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too hot for a Canadian

Only two more hours in Sunland, before neighbour Shan drives me to the Sarasota Airport and I fly back to the freezer. Today I’m imitating a sponge, a dead battery, trying to soak up enough energy to last until the big yellow ball produces some light and heat up there. Months from now. By the end of March, every year, it’s cabin fever time. Get me out of here.

Today I didn’t want to get out of the pool, so as I floated up and down and round and round, I listened to the conversation of my fellow residents. So far I’ve been alone down there, except for the Swiss couple, who are similarly focussed on absorbing rays. But today, a full crowd sitting under the palm trees. They discussed 1. nearby restaurants, rating them from one to ten. (“Breakfast is a ten, but dinner is only a four. Ah wouldn’t go back for dinner.”) 2. They discussed their cruises – “Ah looove Venice!”  And 3. cuts of meat, the favourite being New York strip aged 28 days.

I confess that as I floated and listened, I said to myself, if I ever get this desperate for something to talk about, shoot me, please. But then I’m a judgemental snob. Just like my mother, incidentally, who’d give us a running commentary on the same subject, eavesdropping as she sat in the shade, under her big hat, doing crossword puzzles.

Speaking of Mum, I realize why this has been such a good vacation, a real vacation, and not just because of sun and sand. It’s because I didn’t have to worry. When the phone rang, my heart didn’t leap, thinking it was “news,” as Beyond the Fringe says, “of fresh disasters.” Wherever my mother is, she’d safe from fresh disasters, and my brother and I from worrying about them.

I did, however, spy a small hole in the ceiling of the bedroom here, and immediately imagined termites ravaging above. So – not entirely worry free, no, not at all. But that most consuming of worries, my mother’s health, safety and happiness, has gone.

As am I from here, soon. Back to grim reality. Bring it on. My feet are sunburned.



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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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