Sometimes I wonder if I blog too much…and then I think for a few more seconds and realize I don’t care. Writing makes me happy. As do cherry limeades from Sonic and the playful, memory laden music of old-fashioned ice cream trucks. In the time it took me to write that last sentence, the pastel-colored truck served it’s customers and went on it’s way, it’s music meandering slowly down the block. I wonder at what point the children will grow too old to enjoy it’s simplicity and charm and will allow their experiences to cross from reality to memory? I hope they never do.
I drove over 2 hours with friends yesterday to enjoy a rather unsuccessful swim with manatees…an experience I have looked forward to for quite some time. You may ask how a swim with manatees can be unsuccessful? The answer to that would be, quite simply, that the manatees failed to show up. When life hands you lemons you make lemonade…but first, you take the spoon and the pitcher and create your own music and dance to it. It was a fabulous day.
My friend’s adorable little four year old cuddled up with me on the boat, sharing my organic snacks and my seat in the sun. I caught a glimpse of God’s wisdom while eating pumpkin seeds and dried Fiji apples as he looked up at me and said…”I wish you were my mommy.” To my horror and that of his dear mommy who was standing right there, I realized how incredibly early the “grass is greener” syndrome strikes. He probably won’t even remember what he said tomorrow, but I will. At the vulnerable age where he innocently began to wonder what life would be like on the other side of the fence, he lacks the reality and experience to see this dangerous lie for what it is…and by God’s perfect design, I realized that he also lacks the ability or means to do anything about it. So for now, he is safe in his musings. His little life can be nurtured and in time, he will see first hand what we all face at some point or another…the promise of the “greener” life isn’t always better. And honestly, how much more have we really learned as adults? How often do we trade in God’s promises and our inheritance as sons for the tasty little tidbits the enemy offers?
On the way back, there was a huge fire off of the interstate, it’s billowing, black smoke beginning to fill the sky. We pulled into Dairy Queen to appease my craving for ice cream and inquired as to whether the girl working the drive-thru knew what the cause of the fire was. She leaned as far out of the window as she could, caught a glimpse of the sky directly behind the restaurant and her look swiftly changed from boredom to panic. Here she was, working diligently having no clue what was going on outside of her doors. Enter spiritual lesson #2: perhaps we should broaden our perspective to include the entire landscape rather than honing in our focus so narrowly that we miss what is going on all around us.
We continued down the interstate with the windows down savoring our ice cream, individual thoughts and music while keeping an eye out for a promising dinner spot. The Pickled Parrot looked intriguing enough that we did a u-turn, crossing the interstate only to discover that it was a nightclub. Darn the Pickled Parrot. We ended up having dinner at the Crab Shack on the river in Port Richey.
After waiting for our table for over an hour, I sat down only to find that my appetite had passed the point of no return. I was so hungry that nothing looked good and I was afraid if I tried anything, I would lose it. I’m happy to say that this feeling was fleeting and went just as quickly as it had come, although it seemed to have an adverse effect leaving me no appetite at all. As my friends ate, I contentedly sat back to enjoy my surroundings. Every table of this completely outdoor restaurant was on the dock overlooking the river and the weather was a sampling of Florida’s finest. In this, irony exists: you neither realize you are hot or cold and often fail to notice the perfection because the ideal balance calls absolutely no attention to itself. But that’s another thought for another day.
A live band played music, fueling the lively atmosphere that seemed to awaken as the sun was setting over the river. Old couples danced to music from their own time and kept right on dancing when the talented singer flew through several decades of hits and landed in the 90’s. I soaked up the smiles and laughter much as I had the sun earlier that day and decided that I am going to come back here one day soon and I don’t care if it’s a 2 hour drive. I also decided that when I am old and gray I too will dance to Livin’ La Vida Loca like I wrote the song. Just like that sweet little grandma who was groovin away…
I got home late last night feeling lazy and slightly sunburned….after taking a long shower to wash off all the sunscreen and river filth, I went through the kitchen grabbing a banana on the way. What I felt seemed odd enough that I found the light switch on the wall and behold, I held in my hand a siamese triplett banana. That’s right…a single banana about 5 inches wide with two ridges looking as if it was intended to be 3 bananas. It creeped me out enough that I started giggling…and couldn’t stop.
Soon I will head over to my friends Rob and Elissa’s house to play a game of Settlers. We are going to test a long standing theory to see if I am really Elissa’s “labor luck” as she calls me. She is 2 1/2 weeks from her due date and when little Ethan was born 2 1/2 weeks early exactly 2 1/2 years ago, it had been an identical Sunday night. Sean and I had been over late hanging out with them and as we stood by the door talking, we had joked about her going into labor early. Less than an hour after we left, she unexpectadly did. Poor girl is ready to have that baby…I wonder if that’s why she’s having me over? Wouldn’t that be crazy if it happened again. It’s been such an interesting weekend I wouldn’t be surprised. Only time will tell…