Out of Office Reply

We arrived in Florida late on undesirable flights due to a mix-up I had made with dates.  Because of the mix-up and its late discovery, we stayed the first night in a hotel in Sarasota that resembled a Quentin Tarantino movie set less the contrived lighting.

It’s a short drive to Boca Grande from Sarasota.  Driving on Florida highways always makes me wonder where people live.  Real people.  The people who are accountants and bankers and not fishing guides and small shop owners.  I have a skewed perception of coastal highways that open up to beach towns with nothing in between.

The last few years we have arrived around the same time and driven straight to a favorite haunt for lunch.  This year, as the waitress began to hand us our menus Bill said, “I think we pretty much know what we want.”  “How many years in Boca?”  We both turned to look at our oldest and said, “Fifteen.  Give or take a few in the middle.”  And I wondered, “Don’t you know us?  Don’t we look familiar to you?  We belong here.”

We spent the day at the beach.  When the boys grew hungry and headed back to eat I stayed to finish Middlemarch, George Eliot treating me better than Austen ever has.  At the house I showered with different soap and towels that smelled wrong and blew my hair with a dryer without enough heat.  All of these things would be unforgivable at home, vexing and bothersome.  At home these details are reminders of shortcomings, of things undone, errands not run.  They are reminders of an imperfect life.  On vacation they are negligible.  Nuance.  Insignificant compared to the sun and the release.

I have learned small things about myself on vacation.  I like to walk to town for the paper and coffee and bread. That fresh blueberries are delicious.  That having music on during the day is delightful.  Being away is wonderful in its own right, but the best of it is coming back better.

Heavens, I did not mean to be away so long.  A couple of projects kept me before we left and then I tried to unplug as much as possible while we were gone.  My apologies to Iris and anyone who noticed my absence and was concerned.  All is well, if somewhat messy and unorganized.  I should be back on track next week.

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18 thoughts on “Out of Office Reply

  1. Get -aways are great for the soul. Middlemarch is great for everything else – though I havent read it since my English novel class many moons ago – might be time to revisit it!

  2. The trip sounds fantastic–takes me back to our annual childhood family trips to Florida..Some way or another, many things stay the same. See you next week. Mary

  3. Sounds like your vacation was just what the doctor ordered. Good for you! We'll look forward to your official return next week.

  4. So glad you got away and unplugged. We will be back in Boca Grande in June. But now I am wondering, which lunch spot?

    Welcome back!

  5. We did miss you!

    Do you know our friends the Burches? I think they vacation at Boca Grande also!

    It sounds divine!!!

  6. Worried that you were not well. Glad it was all about rest and relaxation. We have missed your thought provoking posts.

  7. Love Boca Grande. It is such a fun place with kids. I wonder if we ever bumped into each other in years past….before I read your blog.

  8. I am glad to see you being a traveler like me. Not so concerned about the soap, the scent and all that!
    Being is key! And a good book to sustain you between meals of fresh everything.

    But there are others….The poor souls, looking for the perfect getaway,always.

  9. We are so grateful you love Sarasota & Florida. All of us regular people live quietly just off those beach highways. Look for the telltale sign of red tile roofs from the tops of bridges. We love our snowbird visitors. We're polite hosts and tend to stay in the background in March and April just until that perfect week after Easter when the weather is perfect and we have the towns and restaurants to ourselves.

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