I’m writing from Florida, where it has been raining off and on since we arrived. That has not dampened our spirits since it is warm and anything above 0 C or 32 F feels warm to us. We got out of Muskoka just after the first staying snow. It is unheard of for the river not to freeze in late December. As we left the snow for the rain, a thin skim of ice was forming where the river runs slowest. With this brief respite, I believe winter of 2006-7 will be my shortest ever!! The rain here has been soft and summerish and I don’t mind it.
I once said I'd visited Florida once and I'd never visit Florida again. Never say never. Perhaps my first trip was coloured by the necessity to keep up with the energy the girls generated when they were ten and thirteen!!
Highlights so far:
1. tuna sesame salad (raw tuna on a bed of really fresh greens)…amazing
2. a display of about 500 miniature paintings at a gallery and a long conversation with Thomas Farrell, a loquacious Brit who is reputedly the foremost watercolour miniaturist in the world…wow
3. seeing an ancient documentary on sponge harvesting in Tarpon Springs…not only informative but nostalgically reminiscent of documentaries we used to see as 35 mm. movies in Elementary School way back in the middle of the twentieth century
Lowlights so far:
1. Checking in and immediately out of our first hotel (mould, dirty blankets and carpet). Buyer beware, those picturs on the internet may be generic and may not represent what you are actually booking.
2. Leaving all my American money in Canada
3. Checking in to a second hotel and needing to change rooms the second night because of spiders, holes in curtains, lack of closet doors and no internet access…(all this for $100.00 CAN)
The best thing is that almost everyone I see is older than me, and the worst thing is that almost everyone is older than me. I see my future in every approaching face!!
The score, then, is even so far…and all the little troubles of home seem far away. I thank God for these days and breathe blessings on this somewhat transient place: its elderly citizens, its gated communities, its giant billboards advertizing the specialties of litigation lawyers, its excellent restaurants, its alligators, pellicans, storks, palm trees, waterways and greens.