Friday night. It’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m alone on beautiful Anna Maria Island, on the west coast of Florida. Outside, I can hear crickets and the cars bouncing over nearby Cortez bridge. There was a bit of sun today, and my skin feels warm. My cold has nearly gone. There is space here, silence and sky, and there’s the vital sound of the tides, washing over the shells and sand. I grew up by the sea and need to hear that sound; twice today I sat on the beach with my eyes closed, listening. And picked up shells, which I swore not to do – we have enough shells here already. But they’re so delicately perfect; we need a few more.
Instead of one big bottle I wouldn’t be able to finish, I bought four small bottles of champagne today, and had one with lunch. Soon I’ll have my pizza dinner and more champagne and continue editing work – I’ve got a ton to do here – and my own work too, and watch a bit of the ball falling in New York.
This is bliss.
Today I went to a bathing suit store with a sale on, and tried on a two-piece that did not make me want to scream aloud on viewing myself. In fact, I marched up and down in front of that mirror, and said to myself, honey, it ain’t that bad. Reader, I bought it. To celebrate the year I turned 60, I bought a two-piece bathing suit in many splashy colours, and a black sunhat too. As soon as I got back, I went down to the pool in my sexy new suit, but it was so cold I lay bundled in cover-up and towel. This morning, though, I swam – in my old suit, from which my bottom would soon have been hanging out. It is good to swim on December 31st, even in an old suit with a saggy bottom. (It’s the chlorine that rots the suits, said the saleslady. ALWAYS RINSE YOUR SUITS. Baby shampoo is good. Your first how-to tip of 2011.)
It’s also good to deal with one of my addictions, as I am doing now. No, not wine or second-hand stores, but the Internet. I do not have the Internet, have to drive out once or twice a day to check email, and as I work, I can’t Google! Hard to survive without Google. I can’t dip into Facebook to see how friends are doing, or read the “Globe,” or send a quick message to my family for New Year’s Eve. I can’t send a message to you either – I’ll go out tomorrow morning and post this. It’s good to stretch every once in a while. But not for too long.
And so, my dear friends, wherever you are, I am about to embark on my peaceful New Year’s Eve, as you are on yours. I hope yours is joyful, and that 2011 is good to you. With love from an aging woman who owns and may actually wear, occasionally, a colourful two-piece bathing suit.