Hi there, Dear Reader. It’s late morning here in New Hometown, FL (9:30 AM Eastern) as I start this first post for Wednesday, October 28, 2020. Currently, the temperature is 81˚F (27˚C) under partly sunny skies, but with humidity at 82% and an easterly wind blowing gently at 5 MPH (9 KM/H), the “feels like” temperature is 87˚F (30˚C). And in a repeat of the weather pattern from the past few days, today’s forecast calls partly sunny skies, high humidity, and a high of 90˚F (32˚C).
Well, at least I don’t have to worry about venturing out around the neighborhood in the muggy and hot Florida sun; I already went out over an hour ago for my morning walk. I hadn’t checked the weather apps on my PC or my phone before I stepped out the front door and walked to the nearby park to sit on my favorite bench, “people watch” for a bit, and get a little fresh air and sunshine before returning home for another day of writing and doing research for my NaNoWriMo project.
This being the middle of a work-week, there were not too many people out and about at 8:30 AM; on the far side of the park, I could see a couple walking a large dog – it looked like an Irish setter, but I wasn’t wearing my glasses (I’m nearsighted) at the time, so I can’t be sure of the breed. I also saw a military-looking guy (he looked fit, had the right type of haircut, and he had an “Air Force” PT T-shirt) walking a black Labrador along the sidewalk directly across the street from me.
Directly across from the park, looking west, I saw a moving van in front of one of the homes on that block. Apparently, the occupants of that house were in the process of moving out, as the movers – all wearing masks – were pushing hand trucks with stacks of moving boxes into the van instead of out of it. I was too far away to see if the soon-to-be ex-residents were a military family or not, but I think chances are that they were.
When I was outside – and this time I didn’t go for a long walk like I did yesterday – I saw signs that it had rained last night. Still, there was one house across the street from “my” park bench where the sprinkler system was spraying jets of water in various “zones” of the front yard. Out of curiosity, I bent down to check if the grass and topsoil near the bench – which thankfully was dry! – were wet. And to no one’s surprise, they were damp. Not waterlogged, mind you, but damp and with obvious signs that it had rained before the dawn. I’m guessing the sprinkler system in that particular house was set on “Automatic,” because (a) the lawn in front of the house is green and lush, and (b) if it was turned on manually, the residents of that house sure don’t mind paying a high water bill.
I didn’t take any of my books with me; my plan was to take a quick stroll and then come back, rest a bit, and then write my morning blog post. I did consider it, of course, but I didn’t know if the park benches would be wet or dry, and I hate, absolutely hate, sitting on a damp wooden or stone bench and ending up with wet spots on my trousers. So I dismissed that idea off hand and opted to just go for a quick in-and-out stroll, snap a few shots of the ‘hood, then come back home to write this post, eat something for breakfast, and do some research for my novel, The Tonic of Their Victory.
If you are wondering where I got the idea for the quote, I’ll be happy to explain. It’s from a quote by Ernie Pyle, the popular (and legendary) columnist and war correspondent who covered campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and Normandy before briefly returning home to the States and – reluctantly – then headed out to cover the Pacific Theater of Operations in 1945.
Here’s the quote:
“In their eyes as they pass is not hatred, not excitement, not despair, not the tonic of their victory – there is just the simple expression of being here as though they had been here doing this forever, and nothing else.”— Ernie Pyle
Today I expect to receive the following books that I ordered as part of the NaNoWriMo project:
- Show, Don’t Tell: How to Write Vivid Descriptions, Handle Backstory, and Describe Your Characters’ Emotions (Writers’ Guide Series)
- Writing into the Dark: How to Write a Novel without an Outline (WMG Writer’s Guides)
- The D-Day Visitor’s Handbook: Your Guide to the Normandy Battlefields and WWII Paris
- D-Day Illustrated Edition: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II Hardcover – Illustrated, May 6, 2014
I’m also expecting a navy blue bathrobe that I ordered; I don’t know what happened to the one I used to have in Miami, and I like having one handy for when I come out of the shower. That’s arriving in the same shipment with the books I bought to help me with the novel. From what Amazon tells me, my orders – those that are scheduled for today, at least – are still “in transit” and not “out for delivery,” so the official ETA is presently “by 9 PM today.”
I don’t have any news to share beyond these tidbits of information about my NaNoWriMo project. I do plan to write a Star Wars soundtrack review before I do a deep dive into the Normandy campaign, so you can probably expect to see that as my second post of the day. Things here at home are calmer and everyone is being supportive about the “Alex is writing a novel” thing, so right now my main focus will be on NaNoWriMo and the things that make life more bearable.
This brings us to the close of this News from New Hometown update; I started this post at 9:30 AM and it is now 11 AM Eastern. Of course, the temperature rose between then and now, so the “feels like” temperature is now 95˚F (35˚C) under sunny skies. (Good thing I went out when I did, no?) I’m going to have “brunch,” then come back and do that Star Wars album review.
Until next time, then, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and – please – be kind to others!
 I live relatively near a large Air Force base that hosts several major commands, so “my” neighborhood has a higher-than-average number of active duty personnel who either own or rent houses here. One of our next-door-neighbors is a lieutenant colonel in the Army. I haven’t met him, but The Caregiver has lived here since 2012 so she knows him.
 Pyle was killed on the island of Ieshima on April 18, 1945 while he was covering the Okinawa campaign, the last major battle of the Pacific War between the U.S. and Japan. He was only 44, but if you look at photos of him from the war years, he looks like he was nearly 60.