These days are filled with work. Late days crunching numbers for 8-9 hours. Everyone is replaceable in these types of jobs but personalities are harder to replace. Apparently I am a personality. Easy to get along with, the purveyor of entertaining tales. The bookkeeper who writes books. The woman with the funny stories and the easy-going personality. The woman who is escaping the mundane.
“I wish I was going with you,” is something I’ve heard more than once.
The heat has arrived in South Florida early this year. Only mid-April and the mornings are muggy. My husband, who is packing his sweaters and ski goggles with a certain joie de vivre, says, “You know what? There is no such thing as fresh air in Florida. It’s all stale and dank.”
I don’t necessarily agree with this sentiment. I know I suffer from that lack of sunshine deficiency, whatever they call it, and I am aware of the fact no one lives in New England for the weather. But other than that I am as excited as he is for the move.
Most nights after work we dine by the pool, facing the Intracoastal, the sunset at our backs but still coloring the eastern shoreline. The Florida sky is as big as the Montana sky because the landscape is flat. Violent reds and oranges light up the night. Bugs are never a concern, no black flies or mosquitos, and the breeze is the same temperature as my skin. “This is perfect weather,” I say.
“Yes it is,” he agrees, because how could he not.
A friend visits. He brings perfect packing boxes from his workplace. The corners of the apartment close in, piled high with boxes but the closets and cupboards empty quickly. We downsized when we moved from New Hampshire. This move will be relatively easy.
We leave the muffin and bread pans out, and the omelet pan. We are practicing the breakfast part of B&B for our new job. Yesterday’s egg and avocado crostini was a hit.
We visit our favorite haunts. The Old Key Lime House where Hemingway once pissed and my character, Josie Wolcott in Take Me Home, hung out and enjoyed the wisdom painted on the walls in the ladies room. A Woman’s Rule of Thumb: If it has tires or testicles you’re going to have trouble with it. We make a point of visiting my favorite bartender Matt Swig aka Swigaliscious at the Sundy House. He mixes me a free drink, his latest concoction, because I promote him on Instagram. My last swigalicious drink is made with lemon, lime, and an exotic fruit called Budddha’s Hand, the intense citrus flavor cut with vanilla sugar and aged for six months. He is a master mixologist. We are talking about having him send some of his infusions to our Inn for the cocktail hour. I will miss al fresco dining anytime of year. I will miss palm trees reflected in storefront windows or tall blue glass office buildings. Shadows of palm trees on sidewalks, created by sunlight or streetlight. Walks on the beach. Dinner on the beach. Cocktails on the beach. Anytime of year.
I will not miss the traffic. The population density. The thick, heavy stagnant air of summer. The lines at the supermarket, the gas station, the registry of motor vehicles, the bank.
I will miss the variety of food. The beautiful, bountiful supermarkets and farmers markets. The cheap drinks and half price gourmet food items at happy hour. Palm trees. The friends I have made while I was here. Sunshine. Never having to think about the weather. Wearing sandals anytime of year. My hairdresser Natalie. Street art and graffiti.
I am looking forward to community. A small town atmosphere. Family and friends. Pine cones, blueberries, and lilacs. Reading a book by the fire. Sweaters. Work that I enjoy.
I’ve been listening to Jackson Browne a lot lately. He was there when I was writing Life Is All This. He’s been on the CD rotation in my car for a month now. There’s a lyric from Colors of the Sun on the For Everyman album that resonates:
Oh, leave me where I am
For I am not losing
If I am choosing not to plan my life
If you enjoy my blogs, you will love my books. Life is All This is now available on Amazon.