Thursday, September 30, 2021

A Love Letter

When I went to let the chickens out this morning, I looked up to see pecan leaves twirling slowly down in a graceful fall. They are always the first to lose their leaves in autumn and the last to get them in the spring. Although it is still quite warm here, the humidity is noticeably less and that alone makes it feel like fall. 

Letting the chickens out and filling their feeder was about the only damn thing I did today. I don't feel bad, I've just had no energy. I spent almost the entire day sitting on the couch, watching TV and hemming a blanket and then stitching up a pillow that needed mending. 

And I feel like a complete waste of space. I know that it's okay to have days like this. Yesterday, although I didn't feel as if I was doing much, I was expending energy. 

Meanwhile, my husband has been a whirl of activity and doing. He is leaving Saturday morning for almost two weeks in Canada and is trying to get everything tied up neatly before he leaves. This morning he took a friend of ours who just had a knee replacement to town to see the doctor and then ran a few errands with him and took him to the grocery store. This man of mine is such a good man. He is kind and is never hesitant to help someone out whether a friend or a stranger whose car has broken down on the side of the road. If one of our children needs help of any kind, he is there to provide it, no questions asked. After all these years he continues to amaze me, surprise me with his goodness. While we were on the road last Friday, he got a call from a woman who is looking for a new car and he spent at least half an hour talking to her about the pros and cons of different vehicles and it was almost fun, listening to him in his professional capacity. He's selling almost no cars himself right now due to the shortage of the pre-owned, quality cars he has always sold. He flat-out tells folks that he can't get them what they want for the money they want to pay. Prices have gone up astronomically and he simply can't find the cars. But he still spends a great deal of time talking to people about their options, giving advice. Helping. 

Here's something I found sweetly hysterical: 
The other day he was going to town and asked me if there was anything I needed. I told him that due to the antibiotics I'd been given in the hospital I was developing a yeast infection. (Sorry to any men who may be reading this but women do have vaginas and we do get yeast infections and they are a torment.) So he said to me, "Of course. Do you want me to get you some Monistat?"
I was amazed. 
"How do you know about Monistat?" I asked. 
"I've lived around women for a long, long time," he said. 
And he bought me some. 

Now THAT is romance. Roses are nice but yeast infection treatment is infinitely better if you need it. 

It's funny how often I dream that he is leaving me, has left me. You'd think after thirty-eight years of being together and his constant telling me and showing me in so many ways that he loves me, I would not be so obviously subconsciously worried about his devotion. And yet, I must be. It's a common theme in these dreams that he has another woman and a child with her and that he is done with me and is ready to be with her. 
I think she enjoys hunting and fishing. 
It occurred to me the other day though, after one of these dreams, that it may be that it's the dark, old memory of my first real boyfriend leaving me that I am dredging in these murky waters and that my sweet husband is just taking the brunt of that still painful desertion. I hardly ever think of that boy now, but honestly, it was devastating when it happened. And who knows? There may well be some leftover trauma from not seeing my real father from the time I was five to the time I was thirty. The message was given quite clearly and firmly that men leave. That's what they do. It's hard to shake these early lessons.

When I wake up from these dreams, it takes me a moment to realize that the man in my dreams who was so callously telling me good-bye bears no resemblance to the man I sleep next to every night. Who is as free with his kisses and embraces as he was when I was a beautiful young thing. Who always sets my coffee cup out in the morning beside the coffee pot. Who comes in to check on me when I go to bed to read before he comes to bed. "Can I bring you anything?" he always says. Who never fails to thank me for our meals. Who tells me how lucky he is. 

I am the lucky one. 

Last night he was stretched out in bed beside me and I thought "how beautiful he is." And he is. Yes. He is older but in many ways he is more handsome to me now than he ever was. He is my regal Viking, my gentle giant, the man whom our grandchildren run to, screaming his name. 

When Covid first became an apparent serious situation and we realized we were all going to have to virtually quarantine, I wondered how we would do, the two of us. I have been so used to him going off to work every day, coming home at night. To my joy, we have become closer in these past almost-two years. We can not only tolerate each other, we can be content and happy with each other's presence. We seem to both have a great need to take care of each other in the ways that we do that. And our appreciation for each other has only grown. 

I'm going to miss him when he's gone. I mean- really miss him. Generally when he goes off on these man-trips, I'm a bit sad but also a little excited at the idea of eating all of the Le Sueur baby peas and salmon I want. To have less laundry, less dirt on the floors, a bed that is made up with a tug of the sheets, a quick tuck, and a straightening of the quilt. 

Yeah. Not so much now. 

Ironically, the older we get, the more I want him to be able to freely go and do the things in the woods and fields that bring him joy and at the same time, the more I know I will miss him.

I can only hope with all of my heart that he goes and has a good time and then comes home safely, whole, and well, and eager to sleep in his own bed with his own old wife again. 

I didn't start out here tonight to write a love letter but it would appear that that's what I've done. That's what I'm thinking. Of how much I love him, appreciate him, know that he is truly, as Joni Mitchell once said, "As constant as the Northern Star". 
God, I'm lucky. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The Birthdays Continue!

Guess what today is? 
It is August Glinden's sixth birthday! He is now well and truly six years old. The picture above is what he looked like today. Here is what he looked like six years ago.

He's changed a bit. 

I called their house this morning and August barely wanted to discuss his birthday. Or anything. He was busy doing his Spanish school work. Also, he knew they were going to go to a movie this afternoon. A real movie in a real movie theater! 
"Paw Patrol."
God bless the parents who take their children to wretched children's movies. 
Levon had never been to the movie theater so this was a big deal. Jessie sent me pictures. 

A movie, popcorn, and cotton candy! Jessie said there were only four other people in the whole theater so she felt pretty safe, exposure-wise. By the end of the movie, both boys were in one seat which Jessie reported was big enough for them to be cozy and comfy. 

After the movie they came out here for a visit and I was so glad to see them. I gave August the present we got him which he already knew he was getting. It was a huge set of Lincoln Logs. He immediately toted the bucket into the Glen Den and built this.

Sorry about the lousy picture. I did not feel like getting down on the floor to take it. So I didn't. 

Boppy came home about this time and they all took golf cart and go-cart rides. Big fun. I had made a banana bread and everyone had a piece of that. I read the boys a few books including one that August found that I have no recollection of owning and plan to throw out. It's a Yo Gabba Gabba book and, despite its vast lack of any literary redemption, elicited the best moment of the day. There's a part where one of the bizarre creatures asks, "Do you want to be one of our friends?" and after I read that August said, "I don't think so."
He's real sassy now that he's six. 

So that was all very fun and Lily also came by today after work and before she had to pick up the children. We got to visit awhile and I gave her the birthday present we got her which was a very nice food processor because she needed one and I use mine all the time and I know she'll use hers. 

Besides all of that, I've taken it very easy today. I finished watching "The Family Tree" and am so very, very sad that there was only one season. Just a charming show. Excellent writing, stellar cast. Wicked funny in that Christopher Guest sort of way. He was one of the creators. With each episode I was delighted to see more actors whom I know and love, from Ed Begley, Jr. to Graham Greene who played Kicking Bird in "Dances With Wolves" and whom I adore. And I was introduced to new (to me) actors who were fabulous. The series is all about family and acceptance and it's just sweet. 
So yes. Highly recommend. Thank you, May. It's like you know me. 

It's been a very fine day all around and I've been thinking about August's birth today, just as two day's ago I was thinking of Lily's and three days ago I was thinking of Owen's. Birth Days are the very best days, aren't they? If you want to read about August's birth, the link is HERE. 

Last night's soup and bread were so good that we're going to do it again tonight. That soup would sustain life all by itself and if you add in the bread it's...well. Royal. 

All right. Happy birthday, August! Here's to your sassy, six-year old self. And happy Birth Day to Jessie and Vergil who brought that boy into the world just the way I wish that all babies could be born with so much love and so much strength and so much joy. 

Love, love, love...MerMer, aka Ms. Moon

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

And Then...BOOM!


Man. Today has been crash-day. I am absolutely regretting everything I did yesterday which, in retrospect, was way too much. What is wrong with me? 
Did I REALLY need to change the sheets and do three loads of clothes and make up a sourdough loaf and go out to the garden and sweep a few floors and...oh god. I don't even know. 
No. I did not need to do all of that. 
And I paid for it today.
I spent the first half of the day in Mr. Moon's chair which brought back memories of last year when I broke my ribs and practically lived in it for six weeks. Maurice and I watched six episodes of a series on HBO called "The Family Tree" which May recommended to me and it was seriously good. And that chair is seriously comfortable. 
Then I went to bed and read and slept for awhile. I think I must have been manic yesterday. Not in the clinical sense but in the I'm-not-in-pain-and-I-survived-surgery-woo-hoo! sense. I really did have a lot of energy. 

Not today. 

The only thing I've done is make a pot of vegetable soup. And I probably shouldn't have done that. I feel weepy and stupid and weak and pathetic. But I am not in pain. I do feel like maybe my body is rearranging itself around the absence of the appendix like a cat rearranging itself on a bed after a pillow has been removed. Does that make sense? It does in my mind. 

Anyway, I've rested today and will rest again tomorrow. I am not, as I always say, SuperWoman. I am BarelyAdequateWoman. BarelyAdequateWoman whose organs are in disarray. Who went through a bit of a trauma. Whose family will help her in any way she needs. All she has to do is ask. 

So you want to hear something that I found amusing? I was going through that list of instructions they give you when you leave the hospital after getting surgery. The nurse, a beautiful woman named Gladys May, went through them with me before I left, so I was just scanning them yesterday and they use the words "poop" and "pooping" instead of more proper and formal terms like "defecation" or "bowel movement." There are many, many references to this very human function because after surgery, especially if one was given or is taking narcotics, that function may be more difficult. I suppose that almost everyone is familiar with the words poop and pooping and in the scheme of things, they are more acceptable than, oh, say, shit and shitting.
I think that poop is a friendly word, don't you? 
And NO! I am not still on drugs. Why do you ask?

Again- thank all of you for the very, very sweet comments. Despite my predictable sinking of energy today, I am really doing very well. I am looking forward to my soup and sourdough bread and then perhaps a shower and then going back to bed. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, September 27, 2021

Taking It Easy

 Every time I go to Roseland I dig up these two types of succulents from a spot near the house we used to live in. They still grow in that same place, sixty years later. For whatever reason, the ones I try and transplant here just never make it but I am not giving up. They are supposedly indestructible succulents but although I mostly do not kill my plants, succulents are my weak spot. Perhaps these will make it. They're pretty, aren't they? The rather pointy looking one is called "Mother of Millions". Seems like she'd grow for me, doesn't it? 

Thank all of you for your comments on yesterday's post. I am humbled. It was quite an experience, really, and one I'd rather not ever try to replicate, but for what it was, it was the best it could have been, I think. The timing- what if it had happened the day before when we were on the road? And also the time of day. Getting into surgery so quickly and easily was amazing. I didn't have to go to bed the night before, worrying like crazy about getting up the next morning and having to be at the hospital at six a.m. or anything like that. 
Just...problem... problem diagnosed... problem solved. 

And like I keep saying- the people were all so very nice. And interesting! Perhaps it is a sign that one needs more human interaction when one finds pleasure in talking to people who are caring for her when she's in the midst of an appendicitis episode. 
After the morphine took effect, of course. I wasn't too happy about any of them before that to be honest.
Maybe I just need to do more drugs. 
Speaking of which- my surgeon prescribed me thirty hydrocodone. Excuse me? 
Isn't there some sort of opioid addiction crisis? I haven't even needed an Ibuprofen today. Seriously. I took my bandages off this morning. I have three small incisions. Tiny. I will take a shower tonight. 
I have done more laundry today and changed my sheets. I'm sort of obsessed with clean sheets, aren't I? I walked out to the garden and picked zinnias (still blooming!) and two pockets-full of peppers (still making) and some late-blooming roses. 

I've talked some on the phone which is a pretty big deal for me. One of the people I talked with was my  Lily whose birthday it is today. I feel like I've just missed all the birthdays this week and of course I really have. But it was so good to talk to her. She and Lauren got to go out of town last weekend for a wedding and they had a good time and I'm so glad of that. And Lauren got the kids ready for school this morning and took them so that Lily could stay in bed which is a very nice birthday present. Lauren is a jewel and a love. I am so proud of Lily. The past two years have not been easy ones but I can see her growing stronger and more capable and more herself every day and it's a joy. 

One other thing I did today was read some reviews of the Rolling Stones' first concert of their tour. Sounds like they're still doing it. I watched a few videos from the concert too and they seem more somber and more sober than they ever have before. Charlie's death has hit them hard. But Mick is still wiggling those hips and skipping down the catwalk and Ronnie and Keith seem to be reaching new heights with what Keith calls "The ancient skill of guitar weaving" together. Steve Jordan, the drummer that Charlie chose to work with them is doing a fine job. 
But he's not Charlie Watts. 
The show opened with a montage of images of Charlie and after they played a few songs, this happened. 

Just like Keith to grab Mick's hand and hold it while he gave a tribute. And I loved the grin on Keith's face when they played "Street Fighting Man" and Mick sang, "But what can a poor boy do, 'cept to sing in a rock and roll band?" 

Our across the street neighbor made us a big pot of chicken and dumplings for supper and that's heating up. Mr. Moon is home from his errands in town. I missed him while he was gone. 

I'd say something here about how, as time passes, you come to recognize and appreciate those you love so deeply even more whether you're the Rolling Stones or a married couple. But hey- you already know how I feel about all of that. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Since Last We've Talked, I've Lost An Appendix

 Lovely, eh?

This is where I woke up this morning. I was home soon after but it was quite an unexpected turn of events for me yesterday. 

I started having abdominal pain yesterday morning. And it just kept getting worse and worse. Some nausea but not really. And nothing relieved the pain. I curled up on the bed but that didn't help. I walked around a bit but that didn't help. Maurice stuck with me the whole time, wherever I was. My nurse cat. Finally, I told my husband that I needed to go to an ER. And the last time that happened was in 1988 and I had a kidney stone. So you know I felt there was something seriously wrong.

Our main hospital in Tallahassee has a free-standing ER in another part of town from the hospital and that's where a friend of ours who is a scrub nurse recommended we go. And so we did. There was almost no wait-time and there were hardly any people there at all. I was soon in a room with an IV started and blood being drawn and was given pain meds which really did almost nothing. It was severely intense. My poor husband wanted to help me so bad and I couldn't even stand for him to touch me. They suspected...I don't know. Something that didn't sound right to me but then they did a CT scan and soon I was being told that my appendix was the culprit. I appear to have had a very large and very swollen appendix which stretched across my belly farther than it should have been. 
And the ER doc informed us that he had already consulted with a surgeon and that thing was coming out that night. 
And indeed it was. 

They transferred me to the hospital in a "vanbulance" and by this time I'd been given some morphine and was not in a bad mood at all. As one can imagine. I kept apologizing for being so loopy but everyone was so kind to me and the man who rode in the back of the van with me chatted with me the whole way. You'll never guess what we talked about- Mormons! 
It started when he told me the story of his worst pain which was a kidney stone. He was in Africa at the time and had no access to good health care. I asked him if he'd been on a Mormon mission and no, he had not, but a large part of his family IS Mormon. 
I told him about my Mormon Stories obsession and we had quite a bit to talk about. 

We got to the hospital and again, the part I was in was almost absolutely deserted except for staff and perhaps one other patient that I saw. I have to say that if you're going to get emergency surgery, do it at night! By this time it was quite late. The surgeon came in and gave me his little speech. I liked him fine. Our scrub nurse friend had given him a very high recommendation and that made me feel quite relieved. All of the staff were just as nice as could be. There's a different vibe in a hospital at night, isn't there? The anesthesiologist came in and we went through his long form of questions and explanations. His assistant gave me the pre-op meds in my IV, and I have a very vague memory of being wheeled down the hallway on a stretcher I moved to on my own steam and the last thing I remember is looking up at the OR lights and thinking, "They haven't turned them on yet," and then I was waking up back in the area I'd been before and I have little memory of that, surprisingly, although they told me that all had gone well. They did the surgery laparoscopically and I have three different bandages which I'm fairly sure cover small incisions. 

Glen had been waiting the whole time in the surgical waiting room which he said was completely empty and they let him come up and see me. He'd had to go through the entire situation without any drugs at all! How unfair! 

And then they wheeled me to the room I spent the night in. My nurse was named Mary- second Mary nurse of the day for me. And it was the typical night in a hospital. But I was so relieved to not be in pain and have everything taken care of that I was not bothered. I was able to get up (with assistance) to go to the bathroom and Mary made sure that my pain was under control. It was never that bad. I'd been told that I could go home in the morning and sure enough, by nine or so, I think, I was out of there. The surgeon had come by at 6:30, just getting off his shift, to make his last rounds and he woke me up by shaking my feet which is so like a surgeon, isn't it? 
I've been told that I can do whatever I feel like with the exception of lifting anything heavier than ten pounds for three weeks. 

Mr. Moon, almost as tired as I was, drove me home and it was so good to get back into my own bed. Maurice resumed her nursing duties. She had slept with Glen the whole night before. 

Can you see that she's been in another fight? 
That cat. 

I've slept almost the whole day while Mr. Moon went back to town to get my prescription for pain meds which I'm not even sure I need and some food and stuff. 

He's resting now. 

I did fold some clothes and am trying to move around some because I know I should. They pump air into you when they do laparoscopy and it can take a while to make its way out, I hear, causing a lot of shoulder pain. So far I've had none of that but would like to avoid it. Again, our scrub nurse friend said that walking and GasX can help. 

I've missed the big Owen, Lily, Vergil, August birthday party today. Mr. Moon did go by there with a card and some money for Owen. He is twelve years old today! 

The kids have all offered so much help but we really don't need much, I think. If any. It has been a very different experience for me. I have never had an organ removed in my life. Never a real surgery. I truly have to say that I was treated with such compassion and care in both of the facilities I was in. I was not even in a panic to leave this morning. In a strange way, that little hospital room was quite cozy, even with the bedside commode right there. I am grateful that I did not need it. I am grateful not to be in pain. I am grateful for the fact that we have insurance. I am grateful for the fact that we are close to medical help. I am not grateful that my appendix went out on me but I am very grateful that it is gone now. 
I am grateful to medical science. I am grateful for pain meds and compassion. 
I am most grateful for my husband, my family, whom I knew were loving me, even when I could not bear touch. Who are here to take care of me if I need it. 

I am grateful to be where I can see the sun going down and my chickens out in the yard in peaceful Lloyd.

Love...Ms. Moon

P.S. Please forgive my grammatical errors here. I'm still working through these meds. 

Friday, September 24, 2021

We Are Home

 And all is well. 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Things DO Change

I am back to feeling a bit flat today but that is to be expected. First of all- we are leaving tomorrow morning. Secondly, the so-very anticipated river journey was not as it used to be and although I am loathe to be one of those people who disdain the new in service of the old, in this case that would be completely rational. 

When I took the river cruise before, the boat made a leisurely journey up the south fork of the Sebastian River, thus providing views of beautiful homes on one side and of the river islands on the other. There is even a huge home and compound on an island that has, if I recall correctly, a helicopter pad. I'm not talking about a Koreshian type of compound but a fabulously wealthy family's compound, a fantasy of beautiful houses tucked away in trees and mangroves. 
However, now there is only a trip down the north fork of the river which is fine but not nearly as interesting. Especially if you're from Florida. 

I mean- that's beautiful, right? Of course. But it seems like there was even less wildlife to see on this fork. We saw a manatee, one dolphin out in the Indian River, and some birds. I had just realized that we were not going to do a lap of the north fork when an alligator was spotted and I could not be moved to even stand up and look. 
Please. I see alligators every time I go swimming. 
Almost. But still. 
Mr. Moon reports that it was very small. 

We did pass through the old trestle bridge and as you can see- it has served its time. 
And here is a lovely osprey, taking a rest from his fishing.

The man who did most of the talking for the tour told me that the company that owns the boats and business did not want the boats to go up the north fork anymore. He did not give a reason but said that the captain was fighting it. 
I bet.
I imagine the residents with their palatial and very private homes may dislike having peons from a pontoon boat gawking at their houses, yards, pools, and docks twice a day although I have never once seen a person down by the river on these cruises. And in fact, whether on the Sebastian River or on the Indian River, the largest and most McPalaced homes appear to be shuttered and shut for hurricane season with no sign of human life. I guess people build or buy these things and visit them for a few days or weeks a year, meanwhile forcing the price of that waterfront up so high that people like the Judahs who owned fish houses and lived right there on the property for generations are unable to afford to keep their family homes and businesses.
We passed some beachfront houses yesterday that were ridiculous in both size and design. Who ARE these people who build such monstrosities? These buildings are no more homes than a movie set would be and many of the real estate signs say "Sothebys".
Don't get me wrong. There are many old, gracious, graceful and beautiful homes that appear to be loved and lived in and some of those have been around since I was a child. And those are the ones I wanted to see today. 
Well. La-di-dah.
Roseland proper, here where I grew up, mostly has small and very old and very humble little houses. As I have said before, many of them look better now than they did when I was a child sixty years ago which amazes me. But they are definitely NOT mansions. The place we are staying was once an estate but the big house burned down a long, long time ago and the house that was built in its place is a nice house but it is nothing fancy. The cabana house and the pool, the stucco arches and the ironwork gates are remnants of those old, old days and I love the men who own this place who have not tried to completely defunkify it but have incorporated the old within the new to create a work of art that is livable and comfortable and I think- very, very beautiful. 
Here's what the living room of the cabana house looks like.

There are lovely and simple elements everywhere that make it so very Florida, so very charming, so very comfortable. 

One of the owners is obviously a master at finding things that fit into the time and place and space he has envisioned. I am in awe. 
Not to mention in love. 

We haven't even gone swimming today. I have a feeling that before I go to bed tonight, though, I will have been in the pool. The luxury of swimming under the stars with the lions keeping watch is one of the most pure joys I have ever experienced. 

Almost time for sunset. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Almost Too Much In Every Way

We went to the Sebastian Inlet today which is directly across from the Sebastian River. I took that picture from one of the fishing piers. Can you see the Roseland water tower? I remember when they cut the ribbon across the bridge in 1965. I was a child, of course, and it was a sorrowful day in my own life but a joyous one for the people here. 

Almost everything around here is sort of like that. There are memories on every block between this house and Vero Beach. I swear. How could I have so many memories when I only lived here for maybe five years? 
I guess they were formative years. 

The water at the inlet was gorgeous today. Almost Caribbean-like when the sun was shining. 

The piers that line the inlet on both sides are always filled with people fishing and it's like an international gathering place. I heard at least three different languages as we walked the length of the one on the north side. 

Here is the phrase I repeat most when I am here: "I remember." 
I remember before there was a bridge at the inlet. I remember when they built a bridge and it was almost done and a hurricane came and swept it all away. I remember the hurricane. I remember when they rebuilt the bridge and opened it up. I remember when there were no piers, just horrible slippery, jagged rocks with barnacles on them that people walked out on to fish, setting their tackle boxes in the cracks between the rocks. I remember when these fish houses were open. I remember when there were no houses here. I remember these cottages. I remember when Aunt Flonnie would stop the school bus right here and open the doors and take a deep breath and say, "I love the smell of the crab house!" I remember when someone was murdered at the fruit stand. I remember there used to be a rocket that lit up at a garage right next to the Tastee Freez. I remember the chocolate dip-top cones we got at the Tastee Freez. I remember Granddaddy getting shrimp to use for bait when he'd take us fishing on his dock. He bought it from Johnny Mays. I remember playing marbles on this road, drawing our circle in the dirt. I remember kids with teeth that were black from decay, skinny as sticks. I remember my mother teaching me the cha-cha-cha in our living room. I remember my brother accidentally breaking her new lamp and her fury. I remember getting cactus-stuck over and over again. I remember falling off my bike over and over again. I remember checking out books at the community center until I read all of them that I was allowed to read. I remember the little boy getting run over by a delivery truck in the back of my school, his head under the tire of it. I remember the wooden bridge over the Indian River on the way to the beach, the tha-thunk, tha-thunk, tha-thunk of it. 
I remember. 
It seems like I remember everything. I could go on for pages, all day. And every memory seems to come with a hundred different parts, each one integral to the story, the whole, the cloth of it. 
Sometimes when I am here I feel like my soul might just fly out of my body in order to become part of those memories, leaving this old body behind, done, used up by it all. 

And although so many of the memories are painful, they are mine, they are clear, they are sharp, they make me realize what a strong child I was and how much nurturing I got from the river, the trees, the ocean. 
And a few incredibly precious people. 
How all of that saved me over and over again. 

My husband is a saint to let me go on about all of this. 
It can't be easy. Sometimes I cry for no real reason that he can see. Or even that I could say. I am just too filled and it has to spill over. 
Sometimes I have to be quiet to settle myself. 

At the inlet, there is a state park and a small museum of the history of the local fishing industry. I know. Sounds so boring. Not to me. I grew up surrounded by those fishermen and their families. I remember. 

Here's a picture of a woodstork, wading in a puddle in a parking lot with some other bird. 

I do not remember woodstorks yet here they are. 

And here is the Atlantic Ocean.

We were going to go swimming but those clouds let loose of their rain and we did not. 

Still, it was beautiful. 

I've signed us up for a "river cruise" tomorrow that'll come down the Sebastian River. I've done this twice already on previous trips. I can't wait to do it again. Will we see the giant alligator we saw before? My dream house? (Oh surely.) Tarzan? A dinosaur? Manatee? Dolphins? 
Whatever we see, I will surely be glad. 

Love...Ms. Moon


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

If You're Living On The Edge, You're Taking Up Too Much Space (Words of Wisdom From A Guy Sitting At The Bar Of The Ocean Grill As He Was Awaiting A Margarita)

We did indeed make it to the Atlantic today. However, we neither went swimming nor even walked on the beach. What we did do was dine beside it. 

I cannot possibly imagine a trip to Indian River County without going to the Ocean Grill. Lord knows how many times I've talked about it here. The first time I went there, if I am remembering correctly, was on a Mother's Day sometime back in the early sixties. The restaurant was built in 1941 by the strange and eccentric Waldo Sexton and by god, I wish I could have met the man. Much of Vero still holds his fingerprints. If you see something that is old and very funky and adorned with strange and antique and beautiful things, you're most likely looking at some of Waldo's work. Here's one of the dining rooms in the Grill. 

It was built rather too close to the ocean and has been through who-knows how many hurricanes but still it stands, refurbished and rebuilt many times, but always and eternally smelling of cypress and other woods, the ocean, salt, delicious food and some ineffable scent that belongs only to it. 
It's an old fashioned restaurant. There's very little of trendy food at the Ocean Grill although I did see there is a Beyond Burger now being offered. But mostly there is seafood, steaks, chicken, salads. You know. And the world's best Roquefort dressing. Not blue cheese, you infidels! Roquefort! The servers are perfect in all regard. They are attentive but never hover. If you ask for lemons, you will be getting lemons. If your drink needs refreshing, they will refresh. You are treated as if you are the only guest in the place but never in a cloying or over-enthusiastic way. They are friendly but not pretending to be your best friend. They are professional and efficient and when I say that my back-up plan in life when I was young was to try and get a job as a server at the Ocean Grill to support myself and my children, you can believe it's true. 

So that's where we went today and we sat at the bar for a Bloody Mary because when I go there I want to sit at the bar and look at the ocean and settle myself down into that space and place, letting each one of my senses open up to all of it. 

I could have happily sat there all day long, drinking Bloody Mary's but we only had one. There is day-drinking and there is day-drinking and I am too old for the serious kind. But oh! It was tempting to ask for another. 

Instead we transferred to a table (by a window, of course) and I ordered what I always order when I go there for lunch, which is a shrimp salad. 

Mr. Moon got scallops and a salad, and muffins that are more cake than bread were set before us. My husband was so taken with them that our server brought us three in a bag of them to bring home. 

Oh sigh. Oh sigh, oh sigh, oh sigh. 

After lunch we drove around Vero for a bit and then came on back to the Cabana and went swimming under the gray sky. 

Heaven and magic. 

Mr. Moon just told me that Brad's here. I better go say hello. Also, it's time to go down to the dock. Just because it's too gray for a sunset doesn't mean the sun won't set and I want to be on the river when it happens. 


Glen is on his way to go pick up a pizza. I'm not cooking today, it would seem. We watched the river as the sun went down. There was no wind, the water was a flat, silver mirror and mullet were jumping and slapping, and the no-see-ums were fierce. Still, it was peaceful and lovely and I feel completely full of goodness and rightness. 

I am so very lucky. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Change And Beauty

I call this the secret garden and in a way, it is. It's right beside/behind the cabana house, walled off from everything- it's own little courtyard. When I walked into it this morning I realized that Glenn, the owner, has spent a huge amount of time planting, trimming, and just working his ass off. It all looks like something from a magazine. 

It's paradise. 

It somehow all looks barely tamed, primeval and yet at the same time, a lush garden of Eden where Eve and Adam can partake of the glory of it all they want as long as they share with the wild things, the birds, the fishes, the snakes, the lizards, the land crabs. 
I saw one of those this morning in the dirt behind this little bit of architectural landscape art. 

The crabs of which I am speaking are huge and at certain seasons, they come forth from their burrows in the river-mucked earth to mate and plunder. Hundreds and hundreds of them. So many that it can make you tremble to realize they are living here all the while, around us, below us, beside us. The one I saw this morning was far bigger than Mr. Moon's hand and that is a large crab. He scuttled out a little ways, saw me, waved his prodigious claws, and retreated into his underground home. 
I was happy to see him. I remember his great-great-great-great... grandfather from when I was a child. 

We hung around this morning, taking it all in and I made us a nice breakfast and we went down to the dock to see what the river was doing and it was hot but lovely, the water rippling and flowing with the tide. A small blue heron fly by and landed on a piling next door and surveyed the river with us. The mangroves which line the shore are blooming, I guess, with their fat buds. They look healthy. They are protected now, as they are a vital part of the watery ecosystem and I am glad of that. 

We got a better look at the railroad trestle and although it breaks my heart to know that it is all being torn down and replaced, I realize the need for that. I have read that great chunks of rust are falling into the river along with lead-based paint. It was built in 1927 and that's a very long time for a trestle that is built over salt-brackish water to survive. 

We got ourselves together and went to the Methodist Church thrift store and then drove into Sebastian and went to the Goodwill where it would appear that natural fibers are unlawful. We drove around and Mr. Moon indulged my constant recitation of memories and we had lunch down on the Indian River. 

I had noticed that the fish house run by an elementary school mate of mine had disappeared and looked it up and found the saddest video which you can find here. 
Bobby Judah is the same age as me and his family fished the river and sold seafood for seventy years and now they have been forced to sell the property the business sat on. 
Things change. Things change. Things change. 
I have been thinking about that all afternoon, and it has saddened me. Although this little part of Roseland is so much like the Roseland I remember as a child, all around it there have been more changes than I could have imagined. Where once there were fishing docks and miles of bare river front, there are now restaurants, and McMansions and fake Victorian houses. But it is still holds beauty and I am aware of that. 

The sky. The light. The water. 

It started raining after I took that picture and we've had a slow and peaceful afternoon. I had thought we would go swimming in the pool and Flo, the flamingo, has been drifting by the kitchen window all day, trying to interest us in joining her, but although swimming in the rain can be a rare joy, we have been lazy here in the cabana house, reading and resting. 

Brad, the resident peacock whom we have been asked to feed showed up a little while ago. 

"Oh hello, Brad," I said. 
"Harumph. Where's my catfood?" he asked. 
I cannot imagine anything more charming than a peacock named Brad. 

If you find me to be scarce in the blogosphere as to answering comments and commenting on other blogs, please forgive me. I feel a great need to Be Here Now as much as I possibly can.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, September 19, 2021


After approximately four thousand and thirty-nine years of driving, we finally made it to Roseland. Above you see the requisite photo of the Publix where we stop on our way in to buy groceries to stock our little cabana house with the Roseland water tower behind it. 
This part of Florida has some amazing skies. 

The driving was not so bad, really, but mostly because I was doing everything I could to envision my lotus flower as Lis says, or something like that. Also, I was reading out loud a book that I've read so many times and even at least once to Mr. Moon and which is such a beautiful rendition of how Florida used to be and how it still is in a few rare and precious places. 

I have to say that parts of it are incredibly racist which is absolutely representative of its time. When Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wrote it, less than a hundred years had passed since the Civil War. 
Still. Those parts are difficult to read and every time I read the book, more of those parts become apparent to me and more of them become abhorrent. 
And I keep thinking about the fact that she had Zora Neale Hurston as a guest in her house which, in those days, was probably an outrageous thing to do. 

Anyway, we did our grocery shopping, we drove down the white sand road to the house. We unloaded, I put all the groceries away, and we went down to the dock. Glenn, the man who, with his husband owns this property, had told me that they were finally tearing down and replacing the old Flagler railroad bridge that crosses the Sebastian River which has been a totem in my life since I was five years old but until I saw that it was happening, I had let myself believe that it wasn't. 
It is. 

I am trying very hard to remember that it is a vast miracle that so much of this place, this childhood place of mine, has changed so little and that honestly, I have to accept that railroad bridges, no matter how historical or beloved by me, cannot live forever. 

The river is still the river and we watched the lightening across it, forking great limbs of light that lasted no longer than the flash of a lightening bug, so far away that we could not hear thunder. 

All is well. 

The lions still stand guard. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Martini Mermaid Magic

So lately, I have been thinking so much about Roseland and about the Atlantic Ocean, which is the ocean of my childhood, and I have been missing both of those places so very, very much. I've been experiencing such a profound yearning for them, so strong that it has almost become a constant ache. 

And yet, due to the fact that just the thought of leaving Lloyd, my house, my chickens and my family causes me anxiety, I have done nothing to alleviate that ache, indulging my anxiety and allowing my discomfort at the thought of actually doing what it takes to get there to stop me from even asking my husband if he'd like to take a little trip down south before he heads up to Canada in a few weeks. I didn't want to talk about it because if I did, someone might say, "Well- what's stopping you?" and then I'd have to admit to myself that I'm such a stuck and anxious person, resolutely hanging on to what I perceive as comfort and safety. 

Until last night. 

And yes, martinis were involved. 

Buoyed on the waves of the martinis I let my yearning get the best of me and I shot an email to the man who bought my childhood dream place on the Sebastian River a few miles north of Vero Beach and who rents out the little cabana house by the lion pool by the river that I love so much to ask if he had any last-minute availabilities coming up. Almost immediately he answered, saying that he'd blocked out this whole next week because he and his husband are going on a cruise but that they would be thrilled for us to stay in the cabana house while they're gone. 

Oh. Holy. Fuck. 

Trembling, I went and asked my husband if he'd like to go to Roseland with me for a few days. And he said that he very much would. 

And so, we're leaving tomorrow and will stay until next Friday in the little house with the pink stove  

where I will cook us delicious meals and the fountain in the beautiful courtyard will sing for us

and where the lions will spit water into the pool faithfully and steadily

throughout the day and where I can sit on a dock and watch the sunset just a few hundred yards from where I sat and watched the sunset on my grandfather's dock so many years ago. 

Perhaps we will canoe or kayak down the river past the little islands where part of me still believes that Tarzan or perhaps dinosaurs and definitely pirate treasure can be found. 

And I can walk down the white sand roads 

that I walked as a child to find this place almost sixty years ago, abandoned, left to the jungle, as wild and mysterious to me as anything that Indiana Jones might have discovered.

I feel like I'm dreaming. 

And today I managed to do laundry, clean the hen house, make seven and a half more pints of pepper jelly, and begin packing. 

I will admit to you that I spent half the night awake, fretting and worrying and the other half having horrible anxiety dreams but dammit- we are going. 

So. See you from Roseland. And we shall surely visit the Atlantic so that I can hear its crash and roar, so much bolder than the Gulf which even after all these years living near, I still do not quite consider an actual ocean although I have truly come to love it. 

Oh my. 

Love...Ms. Moon