More from Florida
We are back from Florida. It’s been a hectic week. I had an extra day off to be able to pick up the pets from the kennel. There has to be two trips since the dog and the cats can’t travel in the car at the same time. At least we’ve never ventured to try that. Seems dangerous. But as is always the case, the vacation was wonderful, but too short. In between picking up the animals I was also able to pick up my new computer and get it set up this week. This is my dream machine. A Mac Pro with a terabyte of storage, quad core processor, dual DVD writers, 4 GB of ram, bluetooth and airport, and a 23″ cinema display. I’m in heaven!
I miss Florida already. The humid air, the mornings so rich with atmosphere that it’s like water flowing over my face as I ride my bike along the bike paths. I miss the smell of the ocean, the soft sand, the sound of the surf, the warmth of the sun. I miss the lushness and the comfort and the manicured landscapes and rich colors. It would seem that on vacation I would sleep late and move slower, but instead I wake at 5:30 or 6:00 like I usually do at home and want to get up. (We were on Central time there so I guess I am sleeping in a bit for my internal clock, though.) The mornings there are the time I love the most.
The morning joggers are up and down 30A. People in the South, where the weather is good for being outdoors so much of the year, are so trim and athletic and tan. I imagine it’s much the same in California or anywhere where people are not prone to hibernate for the winter as they do in the Northeast, where people tend to be more sedentary and overweight and pale. The old idea of Southern Hospitality really exists there as well. I’m amazed that as soon as you cross the Mason-Dixon line people begin to call you “honey” and “sugar” and “darling” at every turn. You hear “Sir” and “Ma’am” and no one seems upset for asking for help or simple questions. A contrast to the North where I sometimes feel like I’m often stepping on someone’s toes just to expect even a modicum of customer service. I grew up in the South so it’s what I was used to, but years of living in New York make it so obvious to me when I return to the South that I miss that feeling of kindness that pervades everyday discourse there.
The last stained glass window was installed on this trip. It’s number four for my Father-in-law’s house and I was so pleased that he and Cheryl were so pleased with this one. It gets the bright morning sun and spreads light and color all down the stairway walls. The installation was lengthy, having built the frame here and working from templates that weren’t able to account for the irregularity of an oval window frame construction that is not exactly true. But with belt sanding and numerous trips up and down the ladder, it was finally fitted. A glowing finish to a stained glass career (he says with fingers crossed).
My daughter and her friend Maria were great companions on the trip. They made great card partners and the games went well into the night with much laughter. We also took in the midnight show of the new Harry Potter movie while there. And as usual, ate at the Red Bar and Angelina’s and the little Thai place in San Destin. My wife left us early to fly back home and then to leave on another trip with friends, her friend Alice’s birthday trip to Paris and Provance where she is still. She will return home next week only to leave again with my daughter in another week for two more weeks in Florida again. (I’m very jealous). Tessa is going for a two week Zoo Careers camp at Bush Gardens and my wife will likely be going back to her Dad’s to stay and do a little writing for work rather than making two more plane flights here and back again. She’s not a big fan of flying, so better to just stay down there. It leaves me here with the animals, but at least my night work at the computer doesn’t disturb anyone and I can eat when and what I please without worrying about when everyone’s going to be home and what they want to eat. I do the majority of the cooking in our house and with a family that’s as busy as we are, I never am sure when I’m cooking for one or two or three.
I want to say a special thanks to Art and Cheryl for being the gracious hosts they always are. You make it so wonderful for us there with your beautiful home, your generosity and hospitality. We love you.
The grass will get cut today. Tessa will spend her third and fourth days at Grassroots music festival here in Trumansburg, so I won’t see her much. And I will keep dreaming of Florida. It’s only about eight or nine months until I return. It’s just waiting for me. (He said quietly sobbing.)
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