Best Shot Monday: Friends and Strangers Project, Meet Omar

When I started my new role at the Florida College System Activities Association, the person who manages our building told me that if the black man who played his harmonica near the front of our building during the lunch hour bothered me, let him know. My office is right at the front of the building, with a nice big window, so I hear a lot of street noise.  That was seven months ago, and I'm still enjoying the harmonica music outside my window at lunch time thanks to that sweet older black man, so last week, I took the time to sit down and talk with him.

Meet Omar (his stage name). Street musicians have never bothered me. On the contrary, I've always rather enjoyed them. They've always been one of my favorite things about visiting New York City. I think it takes a lot of courage to sit there along the street and share your music. Heck, I'm incredibly shy about playing in front of someone in my own house! Omar has been a musician for more than 40 years but has only been playing harmonica for about 10 years. He's currently trying to learn some of the oldies, "you know, like Barbra Streisand!" so he can expand his repertoire. He shared with me that back in the 80's, he used to play his saxophone over on Tennessee Street. I may have seen him there while I was in college! He's also from Jacksonville, and graduated from Raines High School. When I told him I went to Orange Park, he said he remembered going over to Orange Park for sports events. Based on his email address, I'm guessing he's only a couple years older than my husband, so having also grown up on the Northside in the Raines school district, Benny wants to chat with him the next time he's in Tallahassee with me to see who they both know!

Omar shared with me that he shares his music because, to him, sharing music is akin to sharing love, and his goal is to simply spread as much love as he can. He believes the world definitely needs more love right now, all the love it can get. I certainly agree with him on that. While I've always smiled at Omar when I've walked by, I've never sat and talked with him before last week. Now I'm so glad I did!

See more of my Friends and Strangers Project posts here.

Best Shot Monday: The Best Spot on the Boat

Sarah on boat 
Happy Monday! While we were in Boca Grande, I shared with Sarah what's always been my favorite spot to ride on the boat: sitting cross-legged on the bow, holding on to either the anchor rope or a bow rope. She loved it just as much as I always have! I took this picture with Sarah's camera because slippery-fingered me managed to drop my phone in the Gulf the day before. I was amazed at how little I panicked and how great it felt to be without a phone all week.  All I missed was being able to snap a quick photo!  Sadly, though, the phone was completely dead so that meant I lost all my photos. I've been skimming back through Facebook trying to recover Daily Dose of Awesomeness pictures ever since we got home.

We are in Tallahassee this week moving some things into our Tallahassee house, primarily setting up the girls' bedrooms. The girls are in volleyball camp for the week at the school they'll be attending here. This living in two places is going to be an interesting adventure, but we are bound and determined to make it work! Thanks for stopping in, and I hope you have a great week.

Best Shot Monday: Beauties in Boca

Boca Faces 2015 
We had a wonderful week in Boca Grande this past week and, as tradition calls for, did a little photo shoot on the beach our last night there. Here's my favorite of the "pretty smiles" shots. These girls are starting to look so grown up.  I just want to stop time!  As tradition follows, we also got quite a few goofy shots, which I'll share later this week once I have a little more time to edit. I didn't get a chance to write my Sunday Gratitude post last night, so I'll do that later this week with more pictures! Thanks for stopping in! 


Boca Grande Seashore 
For the next week, I will be here ... on the sandy shores of Gasparilla Island and Boca Grande. This year's trip comes at a time when it's been needed far more than weeks in the past! This will be our last respite of peace before we start the big move this summer. We are ready to be settled again.

I'm looking forward to cutting back on the constant driving back and forth. I'm looking forward to having more time in my art studio again. I'm looking forward to getting back to blogging more. And I'm looking forward to tucking my girls in every night again. But first, I'm looking forward to plopping my butt on this beach, sticking my toes in this sand, and doing nothing much more than picking up some shells and gazing at the horizon for a week. Enjoy your week!