Lobster Lunacy – the Annual Feeding Frenzy for the Meat That’s Better Than A Mother’s Love

As long as I can remember, my family has spent our summers in Islamorada, in the Florida Keys. Part of a multi-family tradition begun by my parents and their friends long before I was born, this annual vacation lasted anywhere from one week to one month, and always involved more time spent on the water than on land – fishing, diving, and searching for that ultimate maritime delicacy – the lobster. Though I was born merely Cracker and not Conch (people native to Florida are called Crackers – those fortunate enough to have been born in the Keys are called Conchs), this annual migration instilled in my soul an eternal respect for Mother Ocean and a lifelong lust for Panulirus argus, the Spiny Lobster. This year was extra special for my father, marking his first return to the deep after undergoing open-heart surgery on August 1, 2007. We hoped to herald this anniversary with a bounty of crustacean goodness, so on Tuesday afternoon I traded our island for another and headed south to join my family in pursuit of the wily critters.
(more…)

Published in: on August 12, 2008 at 7:26 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Joan Martis – One Mile at a Time

Joan Martis moved to Fort Myers Beach for the same reason many do, to escape the cold harsh winters and to enjoy life on an Island. When she bought her home on Indian Bayou Drive just before Hurricane Charley in 2004, she was all set to begin life as an Islander. She never expected that, just a couple of short years into her new life, she would embark on entirely different path – that of a cancer survivor. What this serene and normal looking woman did when faced with a diagnosis that would have brought most people to their knees is both inspiring and uplifting – as well as giving a whole new meaning to the word ‘survivor’.

(more…)

Published in: on August 5, 2008 at 7:32 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Bonnie McLaughlin’s Tree House

Bonnie McLaughlin lives in a tree house. At least, that’s the way it looks from the front porch of her wood frame house on Fairweather Lane. Butterflies cavort amongst the leaves of the Beach Sunflowers, and hummingbirds feast on the nectar of the Yellow Necklace Pod. The entire home is nestled in the cool, shady embrace of the surrounding foliage. How did this come to be? Is Bonnie some Master Gardener? No, she simply decided five years ago to plant only native plants, a decision that has earned her a certification from the National Wildlife Federation and the envy of her neighbors.

(more…)