Al Fresco Freezing, FLA-Style

IMG_4771So any vacation’s a gamble, right? There’s the good and then there’s the bad. There’s the mini-bar stocked with every drink/snack you can think of but who can fork over 15 bucks for a fistful of almonds? Who can spend 20 bucks for a mouthwash-sized hit of bourbon? These days as the bellhop advised us, if you but touch, never mind take out, any of these treats, boom, you’re charged for it.

I however am always ready to take the bitter with the sweet. Also, my standards are pretty low. All I had hoped to do on this getaway weekend was bask like a salamander on a small sun-warmed patch of sand.

It didn’t happen that way though, of course it didn’t. When my mate and I arrived at this Florida’s Coast hotel it was downright NIPPY, with 30mph winds gusting to 50, such that when we went on that first afternoon to get some lunch at poolside eatery, two waiters dashed over and wrapped us in towels, heads and all. We looked like the poor souls in the lifeboats in Titanic. I thought David looked especially like this. “Jaaaack! Ja-a-a-a-ack!” I croaked at him in my best impersonation of Kate Winslet calling for her blue-eyed lad shortly before she has to watch him sink down and down into the icy North Sea.

Still, we were happy. From my point of view there could have been insects the size of butter plates bunny-hopping across the floor of our hotel room and I’d have stayed happy. We had fat terry cloth robes and fluffy white slippers and if we couldn’t quite SWIM, or even comfortably SIT in the poolside lounge chairs, we did have in our room both a Romeo-and-Juliet-style balcony as well as a big sliding door.

For intervals while we were down there, we got to visit some dear friends but we spent the rest of the time here in our pretty room, reading our books just inside that wide sliding door and every few minutes glancing up to take in the lapping wind-tossed beauty of that blue, blue Gulf of Mexico. Ah!

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Getting Ready (if you can ever BE ready)

IMG_2015Three people are moving into our house this weekend, in addition to the three that are already bunking here most nights.

All I can say is it’s a good thing I bought all those extra plates at Macy’s when they head their big sale.

I looked in my cabinet late last night and thought “This looks like the pantry of the Titanic,”  though my meals will run less toward turtle soup and more toward tacos.

The thought of all all that crockery  though: it takes me back to the video I once saw of what the last minutes of the ship Titanic might have looked like if God has stepped in and reversed its ruination. The dishes leaping lightly back onto the shelves is what I remember as the most touching detail of this act of cinematic legerdemain.  Turn up your volume and watch it now …

All Things Bright and Beautiful

The ants are back in the bathroom and in the kitchen some mice are tap-dancing around among the cake pans. The mice I wouldn’t mind so much if I could get their tiny bottoms into diapers.  (And while we’re on the subject don’t mice ever wet their pants? Why is it with just the little caraway seeds always?)

The ants I do mind but I feel terrible about pinching their shiny black-plastic bodies into a wad of tissue and tossing then in the toilet, because what must they be feeling they swirl round and round in an element foreign to them? Is it for them the way it was for those poor people who hung off the capsized half-hull of the Titanic 99 years ago now?

I got to thinking about that tragedy: cold death in the North Atlantic. And so I went to YouTube to look for the fearful footage that James Cameron gave us in his 1997 film. Here below is what I found, as moving a five-minute clip as you will see anywhere. The person who made it just ran the film backward and set it to music, specifically to James Horner’s “Hymn to The Sea” which is part of the movie’s soundtrack.

People of faith will see this and say “And so it shall be: all wounds mended, all suffering reversed.” And what a thing it would be to see that day come, what a wonderful thing!