Sunday, November 2, 2014

Windy and Cold and Gumbo Limbo

Its freezing here in the Keys. It is in the 60's and blowing up to 30, so of course it feels like 10 below. Sorry to all those who are really cold, but we are not used to this kind of treatment. We are total cold wimps and we are proud of it. So, we took a break and went to the flea market. Things are still a little slow here, it really picks up after Christmas, but it was interesting anyhow.
About 25 miles up the road from Key West is Big Pine Key, home of the endangered Key Deer. And the world famous Flea Market.
It is totally laid back, open air and very Keysey. Yes Keysey is a word, it is used all the time here. Trust me.
This is the place where you can find it, whatever it is. Painted coconuts? They got em. $4.00 T shirts? Yep, they got em. The most Comfortable Toe Rings in the whole dang world? Uh-huh, they got those too, with free demonstrations! But, the best part?
The best part is the Donut Man. He makes them to order, fresh and hot. 10 little piping hot sugar coated donuts for 2 bucks. Or the ever popular 20 donuts for just 3 dollars. I guarantee you they won't get cold before they are all gone!
They also have a little restaurant with a fish fry. I was told it was grouper, but not too sure on that, so we passed on it for now.
Even though there are lots of signs that say no dogs, they are all over the place. Know why? Cause dogs can't read. Told you it was Keysey there. Gumbo Limbo? What the ....? The Gumbo Limbo is a tree, it is not a contest to see who can gumbo limbo the lowest. It is a native Florida Keys tree that can grow up to 80 feet tall and the trunks of these tree are all unique. No two are the same, as they twist and turn to best capture the sun. They are sometimes called the tourist tree for the way their bark looks like a peeling sunburned tourist.
They have been used to plant living fences, literally cut into pieces and shoved into the ground a foot apart and bingo, a year later you have a fence. The bark is the only antidote to the poison wood tree, that also grows here. This tree has the same effect as poison ivy, except it spreads when you scratch. Peel off a little gumbo bark and rub it on the affected area, and all is better. Except that you smell like a tree.