In our sixties, the pace and patterns of our lives were predictable, we did the same thing each month, season, and year. So when we moved from Michigan to Florida for warmer shores, we wanted to sink our teeth into Fallglow tangerines and Orlando Tangelos. We wanted new experiences, to step out of our comfort zones shaking off the cobwebs of habits and routines.
Last night, we attended a wine tasting event at a butcher shop. Surrounded by filets, steaks, and ground beef on one side and Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay on the other, I tried to remember why I thought this was an experience to pursue. I don’t care for meat and wine doesn’t care for me. In my determination to embrace this new experience, I struck up a conversation with a honey keeper giving out nibbles of cheese dipped in honey. I asked him if there was a public bathroom in the butcher shop. When the night was over, Tim had met people from every corner of our continent and learned that this butcher/wine event was a monthly occurrence. I had found the bathroom. Hubby asked if I would accompany him monthly so he could taste more wine and meet up with his new friends.
“Yes,” I said, “but only if you can find a monthly event of people from every shire in Australia who meet monthly to sample ice cream and key lime pie.”
October used to be bedtime for my vegetable garden. In Ponte Vedra, it means the beginning of a new growing season. Instead of lamenting, “If only the season lasted longer, my game would be so much better,” groups in my new community are organizing for another season of golf. Picking tomatoes and playing golf in December…I like.
Strolling the shores of the Atlantic, the vastness of the sky, nature and sounds reminded me of sitting in an orchestra hall hypnotized by the music. Birds glided unhurriedly above me. Picking up seashells and gray cylinder bones that I later find out are shark teeth. Putting down the Tommy Bahama beech chair in a respectable distance from a turtle nesting ground, I reached for my book—no, not quite yet. Warm, silky sand slipped up and around my feet. Sounds of the waves breaking at the shoreline unobtrusive and enchanting. I pulled out my iPhone. No bars. Perfect. Three hours without interruptions, reading and walking on this Atlantic shore—an experience I won’t tire of.
October first, sitting at my computer by an open window, I watched my neighbor Julie pulling weeds. She’s moving in on Halloween, today she was just visiting her house.
“Juuulieee,” I whispered. She looked high and low, but never at my window. This time my whisper was deeper, “Juuulieee.” Her face reminded me of Tim’s face watching Fatal Attractions, the part when Glen Close kills Ellen’s pet rabbit and puts it on their stove to boil.
When Julie sees me her expression does not change much. She left her house that day earlier than usual. Tim said he doubted she’ll ever return. What’s that supposed to mean? The nicest thing about this is that this was a new experience not only for me, but for Julie as well.
A big thank you to Becky the Best (read my blog in coming weeks about names in my new community), an amateur photographer and a new friend, who allowed me to post her photos on my blog.