I am on the porch swing, absorbing time. It's another 45 minutes until Our Florida opens for their first Gallery Hop, and I'm here to lend my support. In a historic cottage in downtown Dunnellon, Florida, a quiet town at the confluence of the Withlacoochee and Rainbow Rivers, Our Florida Books & Art is chock-a-block full of art and literature devoted to my favorite subject: Florida. Jeanie's never had a website, but folks find her anyway. She has a little something special here, the only bookstore in Florida fully devoted to its own authors, and I've respected that since the day I walked in six years ago or so to do a book signing.
Most days, I can find a lot to do in 45 minutes. Not today. While my husband dashes off to take photos of the historic district, I rock back and forth, inhaling the scent of marigolds. The fairy lights - they aren't really Christmas lights, since they're orange - match the color of the flowers, and some even hang in the same droopy way as spent buds. A few people stop by. "Is the store open yet?" "No," I answer, and keep swinging, attuned to the creak of the swing. They are well dressed, the idea of a Gallery Hop transforming everyday working folks into fashion plates. I relax into the zen of motion, swaying back and forth like the marigolds in the breeze. It's time to just be.
Causes Sandra Friend Supports
Florida Trail Association
American Hiking Society
The Nature Conservancy