Friday, February 15, 2013

Time and Space

Here in the Northeast there are far fewer folks feeling the love for the prognosticating groundhog from Pennsylvania than there were just two short weeks ago.  In fairness to the little fur ball, while he predicted an early Spring he did not provide a specific reference point.  Who is to say he was talking about those of us who live in a part of the world where there are several seasons a year?   

In furtherance of my defense of my man Phil, the Missus, Joe and I only returned home a couple of days ago from our extended-stay trip to Florida and I have it on very good authority (namely the tan that I am sporting in spite of being slathered from head to toe daily in SPF 1000.9 sunblock) that where we were it felt very much like Spring.  Truth be told, more often than not it felt quite a bit like early Summer.  The weather was so delightful that I logged upwards of 36 or 37 miles of road running all the while never wearing anything heavier than a short-sleeved t-shirt and a pair of shorts.  

There was no "bad" part of our trip to Florida.  Rather it was a compilation of good moment atop good moment.  Hell, even when United Airlines cancelled our original flight home (I drop the word "original" in there because they subsequently cancelled our second flight home as well) they did so thirty-six hours ahead of its scheduled departure.  While staying in Florida three nights longer than anticipated carried with it financial consequences - because not only does nobody ride for free they do not rent a car for free or stay at a resort for free either - United's timely notification enabled us to spend the additional days in Florida at the same beautiful place we were already staying as opposed to camped out on plastic seats in the terminal at Orlando International Airport.  

In a week-plus of really, really good times the highlight for me was our trip to Jupiter to visit Mom.  I am not a frequent visitor to Mom's in Jupiter.  Truth be told, until I flew down there roughly five years ago when she had to be hospitalized for a heart-related procedure I had not ever been there in spite of the fact that she has lived in Florida since 1997.  Mom is eighty-two plus years old.  She is without doubt the single toughest, strongest person I have ever known - having survived three-plus decades of marriage to Dad, having raised six kids (including getting the final three of us through college AFTER his death and having lived at this point longer as a widow than she did as a wife.  She has been tested and challenged by too many health issues to count, including but not limited to breast cancer more than a quarter-century ago.   

Joanie K. is tough as nails.  But she is also human.  And even a feisty octogenarian is a frail octogenarian.  The past several times I had seen Mom - prior to last week - it had seemed to me as if that frailty was on full display.  Not last week.  Last week Mom seemed as full of fire and of vigor as I have seen her in some time. One of my most prized possessions is a photograph of Mom and me that either Kara or Jill took a lifetime ago when I graduated from CU.  May 12, 1989.  I have it presently where I have had it for years, which is on the top shelf of the bookcase in my office - in my line of sight.  A week ago Wednesday Margaret took a couple of photographs of Mom and me that shall in short order find their way to that hallowed ground. 

A trip to Florida that began on my forty-sixth birthday included a day in which I was reminded of just how good it was to feel like a little kid.  Talk about travelling through time.  Irrespective of my age, I shall always be my mother's son.   Almost five decades further on up the road, it still has one hell of a nice ring to it.



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