Florida - December 2015

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2018 update - My wife's Dad George passed away in October 2017, at 96.5 years old, in Fort Myers, Florida.  Below are photos from our trip to visit him back in December 2015, when old George was still in assisted living. 

We came to see him again in March 2017, when he was in a full scale nursing facility.  We were fortunate to spend time with him when his mind was still pretty clear.  I'm keeping this posting below on the site because of the respect I have for Linda and her parents.  

The original web page begins from here...  

In early December 2015 Linda and I took a trip to Fort Myers, Florida, to see her Dad George, who resides in an assisted-living facility with his second wife, Erlene.  George, who is 94, is limited to a wheelchair, or to any other chair, but he's mentally alert, reading English classics (Hardy, Dickens, Bronte, Austen) from Reader's Digest.  George has always been fun to be around and he's a good conversationalist.  We held them in awe of our photos from the Yorkshire trip.

G's wife Erlene, in her late 80s, is in the early stages of Alzheimer's, and there was a lot of conversational repetition.  But she is fairly sharp too and together they manage their way to the ground floor and back for three meals a day.  

The Colusa Harbor facility has a view across the Colusahatchee River.  G&E certainly enjoyed sitting down by the river in the morning, when we took them there.  They both seemed really content, being close by the water.  We had a nice lunch with them too, with river view, 'on the house', as George reminded me a few times.  

Our rental house for a week's stay, a classic Dutch Colonial, was very spacious, in great condition, and on a quiet side street, only a few minutes' walk from the modest downtown area.  A really good grocery was only a 5 minute walk away. 

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.

flying into water world rental house, with gambrel roof back yard
main door design veranda looks out on back yard

Images from multiple visits to Colusa Harbor independent & assisted-living facility.    

by the river on the property bouganvellia shrub Hibiscus & bridge
  ditto maybe a date palm Banyan Trees have waxy leaves
wooden boat looking east or up-river Condo living in Florida  ditto

On a mid-week day we drove 125 miles north to St. Petersburg and crossed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge at Tampa Bay, one of the most attractive cable-stayed bridges in the US.     


We placed Rhea's ashes (Linda's Mom) next to those of her second husband Bob at Curlew Hills in Dunedin, Florida.  Bob Read died 20 years ago from Parkinson's disease.

Rhea lived with us for nine years, then she was in a local assisted-living facility for five and a half years and then went to an Alzheimer's ward for three and a half years, passing away at Barb's home on April 1, 2014, at 92 years of age.  (photos of Rhea are below)     

  plastic flowers  

Edison Ford Winter Retreat - this interesting 21-acre property includes a museum, extensive gardens, and multiple homes.  

These were the winter estates of Thomas Alva Edison & Henry Ford, who became friends.  Edison's family wintered here from 1886 until 1931, while Ford's family joined in from 1915 until 1930.  Eventually they had a falling-out over a failed business venture.  Their homes sit next to each other and their back yards look out across the Colusahatchee River.  

The grounds & homes first - this place was about a ten minute walk from the rental house. 

Edison had two homes built   Edison home 
  Henry Ford's craftsman style house  Henry Ford statue Edison's garden has plants from around the world
  roots like snakes   interesting Florida light
T. Edison statue (see note below)

note: Behind the statue of Edison is the largest Banyan tree in the Continental US, about one acre in size. 

Edison Ford winter retreat - the museum. 

Edison's Ford   the restless genius look

On the connecting flight home from Dallas there was some nice scenery outside. 

lower Grand Canyon Colorado River enters Lake Mead at upper right eastern part of Lake Mead Mono Lake and Tioga Pass area

Some photos of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, from Google images.   

Rhea Read

The images below of Linda's Mom were posted in July 2016.     

  Rhea's 80th birthday in 2002 Christmas 2009, see note
  she was an avid walker along the creek in the back yard in 2009  

note - in the background is a photo of Rhea at a young age.  She passed away on April 1, 2014 at home at age 92, from Alzheimer's disease. 

My wife's Dad George lived until he was 96 & 1/2, passing away after an extended stay in a nursing facility, from natural causes.  

They had been divorced for a long time and both remarried, living most of their remaining years in Florida.  Rhea moved out west and lived with us for years before needing to be in a care facility for memory loss.

I am personally grateful that I came to know each of them really well, over a long period. 

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