Monday, March 30, 2015

Pilates and Paint

     Hard to believe, but I’d grown tired of my Pepto-Bismal bathroom.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Florida, Fountain of Youth

Maybe all those Viagra ads full of silver foxes and women with flowing grey hair bounding around on the sand aren’t so far off the mark after all.

When I arrived in Florida a week ago, I expected to see perpetual left turn blinkers and fully occupied handicapped spots, and instead saw something very different.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Last Lap

         We made it home in one piece and are now getting re-aquainted with northern living, but as for the plane trip itself . . . . . . . .

Monday, March 23, 2015

Heading Home


Good news: after a week of steady sun, the first drop of rain fell as soon as we shut the car doors to leave.

Bad news: blinding downpour - the kind where you can barely see to drive but can't pull over for fear you'll be hit - on the highway to the airport, slowing us down. This was a bit of a concern since we were already running late. 

Good news: the rain stopped just before we reached the airport so we got from Hertz to the terminal dry and wouldn't have to sit soggy and sad for four hours.

Bad news: our plane was delayed an hour.  
Good news: our plane was delayed an hour - we're not late after all. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Once more into the cold.

So tomorrow we head back, our hearts filled with the hope (the futile hope) that the three feet of snow (and that's not hyperbole) will have magically evaporated.

In the meantime, since I haven't come up with anything much myself, may I suggest you take a look at a new blogger - Life After Seventy - which you will find in my reading list to the left of this post.

I'll leave you with another portrait of local Florida doves, Mortimer and Mary Anne.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Beach life

      Florida can be a dangerous place. And it's not just the alligators and potential skin cancer.

      Our first night here I ordered a Margarita and received two. Today at lunch my Mojito was half price.  (No judgements, please. I'm on vacation.). As far as I can tell, happy hour in Florida begins at 10 am and ends . . .well, I'm not sure when it ends.  

    The accommodations we found on line were just what we'd hoped for.  It really does have a heated pool, as advertised, the little condo is comfortable and clean, and the place is indeed right on the beach.  One worry - no beach chairs. But then we managed to borrow some from the office. All set. 

   We enjoyed some walks on the beach the first couple of days and then after my morning swim in the pool I looked up to beeps and hard hats beyond the fence. 

   It seems they refurbish the beach every ten years or so.
   Looks like we didn't need to worry about beach chairs.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Meditative Doves

Here are a couple of Florida residents.  I didn't ask them if they were natives or recent retirees.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Come fly with me

      Welcome Words is on the road and so may operate a little differently for the next few days.
      We waited to board the plane to Florida and spent some time people watching, having consumed every inch of that morning's newspaper.  Our plane was a half hour late, but that was all right .  We were on vacation.
    I took note of the variety of travel clothes before me; some women had achieved the perfect balance of style and comfort, others were cautionary tales.  One fleshy woman swiveled by in spiked lace-up black boots, jeans with an improbable number of zippers and a wife-beater tee shirt that displayed her flabby tattoos to advantage. A handsome father came by next carrying an adorable button- eyed baby with a pig-tailed redhead of about two scampering ahead of him. She giggled and beamed at everyone she passed and she ran ahead, her tiny red and white striped socks flashing as she went. Who could have guessed that once on the plane - our plane - she would become this spawn of satan?
        Still, there was plenty to be grateful for. The button-eyed baby cooed for the full three hour flight, the redhead was one row away (when she wasn't screaming, she stood up and stared at the unfortunate folks in back of her), the woman next to me didn't try to chat once and must have weighed no more than 98 pounds. And when someone threw up and the aroma wafted through the cabin, the crew worked some kind of magic that eliminated the odor in record time.
    A great flight, all in all.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Clean Slate

Outside of cute kitchen message boards and restaurants with the evening specials, few people use slates anymore. You know, the fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock (that was the definition that sprang into your mind, right?)  Laura Ingalls Wilder would clasp as she sat in that one-room schoolhouse on the prairie. 
When I was teaching, and had time at the end of the day, I’d head to the girls’ room down the hall with my green plastic bucket. I’d fill it up and return to my classroom where I’d dip my giant sponge and wash away the day from my chalkboard. I might re-enter the detention list or a homework assignment, but the most part, it was a fresh start.
Maybe I liked the idea of a fresh start because it’s a close relative to my need for visual order. I could never understand those people whose filing system is composed of towers of paper.  Before I begin a task requiring any sort of thinking, I have to clear my desk of the notepads, old mail, and gloves looking for a mate. When I’m cooking, to avoid using chili powder instead of cinnamon, or baking powder instead of baking soda, I have to empty the kitchen counter and sink before I begin. 
An uncluttered surface can recharge my mind and soul. I can dodge real housecleaning far longer than I’d like to admit, but after I’ve sorted out a drawer or cleared the shoes from my closet floor I can reach inner peace. New shelf paper can leave me with a sense of tranquility that’ll stick around for the rest of the day.
These are all re-sets, new beginnings, another reason I enjoyed teaching.  In September I was able to start over again with a new set of students and the optimism that came with a new year.
  Funny, people write about the rebirth brought each year by Spring, but this is reversed in the teaching world. Spring is the culmination of the school year, when everything finishes up. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Over and Done

     I was on my appointed rounds today when I noticed an unexpected change in the scenery – a SOLD sign on a long-derelict building that sits on the state road through town.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Vital Information

The following are interesting facts that I received recently in
one of those chain emails.

So of course, they must be true.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Safe and Secure

      So the temps today reached into the 50s, and after the February we've had this was an event as miraculous and unexpected as me someday waking up 20 pounds lighter (never gonna happen). I actually rode around with my car window open and unzipped my jacket to an inch below my chin! 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Springing Forward

I’m not usually one of those people who grouse about this age of technology. You know, whenever there’s an error in the tickets they ordered, or a delay in their rental car, they harrumph about “those computers.”
          Not me – not this morning, anyway.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Men in Uniform

(By the way, John and Chris of Going Gently tying the knot today. 
 Best wishes and a long happy future together to them both!)

     Yesterday morning I was in the Y for a much-needed stint on the treadmill. All this indoor living is taking its toll; somehow I’m both restless and lethargic. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

One Paper Clip

        It all started with my lap board, the one I use in the living room when I feel like a change of scenery with my lap top computer. I had bought the board when my husband was laid up with a broken leg. Now, several years later, its cushy bean bag pad had died, so even with meaty thighs it could grow uncomfortable after a couple of hours.
          So of course the obvious solution was a trip to the grocery store for several bags of dried peas.

Sunday, March 1, 2015



         I think I’ve hit the sweet spot of life. I’m retired, I’m still ambulatory and as far I can tell, I still have the majority of my mental faculties.