Friday, December 14, 2018

Guilty Pleasures


It's funny that I have traveled throughout Europe, snapping photos of delicious meals, breathtaking landscapes, and castles built stone by stone by medieval peoples, yet I never felt guilty about flaunting it on my blog.
Florence as the sun sets
Maybe I pictured you enjoying the journey with me.
But since I've been in Florida, the guilt has set in. How can I share pictures of my newly polished toes hanging over the edge of the very blue pool as the frogs and alligators croak in the nearby pond.
Dare I post a picture of the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico as the breeze whips up the waves, and we retreat to a balcony overlooking the water while we dine on grouper sandwiches and key lime pie?
Sunset from Passe-a-grille beach over the Gulf of Mexico

One bite gone
As the weather has turned cold for most of my friends in the north, I'm beset by guilt that I'm living in a place where the weather is practically perfect. Sure, I've complained to my running friends about the humidity and I've carried a sweat towel with me to wipe the salty drops before they reach my eyes, but November and December are pretty perfect weather-wise in Florida. The temperature has settled in the 70s, sometimes 80s. The sun has shone as we lazed by the pool. Earl has taken a dip nearly every day, and I joined him quite often, especially when I returned sweating from a run.

Not since the days right after college have I spent so much time living with my parents, and unlike those rebellious days of my early 20s, it's pretty sweet to have four adults living in a house. We take turns cooking and doing the dishes. We choose a cleaning day and run vacuums over the floors of the two-story house. We gather in the game room each night as the sun sets to play euchre.
We celebrated Thanksgiving, just the four of us. I got to be here for Mom's 81st birthday the following week, gathering at Red Lobster for daiquiris bigger than my head. Then two weeks later, we feted Dad as he turned 82. I can't remember the last time I got to be with my parents for their actual birthdays.
And after Dad's surgeries and his sessions in the hyperbaric chamber (oxygen) and seven months without playing golf, his foot is finally healing. We've been working on his stamina, increasing his steps daily, coercing him into playing bean bag in the backyard. He and Earl started putting and chipping at the golf course across the street and even ventured out to play 15 holes. He's not taking it too fast, continuing to heal, so he can play golf when my brother arrives after Christmas.
This sojourn in Florida, daily time spent with my parents, basking in the sun, makes me feel guilty. Tomorrow, I'll head to Ohio where the cold weather awaits me, and I won't be lording it over anyone as I settle under gray skies, but I'll be surrounded by friends and family, so that might make up for the weather.

Reunited in September and Exploring Spain --2018

In August, Earl flew back to the States to help the kids cut through some red tape. He was returning through Paris, and our friends had agre...