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November is National Novel Writing Month, for those of you who might not know. The idea is that you commit to writing 1,666 words every day in November, and at the end of the month, you will have a 50,000 word (175 page) book. I decided to give it a shot this year. I’m writing a chronicle of my adventures as a horse doctor’s husband. Some of it is about life on a horse farm, some of it is about going to horse emergencies in the middle of the night, and some of it is about regular life. I suppose it’s cheating a bit, because this is more of a collection of stories than one long story. However, it’s my first attempt at writing something over 10K words, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Hopefully it will end up being interesting to other people!

Speaking of interesting things, my wife and I recently drove down to Belle Glade, which is on the south end of Lake Okeechobee in South Florida, and joined the local Mensa group there for an Archaeology Day. It was a four and a half hour drive each way from our house, but totally worth it. We met at a small museum there, where an archaeologist gave us a condensed history of Florida. After the lecture, we got to sit down with bags of artifacts from a dig and sort them out. Our goal was to separate bones, shells, teeth, and pottery. The site was dated to 700 A.D., and was excavated back in the 1980’s. The material we were sorting was from a midden heap, or trash pile, from that dig, and still hasn’t been processed.

One of the things I learned is that there are not a lot of archaeologists, and there is a whole lot of material to be examined, more than I ever imagined. The bag I sorted was mostly bones. The archaeologist and her student/assistant identified them for me once I had sorted everything out. I had a lot of snake vertebrae, alligator bones (especially the parts that make up the spiny armor on their backs), turtles, rabbits, and birds. I did find a few small pieces of pottery, and that was pretty exciting. It was very interesting to me to see what they were eating at that time, and I was surprised that alligator was a regular part of their diet. I can’t imagine trying to kill one without a firearm!

That trip got me even more interested in archaeology than I already was, and I got some contact information for groups here in the Gainesville area so that I can volunteer from time to time. I’ve already learned that there is an ongoing dig near Williston, FL that accepts volunteers. If you are interested in learning more about that, click here.

With all that going on, we also spent four days at a horse show down in Venice, FL. While we were gone, winter showed up! We left here with temps in the 60’s at night, and came back to temps in the 30’s at night. It seems too early for that kind of weather, but then again, I feel that way no matter what month it is. There is a reason we don’t live up north! Hopefully you all have a wonderful holiday season. Until next time, stay busy! The adventure never stops.