Garrison Keiler would open “The Praire Home Companion,” radio program with: “It’s been a quiet week in Lake Woebegon.”
I was fond of listening to his program most Saturday evenings, back in the day. Funny how I find myself now immersed in the Florida equivalent of Lake Woebegon to some extent. At this stage of my life, I can’t say that things are quiet, however. Fun. Quriky. Entertaining. Full of joy. Busy as you want to be – or not. Anything but quiet.
A week ago, my son Thom and I discovered that we are truly different from many of the people we know. (See “Angelic Realm” post). We are indeed okay with the knowledge. Other pieces of self discovery undoubtably helped us to handle events yet to unfold. Thom is in this area for a brief time. He was house/pet sitting for his dad nearby; visiting me – on his way moving from Miami to Dallas.
Monday evening Thom wanted to “go out” to the local open mic night comedy club. He met some of the comedians, hit it off and headed out to another club; then for an early (or late) breakfast. Car pooling and ride sharing to the 24 hour food spot made sense. Upon returning to the late night club to retrieve his car, it was gone. Thom immediately spoke with the manager to inquire about the possibility that his car had been towed. Nope. Police were called; report completed; called me (4:30 a.m.); uber, insurance company, etc.
The insurance company wanted details of all phone calls over the previous few days as well as tollway transponder details. A copy of the police report was slow in being “ready.” Some of Thom’s belongings were in the car because of the planned move, including his laptop and some irreplacable memorablia. Disappointed hardly summarizes the feelings of utter dismay – and shock. We lived in Miami for over thirty-five years and never had a car stolen.
After a couple of days trying to figure out how and what recovery and plan changes needed to be pursued, Thom received a call. The car was recovered. Nothing missing from inside. No body damage. Half a tank of gas remained. Ironically, the car was in the parking lot of the same chain of twenty-four hour eatry (different location) restaurants as the group visited the night the car was stolen. Thom was gratefully elated at regaining possession of the car! I found myself adding another “first” to my growing list.
During the week, Thom, one of my sisters and I in went to the beach. This beach experience was another first. In order to get to the beach, we had to wade through waist deep water (a tide pool maybe?) The bottom of this waterway consisted of fairly large, irregular and unsteady rocks. Borderline treacherous; tricky obsticle course at the very least. We enjoyed the sounds heard only at waters’ edge for a while before heading back to the car. Gazing down the beach we noticed a boardwalk provided a dry course from beach to parking lot. Ever a gentleman, Thom volunteered to rock climb to the car and drive to the corresponding boardwalk to pick up his mom and aunt. The boardwalk was about four feet high above the sand. Spotting another one a bit further, we walked on.
It was not as far from the surface of the sand, but it was boarded over to prevent any one from using it. From our perspective, we had run through all available options. We climbed through the “forbidden” portal, walked briskly to the opposite end and climbed over the yellow crime scene tape. Quickly. There was not a chalked outline of any body; boardwalk was solid; no visible explanation for the “Do Not Enter” warning. First time I took such a forbidden route in broad sun light.
My sister and I also attended regular weekly coffee gathering here at “the Creek.” Checked in new and returned reads at the Book Nook; Line Danced, did water aerobics, discovered nearby places and enjoyed Flamenco guitar music (live) with our Friday evening meal. Some firsts in there.
Saturday we headed out for more adventures and stumbled upon an Elvis impresonator and classic car collection/flea market in the parking lot of a Biker Bar on US 19 North. Cindy got a picture with Elvis while I took one with a perfectly reconditioned/restored classic 1957 Buick Special. The owner/seller let me start it up; he knew I wanted to take it out on the highway. I told him that if I did, I may not bring it back. He seemed impressed enough by my knowledge and admiration for the car I think he believed me. I switched off the ignition and slithered around the gorgeous lines; reluctantly driving away in my perfectly practical Sonata.
I vowed that if the Power Ball ticket I immediately purchased “hit” I’d be in touch with the owner. It didn’t. So I may never sit it that car again. A brief stop at Tampa Bay Salavage Co*, eased my separation anxiety from the Buick Special.**
Winding up the week-end, Sunday Cindy and I attended service at Unity Community in Dunedin. Hurried home to “the Creek” not to miss the picnic/pool party. Our sister, Barb and her partner-in-antics, Alan were expected soon.
The picnic/pool party was truly a great time. The club house was full of residents inside where the long tables held an appetizing array of salads, beans, pasta, jello ambrosia, breads, venison stew and chili and of course the obligatory paper products. Deserts/sweets were on additional tables behind the pot-luck spread. Burgers, dogs, buns and condiments were on tables running parallel and across the room. Foods and beverages plentiful for all.
Masterful musicians played under a canopy poolside as residents and guests either sat, walked and chatted or danced in the afternoon’s breezy sunshine. There was some but little, couple dancing – many a gal out on the floor alone or in group circles prancing on the paved pool surface – just like high school. Finally, the musicians played the long awaited Conga. Ladies formed a line; ah but one, then another gent took the lead of the line as it grew. In and out and around chairs bordering the pool deck, everyone having a great time.
The man in the lead headed toward the steps of the pool! Yep, he did; and the line followed. Down the steps (most fully dressed) dancing across the pool and out the other side. Some of us at the back of the line just entering as the lead stepped out. I promse that was the first time I ever Congaed with my clothes on into the pool! I can’t promise it will be the last.