Thursday, October 31, 2019

I Live In The Spooky House

No. That’s not my pumpkin. I didn’t even vaguely consider carving one this year. That particular Jack O’ Lantern was spotted in Jacksonville Beach last week. It was perched alongside many other carved pumpkins, most of them intricate works of art, in front of a restaurant. 
And I liked that one the best. It allows the true glory of the essence of pumpkiness to shine forth. 
It is the Zen Master of Jack O’Lanterns. 

So. It is Halloween. I bought four double packs of Reese’s Cups in case anyone comes by here for Trick or Treating. Which they won’t.
Not only is my front door almost hidden with palm fronds from the two palms in front, there are no lights on. Not because I’m trying to discourage little monsters but because our power is off. I suppose another tree fell on a line somewhere. I called it in and yes, Auto Lady informed me that they are aware of the problem and power should be restored by 8:45 this evening. 
We shall see. 
Meanwhile, I am writing this on my phone. 

I had a very different day today. First I went to Magnolia’s dance class. She loves dance now. She wore her Jesse from Toy Story costume 

and the only other student in class wore her mermaid costume. It would seem that dancing in a mermaid costume might be a little tricky but this girl managed beautifully. 

After class Lily and Maggie and I went to Publix and then I came home to wait for my friend Liz (not Lis) as we had a plan to go eat lunch at Mary’s Kitchen in Metcalfe, Georgia.  
I have written about trips to Mary’s before. It’s a beautiful little drive through the woods and fields and Liz and I chatted it up so much I was surprised when we got there. Ms. Mary’s is a simple place with no pretensions but it is amazing. 
We took a seat at a table on the porch which we shared with Mary’s grandson and we introduced ourselves. He was dressed in his kitchen whites and was eating his own lunch as it was almost closing time. The menu today was either lasagna with salad and two sides or fried chicken with Macaroni and cheese and two sides. Here’s what we both got. 

It was the best. That’s butter beans and squash with it. Honestly, I don’t know when I’ve had a better meal. 
Oh. Dessert came with. Pecan pie. With ice cream. 
It’s five hours later and I am still full. It’s the kind of place where there are three generations of family in the kitchen and somehow you just feel obligated to eat every morsel in order to show your true appreciation. 
And so we did. And it may have been a bit painful at the end but it was a mighty fine sort of pain. 
Speaking of pain, about a month ago Liz slipped in some mud when she was out in the middle of nowhere doing her job which involved mapping paddling trails (or something like that) and broke her arm. The people she was with managed to wrap it up, splint it with a palmetto stem and made a sling with someone’s old shirt. 
She was then able to crawl into her tent, bear the pain all night, get up and call some Florida Law folks she knew, get a ride back to civilization in their boat and DRIVE HERSELF HOME WHICH WAS TWO HOURS AWAY! 
This woman is amazing. 
She got the bones set and pins put in two days later but she’s been in pain ever since and today she got the pins out of her wrist and was so thrilled to be that much further along with healing. She asked me if I might wash her arm for her which she was now allowed to do. She’s not in a cast and took off the brace and she was in ecstasy with the warm water flowing over her poor arm. I carefully soaped it up with a little diluted Dr. Bronner’s, rinsed it, and dried it off. Anyone who has broken a limb knows the sheer vulnerability a broken wing can make you feel. 
I gave her some soup and bread and she drove off for home to take a nap in her own bed. I feel so guilty I haven’t been more helpful. Or ANY helpful. 
But I took my feelings of guilt and over-full tummy to my own bed and took a nap myself. Jack curled next to me and it was heaven. 

I just got a text from the power company. It was trees. Crews are working. Updated time of restoration is 7:40 pm. Again- we shall see. 

In the eight hours the temperature is supposed to drop forty degrees. The air feels quiet and yes, spooky. 
It is Halloween. 
Here’s something that’s not spooky. 

Owen and Sammy. 

I guess I shall go cook in the dark. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Well, That's Done

Damn, I'm tired. Today has been a long hard slog of it for me and I have been slapped in the face with the fact that the old gray Mary, she ain't what she used to be.

It all started out with a note from my husband saying that he was taking my jewelry and moving to Buenos Aires to be with his fabulous South American mistress.
No, no. Not really.
The note said that the freezer wasn't working and he'd call me after he got out of the gym.
I'd almost rather have heard about a mistress in Buenos Aires.
Again- and most definitely- not really.

So. Yes. Last night I had realized that the ice maker was not dispensing ice and that the freezer had taken on a spell of sweating. I told Mr. Moon and we did what humans do and rationalized all the symptoms to mean nothing, nothing at all! Just, this adjustment, that possibility.
You know.
But this morning when he went to make the smoothie and reached for the supposed frozen bananas in the freezer he discovered only a bag of mush and the ice maker still wasn't making ice.
What's a woman to do but to haul everything in the freezer out to the freezer in the garage in her laundry basket?
So I did that and almost killed myself because I'm so damn lazy I decided to carry it all in one go rather than make two trips.

And then I got to work in the garden. There was just a bit of weeding to get done before the tilling can happen and then the planting can happen and I'm way overdue on the planting.
So. That little bit of weeding took about three hours and although it was overcast and only in the low eighties, I sweated like a beast and my knees took the brunt of it all but that garden is cleared except for the sweet potatoes, the basil, and two very short, straggly rows of arugula.
See above. Try not to get dizzy.
I was too weakened by my efforts to hold the phone straight.

Oh! While I was out there weeding away, I heard the huge CRACKING noise that I now realize immediately is the sound of a very, very large oak tree or a very, very large oak tree branch breaking. Then the thud, although not a great thud.
The chickens next door who live right near where I heard the crack and thud went crazy and cackled and called and made their panic noises and I walked over to see what was what and indeed, a very large branch on a very large and extremely old oak had fallen but wedged into a fork of the tree.
I went back to weeding and the chickens regained their composure.
I swear- it would not be surprising if I died due to a falling tree branch. It's got to be at least a possibility in this yard. It would not be the worst way to go if it happened instantly. I'd hear the thud, look up, and BOOM! Done.

Anyway. I finished up the weeding, crawled into the house and took a shower because I was filthy. The kind of filthy that is going to require more than one shower to truly deal with. And then, and THEN, I set up the ironing board and ironed three episodes of an old Ricky Gervais series on Netflix worth of shirts.
I was talking to Jessie about needing to do ironing the other day and she said, "You never used to iron shirts," and I said, "That phase of my life is over."
It just makes the man feel so loved and like I've said a hundred times before- it gives me an excuse to watch TV in the daytime.
It's not really that strenuous. And it does give me a temporary sense of accomplishment.

Then I realized that the freezer was working fine again. The ice was being made and dispensed and so forth. So I went out and got all of my freezer stuff from the garage and brought it back in although this time I took two trips. I simply could not have carried it all in one load. I hope this was not a premature act.

The bed is going to feel very, very good tonight.

I feel the need to do a bit of bragging here. The bread I made yesterday turned out beautifully. Look at the way the Lloyd yeast rises the bread:

Isn't that pretty? 
We were watching the Great British Bake Off last night as we ate our soup and bread and it was bread week, coincidentally. For the very first time while watching this show I felt as if Paul Hollywood might have said, "Good job!" on something I've baked. 
Or, he might have said, "Bit chewy, isn't it?" and then looked directly into my eyes with those preternaturally piercing blue eyes of his (who doesn't have a bit of the hots for Paul Hollywood?) and I would have said, "Bite my ass, Paul Hollywood! I captured my own yeast to bake this bread. Use your damn teeth for what god gave them to you for."
And I would have won Star Baker. 


I just turned on the air conditioner. It's 78 degrees in my house. Tomorrow night, it's going to get down in the forties and I will probably turn on the heat because to us, that's like Frozen Tundra temps. 

This is just one of the many reasons we're so crazy here in Florida. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Oh, it was a rainy day today. I kept wishing I could send some of it to California. It rained torrents of rain. It was a wild and rushing and powerful rain. There was thunder and lightening and at one point I was on the porch and a bolt hit so close that I heard the thunder and the pop and saw the lightening at the same time. I told August about this later.
"Were you scared?" he asked.
"I was!" I said.
"Did you run?" he asked.
"No, but I did come into the house."
"Did you make a face like this?" And he made a terrified face.
"Yes!" I said. "I did!"

So I suppose it is obvious by now that Jessie and the boys came out for a visit. Before they came I made some little loaves of banana/apple/blueberry/pecan bread for them. Since Jessie isn't eating things like that, it makes me happy to make little treats for the boys. They weren't pretty, I'll tell you that. And they ended up being more mushy than bread-like but they tasted good. Jessie's diet is going well. She feels good and can already see some positive changes which of course, is the best motivation. She brought some avocado and cooked squash and cucumber salad and ate those and some of the roast chicken I cooked last night. I ate some of her squash and cucumbers and they were good. I put out some smoked salmon that Rachel left along with crackers and cheese and the boys ate some of that and a little bit of chicken and August ate some of the banana bread although Levon preferred the crackers. It was a veritable buffet!

When it was raining so hard I said, "Let's go sit on the porch swing and watch the rain!" and we all trooped out to the porch swing, Levon pushing the babies and some toys in the little baby carriage, but as soon as Jessie and I got settled, August said, "Let's go in and do a puzzle."
"Go in," said Levon.
He's at the repeating things stage. Sometime during the afternoon I said, "So rude!" about something or someone. I can't even remember but I must have said it with great drama because Levon kept repeating it in his little boy gravely voice.
"So rude!"
Here's a picture of him in the library.

Jessie keeps saying that she needs to make an appointment with Melissa for him to get his hair cut. 
"Oh, honey," I say. She laughs. She knows how much I love the babies with their long baby hair. They just look too old when they get that first real haircut. It's shocking and I don't like it. But I understand. He's going to be two in less than two weeks and I suppose it's time. He's not really a baby anymore but then again, he is. He isn't quite as obsessed with tractors and trucks as he was. Well, his vocabulary has expanded far beyond those two words. He did want to go out and look at Boppy's "big tractor" though.

Such a beautiful child. 

We read books in the library while Jessie got caught up on some of her diet/study related things. I really still can't believe, even after fifteen years that I live in a house with a library where I can read books to my grandchildren. But I do.

It's rather unbelievable. 

Before too long it was time for them to leave so that hopefully both boys would take a little nap. Good-bye treats were agreed upon and given.
Here's August in his car seat with a sprig of tea-olive that I picked for him. 

After they left I did some stuff around here and made a soup with venison and all the vegetables including a few of the tiny sweet potatoes I dug yesterday and the very, very last of the field peas which have been sitting, shelled and dried in a little bowl by the stove. 
I baked my loaf of sourdough bread (is this loaf #3 or #4?) and I did a few things differently and it looks fine. I hope it's done all the way through. Hard to tell when you're cooking in a cast iron pot. 

The laundry is all done and put away, supper is virtually ready. I've closed up the chickens who sleep in the hen house. Six do, six don't. The pine cone lilies are blooming and look lovely in my new Roseland Goodwill vase. I stuck the two succulents that I carefully dug from the woods in Roseland in a pot of dirt. 
This is such a small life. 
It's raining again. Lily sent me a very short video of Maggie running through a huge mud puddle on their road. I can't quite tell but I think she is naked except for a pair of underpants.
"Living her best life," Lily texted with the video.
Maybe I am too. A small life but my best life. Or at least the only one I am living right now.
Perhaps it would be even better if I shed my clothes and went out and danced in the mud like my beautiful curly-headed, strong-minded granddaughter.

Not tonight.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, October 28, 2019

And...Back On The Ranch

Today did not start out too well. I did another load of laundry, this time including two pretty little pillows that I got at a thrift store. I knew they were feather pillows and they had nice tropical linen-like fabric coverings. I've always wondered what would happen if a feather pillow broke in the washer and now I know because one of those pillows just completely lost its integrity during the spin cycle, I guess.
Luckily, not nearly ALL of the feathers escaped their covering for which I am eternally grateful but there were enough in the washer to bring me a bit of despair which only added to the despair I had woken up with but what can one do?
Sigh and start cleaning up feathers.
Which is what I did.
And I may even use the feathers that were remaining in the pillow case and the ones I collected from the washing machine to make another smaller pillow. Perhaps a pillow for one of the children to use when they come to spend the night.

I had to go to town to pick up a few things and I met Jessie and August at Costco. August was in a fine mood but unfortunately, the mood did not include him wanting to listen to a thing his mother or I said. The child is testing his limits, feeling his oats, and generally being a child.
A cute child. A giggly child. But a child all the same.
Jessie asked me if I had any advice.
I thought a moment and then said, "Yes. Get plenty of sleep so you can deal with this phase."
And that's as good as I can do.
I have always been a believer in the bribe-and-distract school of motherhood and that will work with August for a second or two if the object of bribery is good enough. Distraction doesn't seem to be working. I asked him to tell me all about how happy he was when his daddy got home but he just dashed off to hide between stacks of bottled water flats.
He'll be fine and Jessie will live through this but as we all know, it's not easy when it's happening.
I swear the child has grown noticeably in the week since I've seen him. I told him, "August, I think you've gotten taller this week."
"Yes," he said, "I have."
Well I do love that little monkey and his brother too. Vergil kept Levon while we were out because it was time for the little guy's nap so I didn't get to see him. He probably would have been all over the place following his brother if he had come along.

After Costco I went to Publix where the lady who checked me out was absolutely insistent on finding out if I was having a good Monday, if I had found everything I was looking for, if I needed stamps or anything else, and again- was I having a good day so far?
I almost broke down and told her that I was having a lot of anxiety, I'm sixty-five years old and am still not sure what I should be when I grow up, and that the state of our country is making me insane. And by the way- does she know about the wildfires in California?
However, I did not.
She asked me if I minded if she put my chicken in a plastic bag before it was put in my cloth bag. I said, "Yes, I do mind..."
But before I could finish my sentence she had tucked that sucker in a plastic bag and the bagger looked at me and I said, "It's fine. It's already in the bag."
More despair.
And really- such first world problems. Am I right?
She ended our encounter by telling me under no uncertain terms to HAVE A NICE REST OF MY DAY! and I couldn't wait to get the hell out of there. I wanted to tell her that no, I absolutely fucking refused to have a nice rest of my day and that she was not the boss of me but I didn't.
This is what I get for not going to Lily's Publix.

Then I had to go to the place where I get my compounded hormones. I love the lady who works there. She's got to be eighty and she's sharp as a razor and always dresses beautifully with full-on make-up and jewelry. Her son is the main pharmacist. There were some other ladies talking about how much the CBD at the counter cost but this woman wasn't having that. "It's magic medicine!" she said with great authority. "You can't believe how many people have told me it's changed their lives!"
When they first started selling it she told me that she'd been raised a good Baptist girl and it took her a long time to accept anything related to marijuana but that she'd tried it herself and she believed in it.
Bless her.
The phone kept beeping when it was my turn to check out and I said, "You can get that if you want," and she said, "Nah. I'm just hoping someone else will pick it up."
Like I said, I love her.

Then I came on home and unloaded the groceries and cleaned up some more feathers and got out in the garden to get it ready for tilling. I pulled spent zinnias (they've already reseeded) and weeds and tried to dig up a few sweet potatoes. I just do not know what I'm doing when it comes to sweet potatoes. I try to follow the directions I find online but I still haven't really figured it out. The ones I found today would be a lot more impressive if they were carrots but even for carrots they would not be overly huge. And in this case, quantity is not making up for quality.
It's a damn good thing I'm not a Florida pioneer woman with a family who depends on sweet potato pone for sustenance. But it was a good thing just to get in the garden. Maurice came and hung out with me as she does.

Then Fat Old Jack interrupted his twenty-hours of sleeping on my bed to come out and chase Maurice under the basil plant which is about as big as a dining room table now and settled down about ten feet away to make sure she didn't move. When I went back out an hour later to pick up the handful of miniature sweet potatoes I'd left on the ground, they were still there in the same spots. Mr. Moon chased Jack out of the garden and Maurice slowly and with great caution crept from under the bush, ran out of the garden and escaped to who knows where. 
That poor cat. 
Of course while I was petting her in the garden with my gloves on, she still managed to break the skin on my wrist with one of her bizarre attacks. 
I have no idea why my cats are so weird but they are. And of course I love them to pieces. 

So that's what I've done on my first day back. Oh. I also took the trash and recycle, watered the porch plants, fed my sourdough starter and made up a dough for a loaf of bread to be baked tomorrow. The more I read about sourdough bread, the more I realize I do not know except that I'm pretty sure I'm doing it all wrong. 
I think I'm supposed to use starter to make dough only after it's been sort of force fed and is foamy and bubbly instead of just using what I have and that I should allow up to three days to make a loaf. Say what? 
I say that if you can't get that shit going in twenty-four hours that it's too much trouble for me. 
Well, we'll see how it works out with the mere overnight rising with an obviously undernourished starter. 

Here's something I saw on Facebook today. 

Made me smile. Hope it makes you smile too. 

Or, whatever. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, October 27, 2019

One Of The Best Anniversaries Ever

That's a rather jumbled-up picture but the message is that the tea olive is blooming and the scent of that is what we were greeted with when we got home.
And that was a very nice thing.

So yes. We made it. It was hard to leave this morning. We got everything packed up and tidied up and I tried to leave the little Cabana House in as good a condition as possible. I walked around and gave the river my love and the bamboo and the palms and the mangos and I patted one of the lions' heads and told him that he was still doing a good job and I teared up and choked up. We drove to the breakfast restaurant we love and after we ate we hit the road and drove the interstates, mostly, just to get on home. We passed a horrible wreck. A car had driven off the interstate, down the embankment and into a tree. The car was wrapped and twisted and blackened. A fire truck was spraying the area down and an ambulance headed East with all sirens and lights so I guess that somehow, some way, someone survived.
I don't know how.
We were both silent for a few minutes, thinking about how quickly life can change, can end, can go so very dreadfully wrong.

But now we are here in Lloyd, and Hank and Rachel left the house in such good shape and that darling Rachel left enough food AND beer in the refrigerator that we could have a dang party now. I've got laundry going and have unpacked the kitchen stuff but haven't touched my clothes or jewelry or make-up or toiletries and I vow and declare never to pack so much again.
I didn't wear any of the jewelry I packed, mostly because I couldn't find my silver-polishing rag until I packed up to come home so I wore the same jewelry I left home in. A necklace and a pair of earrings.
I didn't wear a third of the clothes I took.
I used a little bit of make-up twice.
I didn't read all my New Yorkers although I did read an entire David Sedaris book (which takes about two hours, maybe) and started a book of short stories only to realize I'd already read them.
I took a pair of shoes that I never wore.
I took jackets that it never got cool enough to wear.
I forgot my hairbrush and had to buy a new one.
Let's face it- I suck at packing.

Whatever. I got everything there and back and all is well.

And it was a very good trip, honestly, in a lot of ways.
Despite anxiety and the uncertainty of the whole Mayo situation and my general state of stressed-outed-ness when we travel, we managed to have some very sweet time together, that man and me. Sixty-five year old people can be pretty loving.
Who knew?
And we laughed a lot. And god knows we ate a lot of crabs.

I did have a terrible nightmare last night. It was unlike anything I've dreamed in a very long time and it was so terrifying that I yelled out loud, waking myself and my husband up. It was so real that it makes me wonder how much about my childhood I may have blocked.
Ah well.

Like I said, it was hard to leave Roseland. It is remains absolutely unbelievable to me that it's still right there. And yet it is.
What a lovely glory that is to my heart. That place, that river, that sky and those trees and houses and the people who lived in them helped shape me into who I am when I was a child and they continue to mean so much to me now. When I think back on who I was then I imagine a little chubby grown-up woman with wary eyes behind blue cat's eye glasses, already worried about everything in the whole damn world. Or her world, which was the same thing at that age. And yes, many really awful things happened to me in Roseland but the fact is that there was so much to sustain and comfort me in the natural world that I not only survived but ended up feeling almost nothing but sheer love for the place. Roseland was never cruel to me. She only offered the sweetest fruits of life when I needed them most.

I better get back to unpacking and laundry and so forth.
Life flows on, doesn't it? Within you and without you.

Time to put the chickens up.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Down The White Sand Road

This morning Mr. Moon got up early and went to the Sebastian Inlet to fish which is something he loves to do when we're here. I love that there's something he truly enjoys doing when we're in my ancient land and so that is fine with me. I took a little walk while he was gone between rain showers. One second it would look like the picture above and the next there would be a downpour. That white sand road is the road that travels from just a little bit beyond where my grandfather lived to where we are staying now. It is a road I have walked many, many times and every step holds memories.
This is the house that some people say Mark Twain owned.
This is the house where I bought my mother a rhinestone pin at a garage sale. 
This is the road where we played marbles and where my favorite climbing tree was. 

I got to the little Community Park which I learned a few years ago that my grandparents donated the property for. Selfishly, I want to go to a lawyer and say, "Get me a little bit of that back!"
I wouldn't have to tell my brothers, would I?
(Sort of.)
I always look for the pine tree I remember because it got struck by lightening in a huge storm when I was little. Here it is.

And that's the scar where the lightening hit it. For decades that gash was black. But it has finally healed and look how tall it has become. 

It is easy for me to see this tree as a symbol for my own life. My scars may be deep and even visible but I am still here. I have survived. In some ways, I have thrived. 

I had to take a picture of the little Community Center where there was a tiny library and I got to check out my first books. 

Our neighbor and friend, Mrs. Mockeridge was the "librarian." She would set up her time stamp and ink pad and the marbled cardboard box where she kept the cards which were tucked into little pockets in the backs of the books with the names of the people who had checked them out, on a folding card table. There were three sets of bookshelves. One for children, two for adults. And after I had read all the children's books, Mrs. Mockeridge consulted with my mother as to adult books that I could read. 
I feel almost certain that those bookshelves no longer hold those same books if indeed they are even still there. There are blinds closed against the hot sun and I could not see in the windows. 
I wish I could have. 

Here's a fern growing on a tree in a jungly part of the block I used to live on. 
I took a picture of my grandfather and grandmother's old house but there are so many plants in front of it, you can't really see a thing. I have to keep the memory and images of it in my heart, I guess. It's probably good that I can't see it. It would only add confusion to my dreams. 
The house Granddaddy built for my mother and my brother and  is completely hidden by jungle now. Since that's the first place my stepfather lived with us I am glad of that. I do not need to see it. 

I got back here to the Cabana House and then Mr. Moon got home and we decided to go to a place we love for lunch. Ozzie's Crab House. And we always get the same thing which is the Neptune Platter and, okay, well, it looks like this.

Oh god. Yes. Yes. And yes, we did.
About an hour later the platter looked like this.

So okay, we do this about once every two years. And no, we're not proud of this. And no, we can't promise we'll never do it again. 
And in our defense, the shell-to-meat ration is pretty large. 
Lord, it was good. 

We came home and had to take naps. It was raining. We were so full. It's our last day here. Napping seemed the way to go. 

And then...sunset.

The rain had finally cleared and it was magnificent. 

The water was so flat and it was so quiet that a mullet leaping and splashing was a thing requiring attention and respect. 

I''m going to heat up our leftover pizza and make us a salad which is honestly more than we need.

Tomorrow we'll drive home. 

Sometimes I swear I don't really know where home is. But Roseland. Well, it's hard to leave. 
As usual, I dug up a few plants from the roadside jungle to take home and plant. 

They will have to go in pots because where I live now can get too cold for their tropical ways. 
Sometimes I can relate to that. 
Sometimes I wonder where it is that I truly belong. 
I wish I knew. 


Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, October 25, 2019

Our plan today was to eat breakfast here and then drive down to Vero and walk through McKee Botanical Gardens which, when I was a child, was McKee Jungle Gardens and a tourist attraction that my school visited and where I bought a tube of the most vile perfume ever made which was Orange Blossom but I loved it anyway. It was like an ointment. A perfumed, stinky ointment.
I only wore it on Sundays to church to keep it special.

Anyway, we visited the gardens and they were beautiful. Waldo Sexton (go ahead and google him if you'd like more information) was one of the founders of this place which means that there is some strange and beautiful stuff going on. That table which you can see above, is made of one slab of mahogany, can seat a hundred, and is to be found in the Hall of Giants.
Don't ask me.
Alongside the Hall of Giants is the Spanish Kitchen where one could grill a hundred steaks.
This makes perfect sense.

It really was lovely. The rain came and went as we walked the paths, the breezes blew and we admired the different palms, the ferns, the banyan trees, the water lilies, the orchids. 

And then we went to the Ocean Grill, my favorite restaurant in the entire world, where we have celebrated many anniversaries before. If you googled Waldo Sexton you'll know that he built that, too. I walk into that restaurant and smell the salt air, the cedar and cypress and the essence of seafood and I know I am home.

We had the best table in the joint today.

Day drinking! Onion rings! Oh, be still my heart.

Fried oysters. I had crab. There were corn muffins that were like cupcakes without the frosting. 
And the view from our table:

The ocean was whipped brine today, salt foamed waves as far as the eye could see. 
It was gorgeous. 

There's been more but I need to make a salad. I wanted to eat our anniversary lunch at the Grill but have our supper here so that I could watch the sunset. 

Thirty-five years of marriage. I think we're celebrating in good style.

And now, I will tell you the secret to a happy marriage:

Marry the right person. 
A kind person, a caring person, a hard-working person, a person who makes you laugh and who can make you feel safe. A person who tries very hard to make you feel loved in all regards. A person who respects you and whom you respect. Who accepts and loves you as you are. A person who makes you want to be kind and caring and hard-working. A person you want to make laugh. A person you want to make feel safe. A person who might make an excellent grandparent.

Okay. All of that and the use of good manners. 
And plenty of honeymoons, scheduled as regularly as possible. 

That's about all I have to say. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, October 24, 2019

My Love And I

These are the gates that I first walked through as a child to find an almost impossibly fantastic sight. A huge cement pool, empty, with four lions, one at each corner, guarding the space because it was their job and their purpose.
This is the place I saw over fifty years ago which was the shell of the beautiful little cabana house where we are staying and some burned ruins which have been rebuilt into a perfect little living space for renters and a sweet stucco house where the landlord and his husband live.
And the pool is the pride of the place.

It is huge and it is beautiful and the lions remain at each corner, still at guard. 

It truly is one of the miracles of my life that I get to come and stay here, to swim in the exact same pool that fired off a million questions and fantasies and dreams in my eight-year old brain. 

I have been sending my kids a series of pictures from the pool that are silly. Just plain silly. 
Last night I sent them this one.

And texted, "Damn Flamingo photo-bombing my picture!"

This morning they got this:

"Interspecies love!" I texted. We discussed how sweetly they are gazing at each other. How sad and yet, how tender they are.

Then came this. 

Uh. Excuse me? And no, I did not set this up in any way. 

And then, and THEN...came this. 

Menage a trois? 

Okay. Things had gone too far. And the flamingo soon agreed with me and flew off the lion and under the bananas to look on in disbelief. 

It takes so little to amuse me. 

Besides taking pictures of saucy cement lions and float toys, we also went to breakfast at a favorite place where all of the servers are female, old enough to qualify for Medicare, and who could kick your ass. I got one egg Hollandaise and it was delicious. We hit up the Goodwill and then the local church thrift store. I bought some place mats, a vase. The usual. Then we came back to the cabana house and spent the afternoon celebrating thirty-five years of marriage. And swimming in the pool. And laughing. This man and I travel well together. 
Our most beloved phrase so far since we got here is "You're a cracky." 
Remember when August came up with that one? 
I kept telling him that he cracked me up and he finally said, "Yep. I'm a cracky."

And then there was sunset. 

My man fished off the dock. 

I saw dolphins surfacing and plenty of mullet jumping. Osprey cried on their way home to their nests. A train went by on the trestle that Henry Flagler built around 1893. 

And we spent time being absolutely quiet, watching the sky and the river, and letting the peace prevail. 

I will admit that the fire of anxiety which was lit earlier in the week has flared up at times. I wish with all of my heart that this was not a part of my life but the fact remains that it is. 
I deal with it. My husband is kind to me and holds my hand. 
I recover. 

We're about to eat a pizza and Mr. Moon is working on a jigsaw puzzle that we bought at the Methodist Church thrift store. All is well in Roseland. 
I am still so incredibly glad to be here. 

Love...Ms. Moon