"Keep to the present,"
and nowhere is this simpler to obey
than when I'm on a white sand beach,
watching blue-green waves tumble onto the shore.
This was my Valentiine's Day gift to my husband.
I yearned to go,
but I knew I wouldn't be able to convince him
that a trip to the Gulf Shore of Florida,
in the middle of the longest winter,
was not only possible.
It was necessary.
It felt like an idea from God.
I lined up the dates with my friend and hostess,
bought the tickets,
and waited, nervously,
for four long weeks,
before I told Nate.
The gift went over like a lead balloon.
He had a job that week.
Everything would be delayed.
This was terrible timing.
Someone would have to go in his place.
As you can see,
(And we brought a cute little chaperone).
It was glorious.
I am married to maybe the only guy in the world
who packs black socks and tennis shoes
as his footwear
for a beach vacation.
Naples was our favorite.
I've been there several times,
but never to the pier.
This is the western view off that famous, crowded, weathered pier.
We were late to both of our sunsets.
And neither evening had the globe of sun,
flattening like an egg yolk,
pouring into the horizon.
So all our sunset pictures are dark.
I was so happy to be there,
with my husband of almost 26 years
and our game little toddler,
I reveled in the moment,
even though it wasn't perfect.
On our last day,
we went to the Edison and Ford Museum in Fort Myers.
The banyan trees are tangled gray giants,
weaving into the earth and amongst themselves.
A storm blew in, a bad one,
with a tornado watch,
so we hunted down a Peruvian restaurant
called "El Gaucho Inca,"
and ate one of the best meals of our lives.
We're glad we went.
We're happy to be home.
I hope my happiness is not dependent on the weather, but oh!
how lovely it was to stretch out in warm sunshine,
with my baby at my side, scooping his little shovel in the sand,
and for a few days,
forget about bitter cold and snow.
"The weather and my mood have little connection.
I have my foggy and my fine days within me;
my prosperity or misfortune has little to do with the matter."