Today was another beautiful day on Big Pine Key. We had some rain again overnight but it was clear by the time we were up. Larry, Kathy and Elaine left early this morning to head to Key West in hopes of getting their “Southern Most Point” picture before the line was too long. Last time they were there they gave up without the photo because there were just too many people. They were fifth in line when they arrived today and got the desired photos. The had a good time roaming around town and returned around lunch time. While they were gone Max and Anne went shopping. We picked up some snow crab clusters from Winn Dixie and some stone crab claws from the new little seafood/produce market down the street. Since we had the pot luck on Christmas Day we decided to do our traditional crab dinner today. We really enjoyed! Having never eaten stone crab we weren’t sure if we would really enjoy. We did and we will probably have some more before we leave the area.
After enjoying our “Christmas” lunch Kathy, Larry and Elaine joined us for a bike ride. We rode back down to Blue Hole which we visited earlier. Only one of the gators was making an appearance today, the smaller of the two we saw previously. It was a nice ride. We remember getting spoiled to flat-land riding the last year we spent several weeks in Florida. Hopefully now that we are a little better organized we will have more time for riding. It was a really nice day.
After enjoying our Christmas off, we were back to work today. We again worked at Big Pine UMC to complete or nearly complete some of the items we began on Tuesday. The final row of vinyl plank flooring was installed by Anne, Kathy and Max. We were so close to complete on Tuesday but just ran out of time. The quarter round trim is partially installed. We have a couple of difficult to install pieces remaining to be done. Steve and Larry completed installing the door to cover the HVAC unit after Glenita painted it. Steve and Larry completed the duct enclosure and Kathy cleaned it all and she and Elaine put on a coat of paint. Max had to make one more trip to Home Depot on Marathon Key for the trim. Elaine and Glenita also did more repainting of the exterior doors of the church. The dark green paint takes a real beating in the hot Florida sun. There was also a good deal of caulking in various spots around the church. We hope the church members enjoy the sprucing up and completion of things begun by others. We enjoyed having the team all together for two days. Next week we plan to get back to working on various homes.
Merry Christmas! Hope every one had a great day. It was a very nice day in the Florida Keys. We were able to sleep in this morning which was nice. And for those family members that sometimes doubt Max’s Christmas spirit – he did help decorate FRED this year.
The team planned a pot luck for 1:00 so we all spent our morning preparing food. It was a fun gathering. We invited Dennis, one of our homeowners who had no plans for today, and he really seemed to have fun and joined in the laughter. We had turkey and dressing and all the trimmings along with pecan and key lime pie. It seemed a good time was had by all and we definitely did not go back to our RVs hungry.
We needed and enjoyed a long walk after lunch and then drove around exploring the island. We stopped at a little nature trail at Blue Hole. It was a very short walk to the overlook and the “pond” really wasn’t very impressive until we looked straight down and saw two alligators directly under where were were standing on the overlook. One of those gators was really big. We did not look at them for long with only one of the reasons being the mosquitoes.
We also drove to a joining key uniquely named “No Name Key.” After driving to the end of the road we think there may be a reason it doesn’t have a name.
It was a good day. We celebrate Jesus’ birth and thank God for sending Him to save us.
The team spent all of Christmas Eve 2019 at Big Pine UMC. We decided early on in the project that we would spend some time working at the church to thank them for being such welcoming hosts. The church was flooded during Hurricane Irma but is mostly rebuild. There are still a few things that need to be completed. The sound booth needs flooring and a door to cover the HVAC unit. And there is always painting to be done.
Then tonight was the traditional Christmas Eve service with carols and the reading of the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke.