Howdy from SW Florida! I’m watching March Madness, trying to figure out which team to root for, since all of my favorites have already bowed out of The Dance. I picked Ohio State to win in most of my brackets, so I guess I’d better be cheering them on, huh?
It’s been a great trip so far. From the kind United agent who took pity on me and changed my all-day, three-flight trip to a simple two-flight one, to my friend Shurl who picked me up at midnight and fed me wine and cheese while we talked all night, to surprising my friend John Reno (and other friends joining us!) and hanging with my family – every minute has been wonderful. I’ve been napping, suntanning, reading, laughing with my family, seeing friends, making plans, watching basketball, and wandering around familiar territory. Except for a quick stop in November to move my furniture, I haven’t been back since I sold my house here in May.
It’s been bittersweet, being back in SWFL. I’m not used to only having a few days here (now that I have a “real” job, my free time is limited), so can’t wander around the state and visit friends and favorite places as I’d like. I’m having to pick and choose what I do, since I want to do it all (of course). It’s great having my family around – we’ve been hanging out in the sunshine, watching basketball, and generally catching up.
Although I’m glad to no longer have the responsibility of a house, and not to be tied to one spot, it’s still kind of weird to be back. Seeing familiar places, remembering good times spent here, but also reminding myself that I had valid reasons for leaving. I miss picking fruit off the trees and listening to my friends play music at familiar places, but don’t miss the crazy drivers!
It’s also strange not to be working – I haven’t taken a break from my online job for quite a while. It feels weird to not have that pressure of work that needs doing hanging over my head. I even read and napped today, things I haven’t done in forever.
More fun times lie ahead. Sunday my sister and I are meeting high school friends for a quick catch-up. Monday is Trivia Night at a local watering hole, where they’ve become the Trivia King and Queen over the last few weeks. Tuesday it’s sunset on the beach with friends, before I leave Wednesday morning. And in between we’ll hit Harpoon Harry’s for our traditional picture, watch basketball, sleep late, suntan, and who knows what else?
Anyway, I hope you have fun plans for the weekend. I hope your weather is as gorgeous as ours is. And I hope your team is still in the Dance, and still winning! I’ll be back as soon as I have more stories to share. In the meantime, know that I’m having a wonderful time with my family – and rooting for Arizona in the Elite Eight!
(pictures by Shurl Gates – thanks Shurl!)