A Day on the Island

I woke this morning feeling better. Not great, but better. I talked to my sister over on the island, and she suggested I come over, and maybe we could go to the beach for awhile, and just hang out. We haven’t spent any time together since she got here, so I happily went, laundry basket in hand.

It was just so nice to hang out. Not to be on vacation, but just to be living our lives and spend the day together. To get to my sisters, I have to drive by the assisted living facility my mother lived in on the Manatee River. Every time I go by there I think how happy she was there, how independent she still was. I smiled today and said, “I know you are happy that my sister and I are going to be together today.”

This is the first year that my sister hasn’t been taking care of my mom down here, and I think that while she’s enjoying the freedom, she also misses my mother so much. She even said if I wasn’t here she wasn’t sure she wanted to come. I am so happy to be here to help her find her way back to her own life. She’s painting again, and I’m so happy about that. She is very talented, but stopped completely for almost 2 years.

I felt better with her than I’ve felt all week.. We went up to the beach (2 blocks away) for a an hour or so. We swam in her pool. We talked and talked…..the way only family can. I stayed for dinner, and ate the first solid dinner I’ve had in days. I hope it settles, but it should. A piece of grilled salmon and some rice. I came home and had a small bowl of chicken broth, just to try to make sure the food settled in.

We made some tentative plans for the coming week. She also has plans of her own, and so do I. I told her about the place I go to for open mic, and group of people I’ve started hanging out with. She’s so funny, she told me I can’t have a boyfriend til she gives him approval, lol. Probably not a bad idea…..

Was just a perfect day. Exactly what I needed. Feeling gratitude to have the family I have.

Love and light

Hard Night, Beautiful Morning

I slept hard last night. Nightmare, of hate and anger. Displaced, afraid. Real fear that they were coming to get me, and that I would die in their hands. (I don’t know who they were, maybe Nazi’s.  With tanks. And soldiers marching.)  Then, in the dream, I told myself I was dreaming. And that I could combat their hate and anger and fear with love.

I did. I turned the tide, I sent the fear packing, I taught them that they deserved love, and they lay down their arms.

Still, it was a hard and terrifying dream.

Not sure what brought it on. Probably some deep-seated stuff, from the past.

Whatever. This morning I awoke early, around 5:30. My room was cool, I could hear the faint hum of the ceiling fan. I tried to go back to sleep but decided about 20 minutes later that that was not happening. I got up, tried to write, and did, but not sure it’s worthy of publication. I need to re-read and edit.

I decided it was time for me to see the sunrise here in my new hometown. So I quickly got dressed in my bathing suit top, and a skort, and drove the short mile or so to the beach. I parked along the street, as the first rays of dawn broke the sky.

There is a long fishing pier on the beach. I headed down the pier, into the gray and pink early morning light. The pier was dotted with a few fishermen, people walking dogs, people exercising. But not more than a dozen people in all. They all greeted me, everyone, with a “Good morning.”

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Felt like I was taken into a brother/sisterhood, of people who love the morning. I walked to the end of the pier. I guess it’s maybe 500′ long? I’m a bad judge of distance.

On the way, I passed a gull on the rail, so still I didn’t think it was real. He just watched me as I passed by. Then, a great blue heron flew in and landed on the rail, about 100′ in front of me. As I approached, taking my camera out of my pocket, it flew away.

I got to the end of the pier, and sat on a bench. I was alone. I set my cup of coffee next to me and closed my eyes and just breathed. Tried to take in that this was now my home. Listened to nothing but the sounds of the sea birds, and worked at finding peace again, the remnants of that nightmare still on the fringes of my psyche.

When I opened my eyes again, the sky to the east was breaking dawn. Turning the clouds pink, and gold. It is something I will never tire of, seeing a day come in over the water like that.

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There were a lot of boats anchored in the bay, many with their dinghies laying in the water behind them, signaling that they were aboard. I thought how lovely a place to anchor out. One boat had two dinghies behind it. I made up a story in my head of people coming from one boat to the other, drinking wine and talking late into the night, too late and too dark to find their way back to their own boat, and staying with friends instead. Like Van Morrison’s song, “So Quiet in Here”. “this must be what paradise is like, so quiet in here….”

After awhile, two women came walking past my bench, and struck up a conversation. One of them had a dog, she did not stay long, her dog was anxious to go. But the other woman and I talked. She’s lived here for 20-something years. She used to live in Philly and Martha’s Vineyard. We talked about the Vineyard, and the breach that happened about 8 years ago in the south beach, and changed the whole nature of Katama Bay, and made Chappaquiddick a real island.

She walks often, she said, so maybe I’ll see her again there. Her name was Mary.

I got up and walked back down the pier Most of the fishermen had gone by then. I walked along the sidewalks, past what says is a casino, but is really a dance hall now, advertising lessons and dancing in fox trot, tango…ballroom dancing, for $8. No partner needed. Might be fun to learn the tango. Outside is a sculpture which says this town is Florida’s best kept secret. I’m beginning to agree. I walked past the permanent beach vollyball courts, and along the beach for a while.

As the town woke up, I headed back home, to record this, my first sunrise here. What a lovely way to start the day. I think it may become a habit.

Love and light.

Blessings Abounding

  
I’m sitting on my friends patio having coffee. It overlooks a little lake in the middle of her complex, with egrets, and ibis, ducks, and palm trees. So nice and warm. Probably about 70. 

We had such a ball last night. There were three of us, we were missing our 4th member of our group, so we called her on the phone in the Midwest and put her in speaker and it was like having her there, lol. She stayed on the phone for a couple hours till it went dead. 

We were at times laughing hysterically at the stories we had to tell. Soooo good to belly laugh. Today we’re going to some art place called The Blueberry Patch. Then to some place that my friend whose house we are at promises is awesome pizza. 

I’m thinking I’m gonna meet with the realtor again at some point before I go, put in an offer and leave a check with her. I can’t tell you how much I love this little house. And to live a mile from a beautiful beach!!!!  There are so many cute shops and galleries and great restaurants here. But it’s small and largely undiscovered by the throngs of tourists that come to FL. It’s the height of season now, and in so many beach communities here the traffic and crowds are unreal. But not in this small town at all. 

3 doors down from this house is a community garden where you get a little patch of ground to grow whatever you want.  People plant veggies like cabbage and kale along the sidewalks here, for the purpose of anyone who wants or needs them taking them. Kind of a passive “feed the world” thing, and it makes attractive landscaping too!  

I love the progressive and kind of liberal attitude here. Bohemian almost. The house I love is yellow with orange shutters, and light green trim. So Florida!!  So many houses like that here, bright vibrant colors, unusual artwork and sculptures in their yards. 

Plus, even tho the house is only a mile from the water, it’s not in the flood plain!  So I don’t have to worry about that crazy hurricane insurance. Plus the back yard has a couple of big trees for shade, so important here. 

I will love it here I know. Especially with friends and family nearby.  I have to get this house!!!  

I’m feeling really blessed this morning. Love and light, all. 

Tidying Up

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I’m pretty happy tonight.  I was alone, really alone,  all day, but it was a good thing.  I got a bunch of paperwork done for my mom’s estate.  I did my taxes and filed them!  Yay! I paid all my bills, and that felt really good!!!  I wanted all that stuff done before I went to FL.  Now I can get ready for the trip and relax.

So, then I went through my summer clothes.  I washed what I felt needed to be.  I packed.  I was trying to to the small, carry-on.  But I’m going for a week.  Don’t think I can do it. I never understood shoe fetishes, where people were like Imelda Marcos.  But honestly, I am her for flip-flops.  I am taking maybe 6 pairs.  I am NOT taking maybe 10.  Geezus.  I do love flip-flops.  They just speak summer to me.  I even have a pair of flip flop earrings and a necklace with a flip-flop mother of pearl pendant.  I can’t wait to live somewhere where I get to wear them every friggin’ day.

While I was packing I started throwing stuff out again.  Literally, another 10 pair of flip-flops that are beyond wearable, lol.  I threw out 6 bras that are way too big for me, from when I weighed 30 or 40 lbs more.  I am not done.  I am going to keep throwing stuff!

I was told about a book last night by Montana, called something like , “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” And then, my friend Emma talked about it in her blog today.  So there you go, it’s a sign, I need to buy the book .  I hope it’s available on kindle.  But it will be so much easier to pack for moving if I just purge and purge first.  So I was doing that today.  Purging.

Maybe more than clothes, lol.  Next is my kitchen.  That’s gonna be a trip.

I’ve made a nice dinner for my son and I.  I’m going to watch the final Downton Abby.  Dang, I will miss that show so much!!!   I’m having a 2nd glass of wine, because, dang, I got a lot done today.  I’m going to find a realtor in the town in FL I have my heart set on tonight and make an appt tomorrow for Friday.  FRIDAY!!

I talked to my sis today.  She paints, she is really good. She sells her paintings for some decent money. Anyway, they are having a show at the art center in her neighborhood, the night I get in.  So…I’ll have a place to wear my new dress!!  She is showing a painting there.  We’re going to drive around and check out the other neighborhood I might like.  It’s a village arts center.  It’s closer to her, but she doesn’t think it’s as nice as my first choice.  This trip is going to be so much fun, because it’s really going to give me a feel for living there, not just vacationing.

My sis is taking Tai Chi.  I hope she’ll show me some of what she has learned.  I have a CD, that I used to follow some mornings.  Maybe we’ll go to the beach and do it together!  That would be cool.  Tho I think she’s too shy, lol.  I am looking forward to walking on the beach every morning, swimming in her pool in the hot afternoons.  Clearing my head of the old, making room for the new.

Two days of work this week.  I can do this.

And here is the coolest thing about today!  I got my 200th follower!!! I am so excited.  I know in the scope of blogging 200 is a pretty small number, but I’m very excited about it!  So thank you America On Coffee, for being my 200th follower!

Life is so good.  Love and light to all.

Florida Calling

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Just as I was heading for bed I got a call last night from another of my high school friends who lives in Florida.  She lives in Daytona.  She’s a riot.  Anyway, she is going to drive across the state, about 3 hours, when I come down to spend time with me and my other friend.  The three of us were all best friends in high school, still are really close.  We’ll be missing a couple of our crowd, but when I get moved down there, we can have an honest reunion with everyone.  The three of us are going to have a blast.  I can’t wait!

I’ll meet with a realtor for part of one day, then hang out with them for the rest of that day and the next.  We’ll go somewhere and listen to the friend who lives there sing, and have a few drinks.  Maybe meet some hot musicians, lol!  I think this trip will do a lot to take me away from the bs that’s been occupying way too much of my headspace, not to mention heartspace, up here.

Like I say, good things are falling into place.

I haven’t heard about how the people liked the pics of my house that were interested.  So I’ll text her today and see what they had to say.

How lucky am I to have close friends I have known for 50 years?  And to have them here that I’ve known for 20, whose kids grew up with mine?  ??!!  It’s awesome.

Feeling very blessed this morning.  Love and light, all.

 

Mellowing Out

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My tree is all decorated,and the house, except the outside lights. I still have to deal with that white extension cord for the lighted garland on the mantle, but you get the idea.  It was a nice day.  My son “supervised” while he watched football, but he was good company. He listened to me tell him stories about the different ornaments.  Some his cousins made, some from his first Christmas.  Some of them from his grandmother, from when I was a child.  It was enjoyable, close, relaxed, happy.

Just when I finished my cousin called and asked if I wanted to go for a walk, which I did. She lives on a lake in the next town, we walked a couple of miles and talked and talked.  That too was nice.  Family.  It was a family day.  I was telling her how sick I have gotten of myself, and all the drama, and how nice it was to spend 4 days just with my son, and talking to old friends.  I realized talking to my bff from high school yesterday that I really don’t want to tell anyone else the story.  I am so sick of it, lol.

A number of people have expressed surprise that Betty has not contacted me.  I know I would have, but she probably got all she needed from the blogs.  And she’s only been aware of what was going on for less than 2 weeks.  S always said she didn’t have much to say anyway, so I’m not surprised.  The whole thing had the feel of some stupid high school drama anyway, and I’m glad really, not to have to discuss it with her, though I would have if she felt the need.

I sent A a picture of the tree.  He won’t have one, living in his RV, working on his house.  I know he wishes he was here today, helping me decorate it.  Then I told him I was about to make a plate of left-overs, lol. His response, “God, woman, you are making my mouth water….”

A had been very sweet lately, even though he’s trying to find someone who wants a relationship with him.  He asked me for a pic of me in my bathrobe and jammies this morning, my hair only combed slightly, lol.  He said, “please, that’s when you are the most beautiful, when you wake up.”  He’s seen me wake up twice.  Once at his house, once at mine.  I’m so grateful to have  him in my life.  I can love him a lot from a distance.

I wondered idly at some point today if S remembered last Thanksgiving weekend, when he was complaining he didn’t get any leftovers from his ex-wife, and I showed up on Saturday with enough for he and I to have a meal, and for him to have a couple more.  I remember that as a nice weekend, even though I can’t remember what we did.  Maybe went to the beach, I think he took me to a produce stand near one of the beaches. Doesn’t matter.   I didn’t think about it long, it was just a passing thought. Didn’t make me happy or sad, it was just a memory.

It was a happy, calm, relaxing day.  In fact, the last 4 days have been. I didn’t need an Ambien to sleep last night either. Mellowing out.  Life is good.

How Quickly Things Change

The day was dripping with sunshine.

Like a hot butterscotch sauce,

it made everything glow,

and shimmer,

Ripples of heat were visible on the surface of the ocean,

Creating a layer of ghostly white mist between the sea and the sky,

Islands in the distance rose from that mist.

Even the waves had melted down into a smooth undulating dance,

reflecting the golden blue sky above.

She sat, reading a book about winter,

Reveling in the summer heat.

It was glorious…..

She fell asleep to the caress of the last of the summer breeze

and the song of the waves as they lapped the shore.

Suddenly, she woke up.

Where was she?

The brilliant day was gone,

the butterscotch sky had given way to charcoal clouds.

The breeze had stiffened, enough to create real waves

crashing on the shore.

Umbrellas were blowing around on the beach,

Anxious mothers packing up bags,

calling children from the water.

Sunburned bathers running for their cars.

She got up, folded her beach chair

She picked up her book, her bag,

Headed for her car,

She turned once more to glance

back at the sea.

A zig-zag bolt of lightning announced the time.

Time to run.

An enormous clap of thunder echoed down the sound.

A hard stiff wind picked up everything not held down.

People yelling over the noise for their children

For their loved ones.

“Run run……”

She got to her car, facing the water.

She sat there, watching,

as the world turned on the once happy beach lovers.

In a moment, the joy of a perfect summer day

Gone.

As if it were a dream.

Sheets of rain, a cacophony of thunder, and wind, and angry waves

Causing chaos now.

How quickly things can change, she thought.

Nothing lasts forever.