Just one day 12.6.06

It was a day like many others. The sun came up. The sun went down. Here, in the form of moments seen and heard in the county where we live, is some of what happened in between.

Published December 10, 2006

Out on U.S. 301 in the county's rural east end, the bands of brush-stroke orange seemed to come from the tops of the trees and push the fog down close to the ground. The sun came up over the slow hills and the fat live oaks and the fences made of wire and wood. It was 7:14.

"Just the coffee?" said the clerk at the Circle K at 301 and State Road 50.

Wal-Mart semitrailer trucks came up Kettering Road from the distribution center and turned on 50. A man on an ATV on Hickory Hill Road took out his trash and put it by the mailbox. A school bus came down the loose limerock of Myers Road and through a tunnel made by the carved-out clay and the hanging branches overhead. It was 8:11.

On Spring Lake Highway, Joseph Gilmore used a roller in his yard to make the dirt flat and ready for the wild flowers he plants in front of his little yellow house. A docile hound dog named Bagel keeps him company. His wife died in '97. "She left me here by myself," he said. The flowers will come up early in the spring in reds and purples and blues.

Across the way Mike Catena rode his seal-brown quarter horse named Dixon Shoo. "Come on, girl," he said. Dixon Shoo ran and the thud of the hooves could be heard in the quiet of the open land. It was not quite 10.

Land and cattle, land and cattle, still some citrus. Pro Land real estate signs next to tight-wound hay bales. Tall white pillars on Old Trilby Road: GOD'S Country. Kimbrough Place. NOT FOR SALE.

At Rogers' Christmas House in Brooksville eight Red Hat ladies walked in at 10:43.

Outside on the lip of the lot a woman named Terri Moorbeck carrying a cup of cappuccino stopped at the steps and read out loud the words cut into the concrete: "Try to see this world with your heart and everything will look like Christmas."

"The chicken and dumplings we make from scratch," Sallie Rice told two women at a table at the Rising Sun Cafe at 11:08.

"I'll accept your plea, and I'll revoke your probation," County Judge Don Scaglione told a man on the monitor from the jail at 11:30.

Outside, across the street, Reggie McCloud sketched black lines on the tan wall on the side of the Broken Mold home decor store for a mural of latex paint. He just turned 50. "I tell you, man, time's flying. Scary," he said.

The sun was high and bright. Almost noon.

Now noon.

Hot grease on the griddle at the Nature Coast Cafe.

On the hip of waitress Kaleena Runge was a crocheted name tag made for her by a regular named Flo.

Three-and-a-half-year-old Amir Abdur-Rasheed slept across three chairs in his father's new Brothers Barbershop near the corner of 98.

Over on Fort Dade, under the oaks and the moss, around the curve.

Straight and fast on 50.

On Elgin in Spring Hill: US Home, Windward Homes, Sterling Hill, Sand Ridge. Now Selling. Grand Opening. On Mariner: 6 mos. no payments. HUGE SALE!

Five boys marched out from Springstead High School and took down the Florida flag and the American flag and folded them and marched back in. It was 2:10.

At Mariner Lanes, Ginger Strittmatter rolled a strike for the Jersey Magic team in senior league at 2:42. Trudy Kelly gave her a high-five at 2:43.

At the Wal-Mart up on 50 a small boy tried to rip a Name That Song Mickey out of the cardboard package in the toy aisle and his father in the blue adidas cap yelled at him in Spanish. It was 3:45. The line at the pharmacy pickup window was eight deep. An associate named Melissa yawned. The kid outside sitting next to the red Salvation Army bucket kept ringing that bell.

Across all the lanes of traffic, not quite 4, and 29 people stood outside Carrabba's waiting for someone to open the doors.

A black Kia minivan pulled up to the Dunkin' Donuts drive-through on U.S. 19 and ordered two hazelnut coffees with milk and sugar. It was 4:24.

A gold PT Cruiser honked at a maroon Honda that was going too slow. It was 4:45.

A man dressed in a navy blazer and blue jeans and a thin black tie put up his thumb on the side of 19. It was 4:46.

On the road out to the gulf, past the bait shops and the swamps with the reeds and the roadside stop that's good for gators, two people stood in a small boat and fished about 100 feet out from the palms in a line on the Bayport shore. They looked like black shapes set against the back of the disappearing light. The air got cooler and smelled like the sea. It was 5:19.

The sun started to dip behind some low clouds and haze and then peeked back through a slip of space and with a warmer tint that was finally almost sherbet-soft red. Then it was 5:33 and the sun was gone.

Michael Kruse can be reached at mkruse@sptimes.com or 352 848-1434.