when we were there. A sign said the largest number of bikes they've had was 1275....not too bad.

This switchboard was in the General Store. My
great aunt was a switch board operator at one point.

When we left the Kissimmee area we decided to take rt 50 west back towards Bushnell. If you think that all of Florida is heavily populated, it isn't. We drove through some very barren areas of nothing but fields and very few houses. Not what I would typically think of for Florida. We drove to Weeki Wachee area, along the coast. They boast that they are the only town with real live mermaids...yep, sure. Drove out to a park area so we could catch a glimpse of the water and then headed home. It made for a very nice drive through the non-touristy areas of Florida. Boomer loved riding with his head out the window, breathing in all the smells and seeing the cows grazing in the fields as we drove by.

Today we wanted to check out the Florida National Cemetery that we keep seeing signs for. It's very close to our RV park and as soon as we drove in we could tell it was going to be a gigantic place. We picked up literature at the visitor center and found out that this particular one has been open since 1988 and is the second most active national cemetery of all of them. They do 7000 burials a year here. It is a cemetery for those who served in the military for at least 24 months and is completely free for the veteran and his spouse. The plot, marker, opening of the grave and perpetual care is completely free to the family. This facility is huge...there's 517 acres here.

Open areas for today's burials (by cremation)

They have services on the half hour but services can only be held at committal shelters throughout the cemetery. There are no graveside services. There were a number of groups gathering at various locations throughout the cemetery for these services to take was very busy. I've always heard of Arlington as a National Cemetery but didn't realize there are so many others. There are seven of them in Florida, serving 1.9 million Florida veterans. It was a dignified and fitting burial place for those who have served our country.
On the way back to the RV park we went to the Wild Cow cemetery to see what that was all about. In the shadow of I-75's overpass, there is this little, old cemetery with only about a dozen plots in it.I was glad to see that it wasn't a final resting place for wild cows, as I thought that would be a rather extravagant gesture. The majority of the headstones are very old....most around a hundred years worn, with that ornateness that you see on ancient headstones. There was a recent plot, a woman who passed away in 2007 and would have been around 54 years old. She must have had a fondness for this place...tucked away at the end of a dirt road, under a canopy of oak trees.

It's now raining...a cold front is moving in from the coast. The area where we were yesterday in Weeki Wachee was an area of concern a short while ago when a tornado warning was posted...Our area is under the watch until 8 p.m. tonight. Linda went up to the club house around 2:00 to watch the last hour of the "Jam Session" - when musicians gather to play and sing together. She said the place was crowded and it was a good time. Now we're hanging out at the house while it pours outside. Gonna be a quiet night..

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