I grew up in the small town of Molino, Florida, which is located north of Pensacola, Florida in Escambia County. The population as of July 1, 2019 was 1,394.1 Although I could not locate anything to back it up, I would have to estimate back in 1967 when I was born, the population was probably under 500. It was a town where everyone knew everybody.
The house that was my childhood home has been in my dad’s family since 1937. The house was built in 1928. My grandfather used to take the train from Chicago, Illinois to Barrineau Park, Florida where he met my grandmother. He made many trips back and forth, eventually marrying my grandmother and moving her to Chicago where my dad was born. By the time, my dad was a year old, his parents had purchased the family home which was occupied by my grandparents, my dad and his one and only sibling, an older brother, Richard.
Over the next 80 plus years, the home would change many times, not only on the inside, but also on the outside. Currently the home is unrecognizable from what I remember as a child. The one thing that hasn’t changed since I was born is the back porch. The bricks leading up to that concrete porch have busted many lips over the years.
I remember and wish the front of the house was still like it was when I was a child. There was a big porch all the way across the front with big white columns and the longest sidewalk I had ever seen that as kids we had to walk down to get to the road to catch the bus to go to school. I’m sure my love of front porches is because of my childhood home.
This home has been the backbone of my family. The place that I could always go to no matter where I lived or who I was married to or what was going on in my life. It was the most stable thing I’ve ever had. It provided a safe place for my children as they were growing up and a place they could always go “home” too as well. It’s a place where many weddings and family gatherings have taken place. A familiar and steady place that everyone feels love and comfort.
The oldest pictures I have are from 1938; although the house was built in 1928. The people here would be my grandmother, my dad and uncle.
The fireplace in the front was taken out by Hurricane Frederick in September 1979. We reused them to build a new fireplace (shown in a more current picture below). Not sure when the back fireplace was removed; although it was not there when I was a child. The room on the back of the house is where my dad used to sleep as a child. It was later converted to an “inside” back porch and the current back porch.
By 1967 the front of the house had changed as some of the surrounding brick had been removed and the front columns had been changed.
This pic from Easter 1970 shows a different view of the porch where you can see where the original brick had been removed. On the left above the bushes you can see where the brick had originally been.
It would have been after Hurricane Frederick when the chimney fell that daddy changed the front of the house and closed in the front porch turning that area into a den with a much bigger fireplace. The front had cedar siding.
The building to the left is the garage and it changed colors many times as well. I have seen pics of it being silver, brown, red, and most recently yellow. (I always like the red color the most).
The back-porch area, which has been this way more than 50 years. The only thing that changes is the chairs.
The house wasn’t the only thing that changed through the years, the grounds did to. Somewhere along the way a pond was added, which we all love to fish in. It’s probably been there around 10-15 years as of the posting of this story.
This pic shows the house before the most recent renovations along with the red garage, the red barn (on the left) and the yellow building (which use to be part of the chicken pens back in the day).
During the most recent renovation, the cedar siding on the front was covered by vinyl and the front door was removed. The old fireplace from the 1930’s was removed, and a door was put in for a side entry. A new roof was added and other minor updates. The only thing that now looks like “home” is the back porch as the rest of the house looks nothing like my childhood home.
The magnolia trees that had been there my entire life were recently cut down changing up the appearance of the grounds even more than when all the bushes were removed around the house. The yard is still immaculate as dad insists on mowing the grass every week.
All of these changes are hard to accept, but it also shows that time changes everything and all we have left are the memories we make. I wish now that I had taken more pictures of our lives as we were growing up so I would have more memories to share with my children and grandchildren.
My hope is that if you take anything from this post that it would be to cherish every memory you have growing up, take pics of all the changes that take place in your life as that is all you will have when the world changes and life keeps moving on.
One of the most precious memories of all from this childhood home is the family pics we took for my parents 50th anniversary in 2011. This pic is just another reminder that things change every day.
The Original 5
The grandkids, 3 of which are my children
The great-grandchildren, (my grandson)
The last pic of me and my children together!
I have always loved flowers and every time I go to visit my parents I know I will have plenty of opportunity to shoot these fantastic gems. There are so many different ones to look at and I never know the names and even though I’m told what each one is, by the time I get home, I’ve already forgotten the name. Whether I know the name or not, the flowers are till beautiful and the beauty of each is worth being shared. My favorite on this trip were the gladiolus, which my Mother has been growing since I was a child. I never get tired of these.
No idea what these are called, but there pretty.
This is called a shrimp plant.
One of the other things that I love when I go home is a special cat that’s been around for many years. She is part siamese and as always been one of my favorites.
Took a couple days off to make a trip to Florida to see my grandbabies. We were all coming together to celebrate Madison’s sixth birthday. I can’t believe how fast these kids are growing up. The trip was uneventful for the most part.
We decided to stay in a cabin on the lake in a campground that we stayed in when we lived in Tallahassee a couple years ago because my husband wanted to take the boat so he could do some fishing while I was visiting with the kids. I think he took the boat out of the slip one time and that was it. The weather was hot and humid. The cabin had the worse bed I have ever slept on and was only a full-size and we are used to sleeping on a king. There was not enough room for one of us much less all four (the dogs sleep with us). He slept on the couch one night and his chair the next and I slept on the bed one night and the couch the next. After that we decided we had had enough and left a day earlier than we had planned.
The trip wasn’t a total bust as I got to see four grandbabies and my daughters, plus my Mom. I can’t believe Madi is getting so big. Courtney had rented a bouncy house and water slide combo thing and the kids loved it. It was the perfect way to keep them cool. We played corn hole for the first time. She had a pinata filled with candy that the kids loved. She got way more stuff than she needed, but don’t most kids? The kids had treat bags, food, cake and so much fun which made everything else small in comparison.
All in all, it was a great trip and I enjoyed my time seeing everybody. Not sure when I will make it back to Florida as the next trip needs to be to Louisiana. Speaking of Louisiana, Jackson’s birthday was going to be the next month, so I took his presents with me and let him have an early birthday. That’s one thing about kids, they don’t care when they open presents as long as they get them.
Currently we are spending the winter months on Lake Talquin at Ingram’s Marina in Quincy, Florida. Lake Talquin is a reservoir located on the Ocholockonee River between Gadsden and Leon Counties in north Florida near the Florida capital in Tallahassee. The lake is located south of Interstate 10 and bordered on the east by State Road 20 and on the west by State Road 267.
My husband and I love to fish and could spend every day on the water. When we arrived at Ingram’s back in October we did not own a boat; however, within two weeks that changed after we visited the local BassPro Shop and bought a Bass Tracker 175TXW. Now we’re able to go out on the water anytime we want.
You can find many fish species on Lake Talquin including striped and largemouth bass, crappie, bream, speckled perch, shellcrackers, striped pickerel, catfish, gar and bowfin. I prefer to fish for bream as they are easy to catch, usually, and I can catch using either worms or crickets.
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My husband (Greg) on the other hand is a bass fisherman and a pretty good one, if I do say so myself. People who choose to bass fish must learn about different types of tackle, which can be purchased at many stores including online. Bait and tackle come in many sizes, shapes and colors and after trial and error you will find what works for you. Part of Greg’s research included asking others who had fished this lake to get their opinion as to what worked for them. One person swore that he would never catch a bass on a crankbait, which is what he has had success with before on other lakes/rivers. Instead, he was told to use the Carolina Rig with dark colored worms. Sometimes it’s best to use what works for you, not what others tell you, as all the bass he has caught have been on a DT6 Rapala Crankbait.
Largemouth bass caught on a DT6 Rapala Crankbait
Carolina Rig with dark worm
On our last escapade, in the last 30 to 45 minutes we were on the water, he caught four largemouth bass ranging in size from 2-3 pounds. He has also caught a 4 pounder on this lake. A sampling of what he has caught below.
Come spring we will be back on the road traveling and one of our goals is to find a lake that we will one day settle down on. We are looking for either an RV park or a piece of land that we can put our RV on and still live in it on the water. We are not limiting our search to any particular area, although we do like Lake Fork, Lake Guntersville, and Lake of the Ozarks. If you know of a place that we should check out, please leave us a comment so we can check them out.
Lake Talquin is also a good place for bird watching. In addition to the birds, you can find alligators, squirrels and deer, just to name a few. Something I enjoy as much as the fishing is the is the beautiful sunsets. Here are a few of my favorites!
March 2nd marked a year ago that we started our RV journey that would take us from Tennessee to Florida and back several times before setting down in Tallahassee back in October. During those first few months we had some very memorable moments. Some of which we have been reminiscing about these past few days, so I decided I would share those moments with all of you.
1. March 15th. We drove all the way to Mississippi to pick up our eight week old fur baby, Oscar. He was born with beautiful blue eyes (they changed as he got older) and milk chocolate fur. I don’t know what we were thinking at the time in getting a dog, a puppy none the less when we were just starting our adventure. Looking back now, I’m glad we did, because he has been a big blessing for Greg. Pets are just like children in the fact that you make whatever sacrifices you need to make them happy and healthy.
On the way home!
2. March 27th – April 10th. We were staying in Moore Haven which was about a 15- 20 minute drive from Lake Okeechobee, which meant fishing. There’s just something about being on the water, the calmness and serenity of it makes life so much easier to deal with.
We spent several days on the lake in our kayaks. I only caught one or two a day, but always caught the biggest. On what would be our last day on the water, Greg spotted an alligator about 5-6 feet from his kayak. I was probably about 15-20 feet away. He was not having any of that and we were out of that water real quick. Had we been in a boat, it wouldn’t have been as scary, but in a kayak, the last thing you want to encounter is an alligator. Plus he was not a little one, he was a BIG one.
3. June 3rd- 6th. A few days on Lake Guntersville in Alabama will help take all your worries away. This was absolutely the best place we have stayed at. Our site was right at the water’s edge and the sunsets and sunrises were beyond amazing. We were able to fish every morning and afternoon. Our Hobie kayaks were the paddle type so you just sit back paddle with your feet and use the steering handle to maneuver all around. It was amazing. Oscar loved sunning himself, looking over the edge or enjoying time in my lap. He truly does the water. The amount of fish we caught was not enough to get excited about, but the fact that we were on the water enjoying the beauty of nature was what made our time there memorable.
4. June 24-28th. We wanted to take our oldest grandson on a summer trip. We had originally wanted to go to Louisiana, but our plans had to be rearranged so TN it was. Our drive there included a flat tire which was a memory in itself that I don’t want to relive. The memorable moment was our trip to Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg. Our grandson loves animals, especially sea life so we thought this place would be a great destination.
Because we have to have a way to carry the kayaks we had a rack on top of the truck. The rack adds height and can be a problem when you park in a garage parking lot. I’m the guilty party doing the driving that day and not thinking I pulled into the parking garage. Luckily I found a spot on the top floor, which meant I didn’t have to drive down into the garage…for now. Thinking ahead we knew we would have to remove the rack in order to get out at the end of the day, but for now we planned to enjoy the aquarium. Once we viewed all the animals and enjoyed our visit, we headed down the strip to find lunch. Unbeknown to us the place we were headed to had closed so we had to find something else. By this time we had walked the entire strip. Now mind you my grandson is not athletic, never exercises and we are taking him way out of his comfort zone. We chose a place to eat, which was the worse place I’ve ever eaten at and the most expensive for what we ordered. The grandson wouldn’t even eat. While looking for a place to eat, we were also looking for a place that might sell a tool we could use to remove the rack, but had not spotted one, so I used my phone to search for an auto parts store.. The only thing we could find was Ace Hardware, which per the GPS was on our way back to where the truck was. So we walked and walked, but never saw ACE Hardware. I called them to confirm address, clerk confirmed and told me we were close so we kept walking. Eventually we were past where the truck was, so I called ACE again, spoke to another clerk and again was told they were just down from where we were. I guess what they didn’t understand was we were walking, not driving. After several more blocks we give up, went back to the garage we parked at and asked security for help. If only we had done that in the fist place we would have saved ourselves a lot of walking, but this memory wouldn’t have been as funny. Our grandson was so mad knowing that we could have saved all that walking and just gone back to the garage in the beginning. We thought it was funny and still laugh about it today.
5. July 9th. Having one furbaby wasn’t enough, as daddy Greg thought Oscar needed a playmate, so on this day we drove to Mississippi again, different breeder to pick up our baby girl, Harley. She is Hershey chocolate and a tubby tail now. Hard to believe considering how tiny she was the day we picked her up. It took a while for the two of them to get use to each other, but now they are inseparable.
There were many moments that were special to us, but these 5 ring out on top. We long to add to these memories and in time we will. Feel free to share a memorable moment you have had on your adventures in the comments below.