So I guess I am going to write this in chronological order…but don’t be surprised if my train of though skips track and ends up elsewhere…(Also I apologize if this bores anyone…I am getting my thoughts in order as I write. …it’s kinda more for me rather than anyone else…like free writing.)
Last Tuesday April 23, I left work and went home to drag my suit case into the living room before going to bed. (…okay I actually finished up a lot of last minute preparations before I hit the pillows….) I awoke late in the afternoon, spent sometime with the kids, ate dinner, then finally hauled my suitcase outside and tossed it into the trunk of my car. I stalled and piddled around as long as I could because I was nervous about my current undertaking.
I didn’t want to leave my kids, even though I knew they would be in good hands and I had back up plans for my back up plans just in case anything went wrong while I was gone. Finally I forced myself into the driver’s seat and turned the ignition. I was on my way. The first miles of a ten hour trip, driving by myself (at night) to Florida.
The traffic was reasonable and the road construction not too bad. The sky was beautiful. The moon was so bright that it seemed more like driving on an overcast day rather than the middle of the night. It made me miss my old Camero. I would have loved to be able to look up through the glass of the T-top to see the stars.
She is one of the strongest and bravest people I know. She had been living in my Uncle’s house since the beginning of the year to take care of him as his health declined. She was still there to sort out his estate and the leftover business that comes when a loved one dies.
My plan was to stop in, check on her, and have a nap on her couch. She’s been having a rough time lately. (Family drama, a divorce, and finishing the last few credits for her degree…among other things) We went to breakfast and enjoyed decent conversation before she offered me a guest room and the chance to nap on the softest bed known to man. (It reminded me of the bed in the guest room of our grandmother’s house when we were kids.) I couldn’t sleep though. I tried but my brain would not shut off long enough. So after a couple of hours I got back up and my cousin decided we should go take a walk on the beach at Pine Island. It was nice and relaxing. There were dozens of other people there too but walking in the surf and breathing in the salt air made them fade into the background.
I had planned on getting back on the road again soon because I had to make it to Orlando. (A couple of hours away) My friend Alicia was flying in from D.C. and was my accomplice and co-adventurer for the trip. In fact she planned almost all of it. (requesting input from me when needed of course)
Unfortunately, she made it as far as the air port before she realized she had left her passport at home. She called me to let me know our plans would have to be delayed if she couldn’t make her flight in time and would have to take a later one. We had dinner reservations for Medieval Times and since I had never been it was a little disappointing. However, it gave me more time to spend with my cousin. Michelle is eleven years older than me so we never really had any one on one time growing up. Her baby sister Samantha (who died from Cystic fibrosis in 2000) was my best friend.
We talked and drove to a couple of spots she knew in search of manatees. I saw new fish and a crab, a squirrel and a bunch of birds but no manatees. It was too early in the day. Soon, I received another phone call from Alicia saying she had gotten her neighbor to meet her half way with her passport and so she would make the flight after all. I said good bye to my cousin, and headed toward Orlando with various plans to come visit her again running through my head.