My Mom sent an e-mail today about an old friend, she’s not doing well. She lived next door to us in Alaska, and would take care of me and my sister when Mom needed to leave us with someone. She was older, so we weren’t really friends then, but we became friends as adults, years later, when AdventureMan and I moved to the Tampa Bay area and my friend and her husband lived just blocks away.
I’ve been missing my old friend; twice when I moved, she was there, the big-sister-I-never-had, helping me to move in while AdventureMan was far away. The first time, she loaned us her truck for several weeks while we settled and searched for another car. When I moved back to Seattle, she cleared out my overgrown garden, and then unpacked all the china and crystal and washed it and put it away in the cabinet. She was so much fun.
Through the years, she loved life and lived it to it’s fullest. She loved her time living in Egypt, and in Ramallah, and she travelled and sailed just about everywhere in the world. She exercised and watched her weight. She passed all the best books along to me, and kept up with the news. She was fit and active, and engaged with the world around her.
Statistically, and in all probability, she would never have seemed a risk for Alzheimer’s. I’m still angry about it. This should never have happened to her. It isn’t fair. She should be laughing, enjoying her grandchildren, dancing, swimming, sailing, running, biking, cooking, entertaining – all the things she loved. She DESERVES better. And I guess I am angry because I am selfish, and I want her to be around for ME. And I know that all this is stupid and childish, I should just accept and be calm, but it’s just so unfair and it makes me so angry. She is still in this world, although we don’t know for how long, but then again, she isn’t, not really, she is not a part of this world any longer, she just exists. It’s not right and it’s not fair and Alzheimer’s is a robber and a thief.
Hell is unwrapping household goods when every tiniest piece is wrapped in a whole sheet of moving paper. Every spoon. The stopper for a crystal decanter. Every single piece, individually wrapped. It is endless. . . .
It is also why I do so much of my own packing. That, and finding my muddy riding boots packed with my formal gowns.
An occasional mover cares.
Most movers are casual labor, insufficiently supervised. Things can disappear.
This move is in waves, and we are in the biggest wave right now, the goods that have been in storage for 12 years. It had gone well, but we think some things are missing. Also, some serious pieces of furniture are incapacitated. One in particular, a china cabinet, handles the gazillion pieces of china and crystal collected through years of Army wifedom, but lost a foot. You can’t store china in a very tipsy cabinet, and I don’t know how we are going to get it fixed. Meanwhile, how to store all these pieces???
We are just taking a break before we submerge into the world of putting things away again. Aarrgh.
Tonight is our last night in the hotel, and tomorrow morning we move into our house, with all it’s fresh new wiring, and fresh new paint, too.
I was in the house, picking up mail, when our contractor was there.
“Have you picked a color yet?” he asked.
“I’m still not sure, ” I said.
“Do you want the electricians to leave the receptacles off so you can paint and then replace them?” he asked, and I didn’t know what to say because yes, what he was saying made sense, but no, I wasn’t so sure I was ready to start painting.
“Look,” he said to me. “We’re coming in under budget. I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking you can do this cheaper yourself, but with the house empty, our painters can come in and get this all painted for you and you will still be under budget.”
I almost cried. I know the paint is very fashionable, but it made me think of mushrooms, and caves, and it was just too dark for me. I need light.
“Lilting Laughter,” I said.
“Lilting Laughter it is,” he said, “But if you want anything done differently, like one room painted something else, it is OK. We can do that. How about the ceilings?”
“White” I said, without a second of hesitation. I need light! I want the rooms to be light and airy!
What a difference. The color is peachy in some lights, rosy in others. In the morning light, you think it is a white, but it has all these subtle undertones. I love it, and we love this company and the way they do their work.
It still smells a little painty, but we have our air shipment arriving tomorrow, and a house full of furniture we haven’t seen for 12 years arriving next week. We’re going to have our hands full.
I will blog if I can, but we don’t even know when we will get internet connected. I’ll be back.
While we have really missed GOOD Mexican food during our time in the Arabian Gulf countries, we find that we are on an endless search for our favorite Mexican restaurant here in Pensacola. We have had good food – and then had bad, umm. . .er . . . repercussions.
Finally, we found a restaurant we loved. The next day, we also realized that we were fine! No gastric fireworks, no problems.
First, the Hacienda is very welcoming, and the service is fast and attentive without being intrusive.
Second – the restaurant is colorful. You really know you are in a Mexican restaurant:
Third – the food was really good. Chips were thin and quickly cooked so they were not coated with fat.
AdventureMan had a tamale with shredded beef, and he says it was outstanding:
I was not so hungry, so I ordered a taco salad – but it was really delicious, too.
Thank you Grammy, for sharing these! AdventureMan will love them!
Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. Unfortunately, all the Swiss
league records were destroyed in a fire, and so we’ll never know for whom the Tells bowled.
A man rushed into a busy doctor’s office and shouted, “Doctor! I think I’m shrinking!”
The doctor calmly responded, “Now, settle down. You’ll just have to be a little patient.”
A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of seagulls. One day, his supply of the birds ran out so he had to go out and trap some more. On the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the road. Afraid to wake them, he gingerly
stepped over them. Immediately, he was arrested and charged with…
transporting gulls across sedate lions for immortal porpoises.
Back in the 1800′s the Tate’s Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products, and since they already made the cases for watches, they used them to produce compasses. The new compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California. This, of course, is the origin of the expression, … “He who has-a-Tate’s is lost!”
A thief broke into the local police station and stole all the toilets and urinals, leaving no clues. A spokesperson was quoted as saying, “We have absolutely nothing to go on.”
An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin strip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off, chew, and swallow one inch of the leather every day.
After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling. The chief shrugged and said, “The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on.”
A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his name missing from the town register. His wife insisted on complaining to the local civic official who apologized profusely, saying,
“I must have taken Leif off my census.”
There were three Indian squaws. One slept on a deer skin, one slept on an elk skin, and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All three became pregnant. The first two each had a baby boy. The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys. This just goes to prove that …
the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.
A skeptical anthropologist was cataloguing South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal Brujo who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the Brujo looked him in the eye and said, “Let me tell you, with fronds like these, you don’t need enemas.”
King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites. His last great
possession was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond in the ancient world. Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan.
Croesus said, “I’ll give you 100,000 dinars for it”.
“But I paid a million dinars for it,” the King protested. “Don’t you know who I am? I am the king!”
Croesus replied, “When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are.”
It was getting close to five p.m. and AdventureMan had just awakened from a much shorter nap than usual. There is no pressure to adjust to the local time, so he is taking it slow. I love to watch him take a nap.
“So what do you want to do?” he asks me, and suppresses a groan when I remind him he said we would find some places where I can watch the sun set.
We decided to head over to Perdido Bay, me navigating, but sometimes I miss the right turn and we have an “adventure.” It’s all OK, it’s not like we have to be anywhere by any time, so there’s no such thing as a wrong turn, just another opportunity to make some additional connections in the brain cells as we try to figure out Pensacola. Or that’s the way I am telling it, and it is my blog. Anyone can make a mistake, right?
Pensacola has very funny roads. Almost all the roads curve. Like the road we live on is the same road my son lives on, but where he lives, the road is north south, but where we live, it is almost east-west. A road called 9th, you would think would be a straight road, but it is more like a parabola! Fairchild road will turn south and become Navy Boulevard, but the real Fairchild road actually continues, considerably diminished. You just have to get used to it; it doesn’t have to make sense.
And there are Kuwaiti drivers everywhere!
(So, OK, now it comes. I apologize for all the bad things I ever said about Kuwait drivers. American drivers are also going through the orangey-red lights, even going through the red lights, and American drivers are also making left turns from the far right turn lanes. Yep. I’ve seen it. Guess I’ve been gone a long time. I wonder if even Seattle has become the Wild West on the roads? The difference between the really bad American drivers and the Kuwait drivers is that the Americans are mostly driving a lot slower when they do these things. So Kuwait, I apologize.)
We discover there is no state park along the band of land from where we thought we were going to watch the sunset, and there sure are a lot of slabs where houses used to be – which usually means they were blown away or seriously destroyed in one hurricane or another.
AdventureMan found a fabulous place, though, Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park. They have two walking trails, and since it was getting close to sunset (and I have a thing about being in swampy areas after dark) we chose to do the short hike, like one mile, out to the Bayou, but next time we will do the 7.2 mile hike out to the Bay.
We didn’t know we were going to do the hike when we left the car, so I didn’t have my camera. At first, we were walking not too far from the busy highway and thought it wasn’t such a great hike, but then AdventureMan spied the endangered white pitcher plant, a carnivorous plant that traps insects. Pretty fantastic!
This was one fantastic adventure. I am going to show you some pictures I got from the Florida State Parks website, focusing on Tarkiln Bayou.
This is a view of where the trail ended – it was unbelievably beautiful. The sun was setting and we were on a bayou with not another human being in sight, not a house, not a trail – it was pure nature surrounding this gorgeous tiny little bayou. But . . . the sun was setting, and I don’t like to be out in a park after dark. No, I am not chicken, I am a realist, foolish people who are where they should not be can find themselves in big trouble when the sun goes down. Also, I hate mosquitos and mosquito bites, and they usually come out around sundown, so we did our return hike at a healthy pace.
As we headed home, AdventureMan said “I think I remember a good place where you can see the sunset.”
And within five minutes, we were there.
You know how I love those sunrises in Kuwait. Sunsets are what I love even more. Here are some photos of last night’s sunset, thanks to AdventureMan
And so I ask you – is this not a magnificent way to end a day?