Fathers and Grandfathers on Useppa: Happy Father’s Day to All! – Thoughts and pictures by UseppaGin – Father’s Day Weekend and Grandparent’s Camp on Useppa was a gift to all this year. The Pandemic teaches us that being together as a family is something never to be taken for granted. As one father said, “This place has been inhabited for 10,000 years. There’s something special about just being here.” Some fathers and their families came for lunch. Others came for the weekend. Two sets of grandparents continued their annual tradition of coming just with their grandchildren for a few days. Parents weren’t allowed. Pictures tell the story. The Useppa spirit is contagious.
Island Time – Thoughts and pictures by UseppaGin – Families and close friends live on Useppa, visit the island. It’s that time of year to wave goodbyes to those closing their houses, heading north. It’s the time when Florida families come by boat for vacation, or for a long, summer lazy day. Wearing masks and buffs is supported, social distancing encouraged for all. The hugs in these pictures are goodbyes between trusted buddies. Useppa is an island of peace and freedom in the Pandemic but its tranquility is one to respect and treasure, not take for granted.
Until We Meet Again – Thoughts and Pictures by UseppaGin – One week ago an era ended. Two of the Island’s dearest residents Tim and Judith Sear moved to the mainland. Part of Useppa life since the mid 1980s, their departure was acknowledged by a sunset neighborly serenade and morning employee leave-taking applause. Judith and Tim found Useppa on a visit to Sanibel and Captiva. They started coming for vacations when their four children were young. Adam, Jason, Kate, and Daniel grew into young adults, became parents and visited with their own families. Over the years Judith and Tim moved from one home to another all the while supporting their Useppa family financially and personally. After Hurricanes Charlie and Irma, they led Member and Homeowner support of fund raising to help Island employees. They recently helped them again in the Useppa Property Owner’s Association COVID-19 response. They have supported the Island Fire Department, the Useppa Historical Society, Pine Island’s Randell Research Center and Beacon of Hope. Tim was an early member of the weekly discussion group PIGGS (Previously Important Geriatric Gentlemen). They were early members of Bookcombers, Useppa’s book club and loyal volunteers at sailing events. Judith is one of the founders of the Useppa Paradise Partnership and one of the hardest workers in that and the Butterfly Garden. She is Copy Editor and Common Sense Advisor of the Useppa Chronicle. Tim’s valiant Alzheimer’s struggle, Judith and family by his side, the help and support of the Useppa community whenever and however needed has been a lesson to all of us in courage and humility. Being their friend is a privilege.