Friday, April 17, 2015

A to Z Blogging Challenge - Ocala

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/


No, I'm not writing about Orlando! Ocala, on the other hand, I have sentimental ties to, the strongest of which is that my father was born there. Actually born in the house they lived in at the time, not at the hospital, which was perfectly normal back in 1926!

Downtown Ocala

I grew up visiting my grandmother at her home on the shores of Lake Kerr right outside of Ocala, and marvel at the things my sister and I were allowed to do without adults around. My grandmother owned over fifty acres with a lovely house facing the lake. She had a guest house where we stayed, a double detached garage, citrus orchard, grapes, bees (my dad kept them), and a large Camellia garden right next to the house. The dock was located down by the “hunting” cabin, the first house she and my grandfather built there.

Anyway, I could go on and on about memories, fishing, swimming, exploring. My sister and I were so lucky! When “Mama Ruth” as we called her, decided it was time to sell up, she sold most of it to a family who raised thoroughbred horses. This was during the beginning of the influx of horse breeders/trainers who have now basically taken over the landscape around Ocala and made it second only to Kentucky.
A horse "farm"


These horse “farms” are beautiful. I have visited a few and some offer tours that are full of interesting facts and information. 

Silver Springs

Salt Springs
There are other things to see in the area, Silver Springs (my dad’s first job), Salt Springs (where my Dad used to catch blue shell crab in his youth), and LOTS of better than average fishing "holes." Come on, send the kids to the springs, bring a rod and settle in. The weather is just fine...
   
Images from:

32 comments:

  1. I think kids miss out on so much these days. Being sent out to play and told only to be back by tea-time was the stuff of growing up in the 1950s. No phones (mobile or otherwise), no TV and certainly no computer games. Give me Cowboys & Indians, Cops & Robbers, Hide & Seek, or even simply exploring the local woods any day over Grand Theft Auto or any of the other games that occupy kids so much these days. And I don't recall ever being bored, either.
    Or am I looking back with rose-tinted glasses?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are then I am too! And this was in the 60s into the 70s that my grandmother lived on Lake Kerr. I wasn't ever bored there either. In our home (near Orlando) at the time, we were "allowed" TV only on Sat mornings and for special events. Otherwise the TV was relegated to a corner, unplugged!

      Delete
  2. I'm glad you surprised me, Lisa! Good post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad I surprised you Martha! Not sure how, but happy anyway! Thanks for dropping by again!

      Delete
  3. I love that picture down the avenue with the trees - so beautiful. When we were kids we used to jump of haystacks into piles of hay - I suspect many modern parents might have apoplexy about that now :) Sounds like your grandmother's place was amazing.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautiful. I've been down to Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale. I think Disney is overrated. I would much rather spend my time at the beach or at one of those horse farms! I can only imagine how wonderful your memories are from such a neat childhood.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a beautiful looking place. It sounds like you had your own paradise to visit as a kid.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kids were still doing it in the 80s, too, at least where I lived.

    Though I was never much of an outdoors kid, I preferred to stay in and read and play games (even before video games, I played - and made up my own - board games and card games). There was outdoors time, especially when we went to visit relatives or to the cottage, but it sure didn't look as pretty as Florida.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What great memories! I agree with Keith's comments wholeheartedly.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Gorgeous photos and sentiments. Glad I found you through the A to Z challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Have you ever visited the horse farm that now resides where your grandmother lived?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, I did, quite a bit actually when I was a teenager, but they also sold it and now there is nothing but a huge field and trees there. Nothing, not even the house. I found it one day a few years ago when I went looking strictly from my memory. They want to turn it into a "subdivison" or whatever it is they call that nowadays. At least a lot of the giant oaks by the waters edge are still there...

      Delete
  10. I took my sons to Kentucky to visit the Horse Farm there. Never knew they had one in Ocala. I've always wished I had learned to ride. Should have done it when the riding school was just down the street from where I currently live.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Can I just come over there and take a long walk? Pretty please? :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. We visited Silver Springs and went out in a glass bottom boat. Lovely area.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Lisa - how very sad your grandmother sold for one, secondly that now the house and area has been 'flattened' as such - sounds ominous to me. It looks stunning countryside and your descriptions sounded the idyllic childhood so many of us had back in the 50s, 60s and 70s ... as Keith infers ... the Springs look amazing too .. Ocala - a place to visit and look around ... happy memories for you and making me think of our home .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lovely picturesque! You are lucky indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This looks like a beautiful area. Aren't memories special? No one can take them away. The town looks pretty and quite active which is nice. The one picture with all the trees over the road is so stunning and peaceful it looks right out of a movie.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Responding to your comment, I'm visiting from England. Ocala sounds beautiful, and you're rightly proud to have history there.

    ReplyDelete
  17. My grandparents used to take me and my brothers to Florida every year! We would drive down from Michigan. Those are some wonderful memories. I'm pretty sure we stayed in Ocala on the way down to Fort Myers but we didn't really get to explore. Beautiful pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The place where your father was born sounds like a dream. I grew up in Georgia, and we always vacationed in Florida, I have teen memories of Daytona and Jacksonville. We took our daughters there in 2005 for a family vacation which included Orlando and NASA, Atlanta and Daytona. Beautiful memories, and my best crit pal lives in Florida, too!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow.... with memories like that, no wonder Orlando doesn't hold a light of Ocala... what an amazing place to visit and grow up.... (and you even know how lucky you guys were, which makes it that more special, I'm sure:)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Horse farms certainly are beautiful. I've never known anyone who owned one, but when we visited Lexington a couple of years ago, there were so many beautiful ones...horses are very popular there.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love the pictures. Haven't been too close to horses.
    Ocala sounds like a lovely place.

    ReplyDelete
  22. My friends and his (at the time) wife, never believed in hospitals either. Both of their kids were born at home. Their youngest was born when they lived in the apartment above me, where I still live.
    Thanks for sharing the photos and the tales. Sounds like you had a fun childhood.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Silver Springs looks gorgeous. The giant Starbucks in downtown Ocala looks great, too. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  24. It's amazing the difference between what kids are allowed to do now and what we used to do. There was that mom who was arrested for letting her kid walk to school...it's crazy. How fun that you got to explore such a wonderful place so thoroughly!

    http://bit2read.com/

    ReplyDelete
  25. This looks like a welcomed reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city. I totally want to shore up at some beach house for a few weeks and create a ridiculous amount of art!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Beautiful place. Perhaps I will get a chance to visit one day.

    Good luck with A to Z!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Looks lovely. Love the picture with the trees.
    Suzy - Opportunity

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ocala is so picturesque! You are so lucky to have lived at such an amazingly beautiful place, Lisa :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. I may not always be able to respond to the comments you leave, HOWEVER, I will ALWAYS go to your blog and leave a comment myself! Who knows, I might even subscribe to your blog like you might subscribe to mine! Appreciate you dropping by.