A Peek Into You Life in Florida

A peek into your life, is a segment spotlighting authors, specialists, and friends who brave my countless questions day in and day out. It's the best way I can share with you all, the many people who taught me the bizarre things I know, who satisfy my thirst for knowledge and adventure, and who keep me motivated.

Self portrait in the shadows
So today I am being interviewed over at Writing and Living where Richard asked me some questions about the unique place I call home. Now... we get extreme cold, he sees extreme heat...

He lives in a state I visit often because I have family there who I love dearly, and so when he ran this idea by me... I just had to jump on the chance to find out what he thinks about actually LIVING in Florida, because well... I think it's a righto swell place to visit.

Richard is the author of The Gunman in Black, Battles and Other Stories, and Only the Lonely.  He is also a painter and you can check out some of his work on his site.

But! This isn't about Richard!!! It's about peeking at where he lives and how that inspires him.

Where are you from, and did you always live here?  I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. I went away to college for four years, coming home off and on, and then lived at home for a year before going on active duty with the US Navy. When I got out of the navy, I lived in Jacksonville another two years before moving to Rhode Island in 1973, where I lived for a year before moving to Massachusetts and married my wife of 40 years in 1974. For a variety of reasons we moved to Jacksonville in 1988, where I’ve lived since.

View from the highest point in Jacksonville
What places or sites would you recommend I visit when in your area? Do you visit these places and what did you think about them? If you visit Jacksonville, the main attractions are its beaches. We have a smooth sandy coast line with usually small to moderate (2-3 foot) waves, although when storms come in those waves can get quite high (easily 6-8 feet).
For northerners, the best time to visit is April or May for wonderful weather. The summers can be brutally hot, and the winters too cold for lying in the sun and swimming. We actually have quite a few visitors from Canada during the spring.

The best nearby place to visit is St. Augustine, Florida, about an hour’s drive from Jax. It’s the oldest continuously occupied city in the U.S.A. It’s quaint and restored to its original buildings and configuration. It has many visitors from around the world every year. It’s a destination for many travelers. I’ve been there many times.

What do your pets think about the climate? I (we) have two cats. One’s an inside cat, the other goes in and out. They almost always want to be inside the house.

A good day drawing by the pool!
What do you like to do in your spare time that is outside? I dislike working outside in the summertime. The heat and humidity floors me within minutes. Unfortunately, I have to maintain the yard. I do have a swimming pool, so I jump in when I get too hot. Pool maintenance is a constant outside activity I’ve been doing since 1988.

What areas/places interest you the most about your town? 
We have a vibrant arts scene; we have some good museums and art galleries; I enjoy our library system a lot. Other than that, I don’t do a whole lot. I do take courses in art at the U of North Florida.

In what ways does where you live filter into your writing?
The lake at the Jacksonville Arboretum
Jacksonville played prominently in my early stories, but not so much now. In fact, after traveling some of the world and living up north, Jacksonville is just a place to live, nothing more. I could easily move someplace else, although I’ll probably be here the rest of my life.

Dang, our peek is already done.
Thank you so much Richard for sharing your world with us! 
Hope you enjoyed it and take the time to visit Richard's site to see what I have to say about living on the prairies. 


Richard Hughes said...

Thanks, Tanya. I never thought about the extremes in weather between where we live, but, yeah, it's pretty extreme.

Suzi said...

I've been to Florida several times, but never Jacksonville. Someday we'll make it there though, I'm sure.

Valentina Hepburn said...

Like Suzi I've been to Florida but not Jacksonville. The beaches look fabulous and it's very interesting to read about the life of one of our blogging buddies. Great post!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I've never been to Jacksonville, but the picture looks appealing. Many years ago, as a child, we went to St. Augustine, and I remember that as being an intriguing town with a fort, as I recall.

Teresa Cypher said...

What a neat idea! It was interesting hearing about it from a local. I think you should do a big old location swap/bloghop. :-)