Pensacola in the morning

My quick jaunt to Pensacola is already a memory. But a good one!

I zipped across the state on Sunday, with Sirius radio keeping me company. Nothing like listening to a couple of NFL games to make the six-hour drive go a lot faster. Unfortunately, I got a late start because I had to deal with the flat tire issue. Remember the post about getting my flat fixed? Well, what I hoped was a cheap quick fix ended up being quick, but not cheap: the tire couldn’t be fixed, so I now have three old tires and one new one. So far this Solara has cost me more than my other Solara did in the 12 years I owned it, and I’ve only had it six months. Sigh. I see a trade-in in my future…

Anyway, I was in P’cola by mid-afternoon, which meant Jolee and I had time for a glass of wine and some catching up before we ran into town for groceries. We met at a writers’ workshop in 2007, and knew almost immediately that we were going to be friends for life. And through broken hearts and life changes and months and years, we have been. We don’t see each other often enough, but we take advantage of the times we DO spend together, and cram in a year of living in a few short days.

Her 7-year old twins remembered me, even though I hadn’t been there for a year, and also remembered that I love watching the sun set over the Blackwater River from their back porch. It’s interesting to track the changes in them each time I return: how much more independent they are, what topics they’re discussing, what foods they’re eating, what words they’re using. There aren’t many children in my life, so it’s been fun watching them grow.

We missed the sunset, but had an entire evening to catch up on what’s been going on in our lives in the year since we’ve been together (which is entirely too long, but it was kind of a long drive from Phoenix). Even so, we barely skimmed the surface – after all, a lot can happen in a year!

Monday was errand day. We stopped by her mother’s house and I was thrilled to have the chance to visit with her for a bit – she’s such a serene woman, and I envy the relationship she and Jolee have. Then it was home for more wine, more chatting, more good food. And wine at sunset – thankfully Jolee’s husband dragged us out of the office, where we were working, at the perfect time to catch the best sunset of the week. There’s just something about sunset over the water that’s magical; I have so many pictures taken over the years from their back yard, and they’re all equally gorgeous.

Tuesday was more of the same. More chores, more errands. But we found time to stop at the mall and shoe-shop (well, Jolee shoe-shopped; since I don’t wear real shoes, and have plenty of flip-flops, there wasn’t any shopping for me), and spent a luxurious couple of hours at the Olive Garden snarfing down soup and salad, wine, and some sinful baby desserts. Whoever thought of shrinking regular-sized desserts into itty bitty cups was brilliant. We laughed over the last time we ate there, when a man in the parking lot overheard one of our more X-rated conversations – I think his jaw must still be bruised from where it hit the pavement.

We had hoped to have a drink at the Florabama, an infamous bar on the Florida/Alabama border, but the weather and copious amounts of holiday traffic (and her husband) convinced us it was smarter to stay home. Next time…

And then it was over. The days were filled with talk, laughter, tears, reminiscing, celebrating, and mourning. Jolee and I are two peas in a pod – twin daughters of different mothers. Talking to each other is like talking to ourselves; we approach life in the same way, see things the same, feel the same, have the same experiences. Even if we don’t see each other for a year, we pick up where we left off as soon as we’re together again. There’s something about a friend who knows you that well – and likes you anyway. 🙂

The trip also further convinced me that my traveling shoes are worn out. I’d barely been in the car for an hour on Sunday, with five more hours to go, when I was ready to be done. How did I used to drive for weeks/months at a time, and think it was fun? It was SO good to walk into my condo this afternoon and know that I was home – and that I don’t have to go anywhere for a while. (Well, maybe a quick trip next week…hey, I didn’t say I was going to stop traveling completely!) I think that’s a good thing, considering I’m determined to make St. Augustine my home. But there will always be trips to Pensacola in my future…unless I can get Jolee to come over to this side of the state!

So my wonderful, but way too short, time with my twin is over. And I’m sad not to have her sitting next to me, sipping on wine, pouring out our hearts, sharing secrets, discussing life’s ups and downs, talking writing and kids and men and – well, whatever else we talked about. Time just went too quickly.

Another weekend looms. Tomorrow it’s dinner with Doug and Liane – friends are the family you choose. Friday it’s wine pouring at Tim’s Wine Market, then Jimmy and the band are playing at Hurricane Patty’s. It’s been way too long since I heard them play, so I’m really excited. And rumor has it some of my new friends might show up! There’s a craft fair this weekend downtown, Christmas decorations to put up, and football to watch.  I need to see the lights downtown, since I’ll be leaving on the 6th and will miss all of the holiday festivities. And who knows what other mischief I might get into…

Anyway, have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow! May you spend the day with people you love, or peacefully at home being thankful for your many blessings. Me, I’m thankful for my friends – for the special people who make my life full and rich and fun and fulfilling. Without you, my world would be a sad, barren place.

Happy Thanksgiving!! Gobble gobble!

(Thanks to my friend Kelly McGuire for the title of the blog today – it’s one of his songs from his CD, Redfish Island – you should buy it!)

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2 Responses to Pensacola in the morning

  1. Sandy says:

    Oh Beth, you are an amazing woman. I am so happy to have met you. Your travels, adventures, and writing, make me smile, sigh or just sit and think! I will definitely tell Kelly about the reference to his song, he will love it! I am so glad that you had an great time with your friend. And wish you a wonderful day, Happy Thanksgiving!
    HUGS to you!

    • Beth says:

      You are too sweet, Sandy! I’m so glad to have met you, too! We have great times in our future, as well. Thanks for the kind words – and for telling Kelly he’s (in)famous. He’s shown up in my blog a few times over the years, as have my other Trop Rock friends. 🙂 Hope you have a great day tomorrow with your family – Happy Thanksgiving!!

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