The Neighbors

The winter of 2017-18 provided some relief from the Hurricane drama in the early Autumn months named Irma.  Our mango tree once stripped of its leaves from one hundred miles per hour winds were growing back and starting their late winter bloom.  The neighborhood is bustling with energies spent outdoors fixing things and starting new projects.  Our adjacent neighbors, John and Rita from Kentucky have been active straightening fences while Rita gets her tan in the backyard between cold fronts. Up the street, Dave is taking the opportunity to advance their home with modifications while continuing yard work as the mild Florida season provides the perfect backdrop for families working together and enjoying the banter on the street chased with a few beers and light meals.

Our neighbors are a tight group of local natives, winter snowbirds and transplants from other regions and countries, but we've managed to stick together during both good and bad times and welcome newcomers by sharing meals and time together mingling on the street and at each other's homes.  Recipes are generally shared among the women and like fishing spots, the best ones are kept secret.  While all the women of Garfield Avenue are exceptional chefs, there are a few standouts and even a couple of men who give the women a run for their money.  Our beautiful redheaded next door neighbor, Gabby from Germany excels at exotic and European cuisine and often wafts aromas across the fence like a sirene alluring both Gina and myself to ask, "What's Cooking?", while hoping for an invite.

Routines during the winter for us include my daily commute to the Mosquito Lagoon while towing our skiff to entertain anglers. Each day is routinely ended with an evening meal with our favorite snowbird neighbors, Roger and Sharon from Michigan.  We're true backdoor friends and knocking is considered offensive, unless naps are in session which is quickly forgiven and turned to conversations and beers.
Neighbors on Garfield Avenue in cocoa beach.
Sharon & Roger
Returning home to Michigan last summer, Roger called with the startling news that Sharon had cancer and was starting treatments to "battle for her life".  With him at her side continuously, we watched helplessly from Florida as news of success and continued treatment made us hopeful.  They would not return to Florida this fall and each night has been a hole of emptiness for both Gina and myself.  A brief attempt to come down in January was followed by a brisk ride back to Michigan as Sharon's appetite was non-existent and worries of her health was a constant concern for us all.  Roger was beside himself and it showed in every ounce of his being.  Upon returning home, his care and love brought her back and her appetite returned and so did they.  We've shared several meals together and the couples are back to sharing good times around the table and walking to the beach with their dog Rico.  The most exciting news that literally brought tears to Gina's eyes as she wrapped her arms around me and announced, "Sharon wants me to cook my lasagna tonight".  We have our Sharon back and trips to the Merritt Island Dairy Queen are becoming regular again as we double date and car ride for our strawberry sundaes.

Gina's Kitchen

Our small beach home's cozy kitchen is mastered by no other than my beautiful, organized wife, Gina.  Her Latin roots combined with her southern charm has given our home the smells and aromas that our children grew up with and we've all come to love.

Gina's mother's recipes have been developed over the years and rarely modified.  They're tried and proven and require little modification or deviation from the originals.  Today's Vlog is about Gina's lasagna and more importantly is a training video for us to learn some camera skills and enjoy each other's company while working together.

"Recipes are generally shared among the women and like fishing spots, the best ones are kept secret."

While Gina is a master in the kitchen, she's not as confident behind the camera.  Over the last few years, we've been photographing our daughters and their activities including vacations, school events, sports and much more as we've upgraded cameras and equipment.  It's been a journey and up until recently, Gina's been shooting in auto mode on the Canon cameras we've owned.

Learning Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO has been a challenge, but I've managed to inspire her to try harder, read and watch some Youtube Videos about photography and lately about videography.

Join us as we stretch our knowledge and creativity behind the lens and hopefully entertain you, our readers as well as ourselves.

Enjoy our little video, it's our first and I hope you like lasagna as much as our family does.  This video was made during my best buddy, Mark Bruneman's birthday weekend and is followed by a gathering of our neighbors and very close friends Roger & Sharen Dreyer with Mark's wife Sandee.

NOTE: If you came here looking for a lasagna recipe, you'll not find our family recipe on this blog as it's designated "Top Secret", but if you watch this video over-and-over again you'll get the jest of gina's methods and ingredients.  The marinara sauce is the key, so to keep you guessing and coming back for more you'll need to come back regularly and see if we will eventually reveal.


Popular Posts