A Recipe for Community…

3rd Annual Soup Cook OffThe Soup Cook Off is getting more popular year after year.  This is the 3rd time that O’GOSH has hosted this event that benefits the Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Arts Center.  It was a simply spectacular day with unseasonably low temperatures, but there was enough bright Florida sunshine to ward off that “chilly to the bone” feeling. Great day for soup, RIGHT???

Being a member of O’GOSH, I–along with some my of fellow members–braved the cold to help with this event. We set out the soup entries and began to ladle tastings to all who attended.  At one point I looked around and had–what I call–a moment.  I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that I was so taken over by the absolute love and support my fellow villagers have for their community…their home…eachother…that I was inspired to create a little recipe for what, I believe, gives Safety Harbor its specialness.

Recipe for Community:


* 4.92 square miles
* 16,884 villagers
* 1 Espiritu Santo Natural Mineral Spring
* 1 Tocobaga Indian Mound
* 1 Baranoff Oak Tree
* 72.65 average temperature
* 11 public parks
* Grapefruit…this is not optional…because that’s how we roll!


Start with 4.92 square miles of coastal heaven.  Mix in 16,884 peeps that are passionate about their community, and toss in relics like the Espiritu Santo Natural Mineral Spring, the Tocobaga Indian Mound in Philippe Park and the 300-500 year old Baranoff Oak.  Heat this to an average yearly temp of 72.65 degrees, and stir into this mixture 11…yes, that would be 11…beautiful public parks.  And, thanks to Odet Philippe–the villager responsible for bringing the grapefruit to Florida and a member of The Citrus Hall of Fame–for freshness, squeeze in some grapefruit juice and add slices to garnish. Aaahhh, enjoy the mixture.


* 0 calories

This pic is of the winners of the Golden Ladle Award…Mike Long and Ali Voepel with Safety Harbor City Commissioner, Nancy Besore.
Photo: Terrie Dahl Thomas

O’GOSH–ask us how to join??????
Check out my archives to find out about what O’GOSH is all about…July 2012.

Understanding your own village helps you understand the world.

This is Safety Harbor, Florida and this is my village…


Calling All Tree Huggers…Part Deux…The Elf Tree…

Elf TreeThe post that I published back in July 2011 about the Baranoff Oak is today, by far, one of the most popular. With that being said, how about another quite interesting tree that has actually assisted in our community developement.

It’s known as the Elf Tree. It is a Live Oak that is over 200 years old, and it is located right by Safety Harbor Library. The story goes sorta like this…the oak grew on an Indian Ceremonial Shell Mound…the Shell was later removed and used as road base material for our local streets. Removing the Shell gave this tree its unique appearance creating this space between the tree and the earth. To me what this tree represents is kind of like a metaphor for life…parts stay grounded while other parts shoot for the stars. Aaahhh…Heaven and Earth…what a good balance.

My good friend, Terrie Dahl-Thomas took this photo, and she sent me an email about her photo shoot with this striking piece of nature. Terrie wrote, “It is such a cool tree. I enjoyed walking around it and really looking at it. If it could talk, the stories it could tell.”

If you live here in the village, why not go by and do as Terrie did…walk around it…really look at it…hug it, if you like. The Elf Tree is quite extraordinary, which gives us another great lesson–why would you be anything less than extraordinary. Less than that would be boring…DON’T BE BORING!!!!!!!!!

To my delight, Terrie Dahl-Thomas will be doing some of my pics, and I am very thankful for having a trained eye for some of my upcoming posts. You can contact her at the address listed below.

Terrie Dahl-Thomas

The Elf Tree…a lil bit of Heaven and a lil bit of Earth

This is Safety Harbor, Florida and this is my village…