February was a most interesting month. I am fortunate in that I made great life long friends while I was in the Navy in the early 60's. One of those friends arrived for a visit on February 2nd. Mike Baca was originally from Denver and now lives in Mesa, Arizona. Last June he was riding his bicycle and was hit by a car running a red light. He spent most of last summer in the hospital and then physical rehab. He was here for 10 days. When I told him I would take him to see the highest waterfall (97 feet) in Florida he was quite skeptical. Once there he saw that the water fell into a sinkhole. The park has a walkway that winds it way around several sinkholes. We also visited Ponde de Leon State Park. Here 14 million gallons of water seeps up through the limestone each 24 hours. The water is at a constant 68 degrees. Even though we had both been to the Naval Aviation Museum in past years, we visited the museum in Pensacola. It was a nice day and we saw many of the planes that were on The Saratoga when we were aboard. Mike likes to walk the beach and each afternoon he would walk for several hours. I would swim while he was gone. Mike got his legs wet once. We also were able to see an alligator suning in St. Andrews State Park. I was sorry to see Mike leave. we really enjoyed our time together. It is hard to believe so many years have passed since that day in January, 1964 when we were both discharged from the Navy.
I also took a lady friend to see the waterfall after Mike left. She has lived on the Panhandle for over 30 years and never visited the waterfall.
There have been several violent storms over the last two weeks. We have been under "tornado watches" so often, that I no longer pay attention. In one 36 hour period, we had over 10" of rain. So many roads were washed out, that all of the schools in this county were cancelled. I am staying on Thomas Drive and for a short period of time both ends of the road were closed because of flooding.
I also had a nasty something. No temperature but the worse sore throat in many years and a hacking cough. I was only laid up for two days, but it was a good week before I really felt better.
I have been faithful to walking and swim in the Gulf when it is warm. The locals say it has been a cool winter, especially February.
I visited a local real estate office and asked if they had about 1o homes for sale under 200k. I wanted 3 beds, 2 full baths and at least 1 garage. She brought up over 160 homes. I picked 12 and have been driving by them. Several locals have told me thet the market will continue to drop. I have decided to wait until next winter and see then. I would like a Florida base and a Rhode Island base. Panama City Beach would be my choice. I have grown to like the area.