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Now this is luck, sheer blind luck – apparently I have been here during a record-breaking high in temperature. I thought it was always this nice the first week of January, but apparently not.

The National Weather Service in Ruskin reported a record temperature of 87 degrees at 3 p.m. Wed. at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. That smashed the previous mark of 84 degrees set in 1989.

Well, I have appreciated it. Today could not have been nicer. I went in the morning to get a few last groceries, including my favourite American innovation – wine in a juice box. Come on, Canada, get with it! I needed just a little bit to get me through to tomorrow late afternoon when I leave, and there is is – a California CabSauv, 500 ml or 3 glasses, in a tetrapak. I also bought an Amy’s frozen dinner – “Sweet and Sour Asian Noodles with Organic Vegetables and Rice Pasta” – ten minutes in the micro and there it is, delicious. I almost bought and didn’t, and should have, a special plastic thing that preserves half avocados from going brown. These Americans, they think of the wildest things.

And then the dreary routine – reading by the pool, swimming, reading, swimming, walking on the beach at dusk, watching a fabulous pink and powder blue Turner sunset. I have finished the speech to deliver at Mum’s memorial, dealt with the huge hooha about the cancelled class (30 emails at least), talked to my brother about various matters 2 or 3 times a day, checked in at home, read the “Bradenton Herald” and the NYT and the Canadian papers, and finished 2 “New Yorker”s. And begun work. And thought, and sat in silence, and thought some more.

In other words, heaven.

A report in the NYT says that Americans come last, or nearly last, in every health marker among wealthy nations. Amazing – considering the size of the drug department at Walgreen’s and the wealth of this wealthiest of nations – that they can’t keep their citizens alive longer. Not so surprising, I guess, when they do not know how to enjoy what they eat and keep shooting each other.

But they do have very nice beaches.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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