The cancer got the best of Fritzi.   She battled but finally gave in.    She married not long ago.   She did the best she could.   We drifted apart.   She was my real estate agent when I was first searching for a house.   She and I knew a lot of the same people.    Out of that loop, I didn’t take part in the Post Fritzi stuff even though I probably knew her the longest.  

Then, a day ago:  Catherine.   She too is gone.   A year ahead of me, she and I were almost an item at one time.   It didn’t work into anything.   She had a lot of problems the last ten years.    I wasn’t entirely surprised by this one.     

The Neil Blog, winding down.    The move to Arizona is coming.   Under a week now.   I will be turning this site over to someone else.    Update:  the house is sold.   The move is a week out.  Update:   A week in Arizona.   My computer arrived and I got everything updated.    More moves ahead.   I am pleased with the change.   It was just time.    I had my 27 years in Florida.    I wore out on that state.    Pinellas County?   Idiots.    Pure and simple.    They hassled me to the end.   Over a fence?    I can’t put a fence up?    Retarded.    One day I will talk about the travel day.    In Arizona:   I have a dog.   She is the one in the picture.    Molly.    Molly will enjoy the mountains.    119 degrees when I got here, it isn’t as hot as Florida.   Drier.    It is just better.    And when Fall arrives, it will be very nice.  

An amazing undertaking:  Someone took a Strike Three Kayak Fishing charter and it wasn’t me.    A first.    Jeff has taken over.   He is who you call if you want someone to take you fishing.   His phone number and email are all over the strikethreekayakfishing.com site.    He’s been tutored.   He will do just fine.  

The Lightning split with Florida, beat Carolina in overtime.  Split with both teams.     Good performance against the two toughest teams.    Not that now is what matters.   The playoffs is when it matters. I think Carolina has the highest odds on winning the Cup.    Carolina and Florida both lose on the same day.    What I don’t get:   The Lightning have the most wins in their division; but they are in third place?   They really struggled against Columbus, again.   They won both games but it was a battle.    They are not the team they were two months ago.   I believe:  They need Kucherov back.  Stamkos, out again, Kuch would fill the gap.   They shutout Dallas.   Detroit.   They finish the regular season with two games against Carolina.   Those two games probably determine first place.     Losing twice to Florida to finish the year, they face them in the playoffs.   Hopefully with their best players back.  They open up the playoffs, 5 to 4 win over Florida.    Kucherov:   He’s back and he scored twice.   They dispatched Florida.   Next up Carolina.   Nashville showed that Carolina can be beat.  

Up two to zero on Carolina, they could have swept.  Lost game three, won game four for a 3 to 1 series lead.     In control.   And, in five games, Carolina is eliminated.   That could have been a sweep.  

Against the New York Islanders.   A chance to go up 3 to 1.   Outplayed them.   Lost.     Almost tied it when the clock was running out.   Game five:  A whipping.   8 to 0.   Scored in the first minute and never looked back.   Close out the Islanders, win the Cup.   I don’t see them having any trouble with Vegas or Montreal.  

Bees, lizards, birds.   All happy at Casa De Neil.   There are even occasionally rabbits.   Casa Neil will probably be called something else pretty soon.   Someone else is going to be enjoying it.   I’m out of here.   The next people will enjoy it.   

The rain they called for, we only got an inch and a half.  Not six.   Some areas got heavier rain but here, nothing that fantastic.   The rainy season is coming.   The air conditioner kicked on for the first time in five months.    Summer is pending.   We should have one more good month before it arrives.   Now:  It’s dry.   No rain in the forecast.   But it is also May.   May means the start of the rainy season.    Dumping the last of the rain water on the vines and waiting for the afternoon storms to start.   A lull, the rain will start here in the next few weeks.   Now, it’s probably starting in just days.  

Update:  The rainy season has started.   Cool to see the afternoon rain one last time, I will miss the rain because in Arizona it’s ten inches for the whole year.   

Your mailbox is full.   Really?  It’s 2021.   How is that even possible?

Still nothing on TV, I have been watching baseball.   Baseball.    That usually only happens in the Fall.  Whoever decides television programming is doing a terrible job.    “I’ve already seen it” or “I don’t want to see it”, 100% of the time.  150 channels, and nothing on that I want to watch  

A flat tire. AAA pumped up the tire, 400 yard drive to the tire shop, the recommendation: Get a new set of tires. I got my money’s worth out of those tires. New tires are installed. I don’t skimp on brakes or tires. The Traveling Tackle Box is updated.  So, new tires for going to Arizona. 

The bees are back. Lower numbers for a few days. A lot of fatalities. Not sure why. Sitting there before my tire trip, killed five wasps and a dozen flies. It is a swarm again. They’re fed for the next few hours. New sugar water is ready for them.

In the plans:  Going to Arizona.   When it gets hot here, I’m getting out of town.   Going to visit Leah and going to spend a lot of time in the mountains, back to where it all started.   Preparations.   Lots of stuff for the camping.   Sleeping in the van.    Cooking.   Pretty thorough with preparations.   Back together with Leah 20 years later.   The boxes being packed.   Preparations being made.  It is just a matter of time.   I mentioned to my mother that I would consider moving there.   She did not like that idea at all.   She thinks where I am is where I am supposed to be.   Odds are, I’m going and I’m not coming back.    Update:  A week in Arizona with no plans on coming back.   I will become a mountain man.   

Very disheartened by a few things.   I think it is time for a change.   In Arizona now, the changes are happening.   The sale of the house complete, life got easy.    Time in Phoenix, it will be time to get to the mountains.    Purchase of a vehicle is next to get mobile.   

The mistakes:  They’re stupid.    Things I didn’t used to do.   I think I am getting old.   I had Jack cut a lock off the kayak trailer.   After he gets it cut off, I realize it was a lock I thought was on the driveway and I had the key to it the whole time.   So, that lock is toast.   I have plenty of locks so, whatever.   Just stupid.

Arizona, part time with Leah, part time in the mountains.   My mountains.   Where I went as a little kid.   Where my father took me.   Camping, by myself.    $14 a night at the campground.  Free if I just pick my own spot in the woods.   I’ll do both.    Tucson?  Maybe.   Leah’s in Phoenix.    I’ll go by the old house and meet whoever is living there.   I need to tell them some things.    Things they may not know.   The dead of winter:   Parker Canyon Lake, down by the Mexico border, southeast of Tucson.    The rest of the year, the White Mountains.   Purchase of property?   Greer.   

A dog:  Molly.   They say every retiree should have a dog.   I have a dog now.  

Another Neil Blog.   More happening in the world.   Bring it on, I’ll talk about it.   The pandemic, is it winding down?   Vaccinations have been out long enough, is there more immunity and things can normalize?    No more masks?   Just how is it going to go?

What I did in life?   An umpire.   I caught every fish out there.    I took thousands and thousands of people fishing.   I taught them how to do it.    I stood for conservation and doing things right..     I just hit the wall.    I chose to move on in life.  

The fishing world:  Will trout reopen?    Snook and redfish need to remain closed.    The lack of enforcement there are people that are keeping them all.   Not good.  Me leaving:   A good thing.   They opened up everything.    Not good.   Trout, who cares.   Snook and redfish needs years more protection and they’re not getting it.   It is good that I have left.

Middle of June and Red Tide all over, it’s good that I left.     It could be a really bad year, the worst ever.    I’m very pleased I am over 2000 miles away.   

I have prepared for catching an Arizona fish, something I haven’t done in 27 years.    It is time.   I need to go back to where I’m from.    I need to see those mountains.   I need the time in nature.   Realize, I haven’t taken a vacation in three years.     Leah is out there.   So there is more than one reason for the trip.    It will be good.    I have preparations made.   Will Ryan and Stacy move in here while I’m gone??

I have these dreams about old jobs. They’re bad dreams. When it is dreams about umpiring, they are good dreams. The time passes. 16 plus years since I did it. My life, post baseball has been excellent. A fishing guide was a good way to go.

I never met Jackie Robinson.    I met Larry Doby.

At the store, the wife of a client came up to me.   He couldn’t catch a fish before going out with me.  Now, she says, he’s pretty good at it.  

 Onward and upward:   Life in Arizona.   Where it all started.  

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