The Return of Summer

Florida has returned to warm summerlike days and cooler nights. This is my favorite weather here, so far. It was like this much of the fall, and into the beginning of winter this year, which everyone was saying was so unusual.  On Christmas and New Years it was 80°, and I had my bathing suit on.  We only had a handful of days or nights that were actually chilly, where the heat actually came on in the night. We’ve returned to hot dry days, and warm balmy nights.

We need rain, to be honest. Things are still very dry, I still need to water my plants every other day or so.  There are a number of brush fires inland a little ways.  My grass has not really started growing yet. There are large brown patches still. I’ve been watering them too, when I do the hibiscus tree in the front. Of course, if the grass grows, I guess I’ll have to see if my lawnmower still works, lol. The lawn has not needed mowing in months. Probably not since last October. That’s crazy, isn’t it?

My small town is having a Spring Festival this weekend. Yesterday and today. They have a carnival in the center of town, and there’s a stage. A few of the people who regularly perform at open mic are putting in performances there today, so Beth and I are going over this evening to watch them. Maybe eat some carny food. It will be mobbed, I’m sure, but really, the tourist season is on it’s last legs this coming week, I think, so it won’t be as crowded as it would have been a couple weeks ago.

I noticed the end of tourist season when I went for a walk the other day. There was no problem finding a place close to the water to park my car. The sidewalks were not crowded, and, had I wanted to stop at my favorite breakfast/lunch place, Stellas, there were tables available outside. I remember when I got here, everyone said there are two seasons here. Monsoon and tourist. Well….monsoon season is coming, I guess. I think that’s probably when it rains somewhere here every day. For about 10 minutes. It also means the beginning of hurricane season, which is a fearful time here, as it is in any coastal community on the east coast. I know the hurricane tides have often submerged our commercial district down by the water. My house sits on high ground, 20′ above sea level, and I have a new roof, and some new hurricane-proof windows, so I am not too afraid, except to think of being out of power for a few days in the heat of the summer.

Tourist season is short, really not much more than February and March. Here, in this small town, it’s not bad. We consider our town the best kept secret in Florida. Tourist season doesn’t make a huge impact here. It did make open mic night interesting though. People who were just visiting for a week would sometimes perform on borrowed instruments, and the crowd, which usually started small, would spill out onto the sidewalk by the end of the night. The restaurant would put out heaters, and we’d all be hovered around them by the end of the night, trying to warm our hands. It was short-lived. Now everyone is back to wearing summer clothes and drinking cold drinks.

I still love life here. I love the laid back atmosphere. I love knowing a bunch of people who just go with the flow, and live their lives following their passions, enjoying life instead of trying to direct it. Of course, we are all retired, and what a difference that makes in one’s attitude, not to have to join the rat race every day.

Tonight when I go to the spring festival, I’m thinking I’m going to ask any of my friends who have no family around for Easter, to come over and eat with me. Beth is already coming. I’ll see if any other members of my writers groups and their significant others want to come. Just seems like it would be nice. Easter is not such a big holiday with me, but all holidays are a good excuse to make a good meal! I’ll be going over to my sisters this week for a couple of days too, which will be nice.

Good things are coming, for sure. Love and light, all.

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Some Morning Gratitude

Yesterday, my best friend got home from a camping trip and called me in the afternoon asking if I wanted to come sit on her deck, and go for a swim inher pool.  It was over 90°.  Of course, I went had had a lovely afternoon catching up with her and her family.

Last night I got a friend request on Facebook from a woman who worked for me 30 years ago when she was in college.  We chatted for a couple of hours. Though she is 15 or so years younger than I, we had a bond then, and it was like it was never broken.  She has had a good life, and is still married to the man she got engaged to then.  It was like a gift from the universe to hear from her, and to know how fondly she remembered and thought of me.

I have such a rich full life.  I see now that I don’t need to waste it on people who have no intentions with me, except to satisfy themselves.  Older and wiser, I know that someday there will be a significant other in my life who cherishes our friendship and all I can offer him.  Until he shows up, my friends will celebrate life with me.

I am blessed.  Totally blessed. More than one lesson has been learned in the past few months, and I’m grateful for all of them.

In Other News…..

Lovely evening. Sitting outside on my deck with a glass of wine. I am dead tired tonight, I couldn’t get to sleep til about 3 am, despite having taken 2 Ambien. I shouldn’t have answered the phone but the voice mail was a little scary, so I did. As usual, the conversation went nowhere, I hope I don’t have to do it again. I can’t do this stuff anymore. Too f’n old for this drama.

I realize I’ve not written much else than my issues with S this week, and I actually have some other pressing kind of stuff, that I’d like to put a voice to.

First, I lost one of my best friends from childhood this week to cancer. She was the sweetest, most loving person ever. She couldn’t say a bad word about someone ever. Just warm, loving, always made you feel good about yourself. As children we lived about a block and a half apart, and used to walk to school together. You know how those friendships often go, you are friends as small children, but tend to grow apart. Suzi and I never grew apart. We remained really really close until I went to college, got involved with my ex husband, and did too much dope smoking. But over the years a few times Suzi reached out to me, like a warm embrace welcoming me back home. When my marriage was at it’s worst, and I had basically no friends left, because my ex didn’t like any of my friends, and it became easier to let them go than deal with him, she found me after a couple decades of silence. I just cried, I was so happy to have someone reach out to me with love. We kept in contact off and on, and then last summer reconnected in person when I went to my 45th high school reunion. Suzi was one of the organizers, generally the photographer. I saw her and noticed she was wearing a wig, and was quite thin. I mentioned it to the friends I was staying with, but they didn’t know anything.

Yesterday at lunch, her best friend, who was also a good friend of mine in school, messaged me to let me know. I sat in my car and cried. Still do, when I think of the world without her.

Then my mother….aye yi yi. She’s 94 and suffered a massive stroke which left her unable to communicate, and partially paralyzed. I thought she was doing pretty well when I was down there 3 weeks ago. She was walking well, talking better. Her health, outside of the effects of the stroke, is good. But apparently last week, while I was in the panic over S’s silence and disappearance, my mother decided to leave the assisted living place she’s been in. She got about a block away before they noticed it. She walks very very slowly, with a walker. They told my sis that she kept taking her pictures down and packing her suitcase.

We thought she must have a urinary infection, which causes confusion in the elderly. But regardless, she had to be moved to a higher care facility once she left the premises. Turns out she had no infection, but we assume was communicating in the only way she knew how that she was unhappy there. And I’m sure it’s because she was left alone all day, if you can imagine being alone all day, unable to communicate. But I wish she’d understood the consequences of her actions, because now she is in a memory care facility. Smaller, which is good. And it’s nice and clean, and my sister knew the place, and had been there, and liked it. But…the doors are locked. Mom can’t go outside. They told my sis, who is down there at the moment, that she walks around all day looking for an open door. She doesn’t like her room. And is now even more unhappy.

My sis can’t bring her home now, because for one thing my sis is at her VA home, not in FL. And her daughter is getting married in a few months, in VA. And, my sis has been that route. Mom requires help with everything….it’s a full time 24/7 job and almost did my sister and her marriage in to take care of Mom for 6 months.

But it’s breaking our hearts.

I wish I could just sell my house and move down there. If I could do that, I’d be able to help my sis take care of her, and we could bring her home. I’m going to finish getting the house ready and get it on the market in the fall. It probably won’t sell, that’s not a good time to sell a house up here, but I can try, and see what interest is generated. And then if I do by some miracle sell it, I will be able to help my sis and we can make Mom’s life at least pleasant for the time she has left.

I’m looking so forward to the three day weekend. Going to go to my boat slip tomorrow and collect some money for the rental of it. It always does me good to go there, by the ocean. I may spend the afternoon hanging out somewhere down there. Maybe I’ll run into some old boating friends. One of my best friends texted me late today and invited me to spend 4th of July with she and her husband on their boat. I was so happy and excited. I told her, I was feeling a little down because I didn’t have any plans for the weekednd, and now I have plans to do my favorite thing in the world, spend it on the water.

Guess the universe was conspiring in my behalf, lol.

So….lots of stuff going on, and when I sit here with a glass of wine, I think that a breakup should not be the thing on the top of my list to be focusing my attention on. I am praying for a peaceful night, a good night’s sleep, some time to regenerate some nerve cells, lol. I was on my last one tenth of a nerve and that got frayed pretty well last night. Now, at the end of the day, I may have a few more that are working again.

Well, time to go inside, the mosquitos are coming out and I guess they’re hungry, because they are eating me up, despite the mean old woman I am, lol.

Happy 4th of July, everyone!