Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Never Say Never

Finally, it stopped raining...Experts told us it would stop one day. They just didn't tell us which day.

In keeping with my new love of the outdoors a crazy thought popped into my head. No, I am not planning a camping trip. To me, 'roughing it' means no room service. Jamie deRoy hits a truthful chord when she sings her parody song "Jews Don't Camp."

I'm seriously considering renting a small furnished place in...in...in...F L O R I D A... next January and February. I'm stuttering because I've never been a fan of Florida and Jimmy wanted to spend a chunk of the winter there. He hated the cold. I hate the hot. This was our standoff.

In my fumbling defense, that last February, '06 when we were there for five days I did say, "Ya know, at this time of the year, no hurricanes, not so sticky...not so bad." I was beginning to
break. I WAS!

Today's plan? My dog, Tony and I will hit the road right after the New Year. We'll drive down. We'll drive down? Not to be picky, I'll be doing all the driving.

Why the about face? When I got Tony last August I said to my next door neighbor, Fred..."I love walking a dog!" He said, "Wait until it's eleven degrees out."

Admittedly, in February, it was less pleasant. But we're New Yorkers, Tony and I. And, that means it's exhilarating to sniff bare bushes and lift our leg on the frozen pavement. Ice that stuck to our fur is a fun surprise that we simply recycle to our water dish.

Not to lean on a cliche, but you can't beat the change of seasons and layers are far more forgiving
than tank tops. Give us a puppy cut when the temperature drops and we're grateful. We have Spring to look forward to. After all, if you haven't fought the war you can't appreciate the peace. Too dramatic? Maybe...

On the other paw, (oh, no, she didn't...) where was Spring this year? It's May 21st. Is May the new March? After spending month after frigid month shivering with Tony in the backyard watching his stream practically freeze in mid-air I had this snow-bird revelation.

Recently, I discovered a hint of green scattered on the hard, cold lawn. I stared in disbelief. Tony gave me his "What's this?" expression, the one he puts on when I introduce a new treat. As the days passed more color appeared as the twigs sprouted leaves. Soon small purple flowers joined in and Tony and I found ourselves prancing around 'a garden.' Who knew it was under there all this time?

If we spend a few months in Florida next year I can see my buddy Blondie more and my cousins Marion and Marcel and Sharon and Eli and their kids and Puff and David and Skylar can visit with Jax and Doug will come and other friends will fly down.

But, how do I explain this to Jimmy?

Old Post Revisited

I'm not trying to sneak a recycled post by you. I'm not that lazy. Well, maybe I am, but I dug this one up from last July because with all this rain every day even anti-sun me is eager for a dry sunny day.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Who Jumped Into My Body?

Yesterday I opened the back door and actually breathed in the summer air without retreating fast to my crisp air-conditioned kitchen. Instead of my usual "Ugh. It's hot. My hair" I was "ahhhh. The sun. Feels good."Scratch my concern about my hair because it's been straighened the new Brazilian way. But I'm dumbfounded that I've spent a lifetime avoiding the sun, the beach and convertibles and yet just this morning I couldn't wait to be outside manuvering a push broom to sweep my front steps.

Then, I grabbed the garden hose and like an old lady warning "Get off my property" I nosed the nozzle at my driveway. I saw a rainbow. It was wonderful. It was invigorating.

"Look Jimmy, I'm outside! If Jimmy is watching me, I know he's pissed. He would beg me to go to the beach. I hated the scratchness of the sand. He'd promise to drive his convertible slow enough so my hair wouldn't look like a rat's nest. Of course, he lied. How do you do 20 mph on the Long Island Expressway?

He'd conjole me to have coffee with him on the deck and I did...until the sun got too intense. (6 minutes)I happily lived in a dark cold cave and now that Jimmy is no longer alive I suddenly appreciate what he wanted me to soak in with him. LIFE.

Yet, if he hadn't died I never would have deeply known how fragile life is, how the sand can hug my heel and my arch and make walking a whole new almost life affirming experience. I guess, it's not always about the shoes.

I so regret that I didn't take more strolls on the beach with him and that we rarely just sat together sipping a cold drink on a hot deck. It took losing him to understand.Don't get me wrong, though. I haven't turned into a nature freak. I may be seduced by the smell of freshly cut grass, but I'm still not about to roll around on the lawn and risk staining my white pants.