Hat on Top, Coat Below


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I’ve Been Gone Again

December 29, 2003

As alert and/or notified readers know, I was in Florida with Mr. Karen visiting his parents for the past five days. This has become something of a tradition. Some years we fly down early and leave on Christmas Day and some years we fly on Christmas Eve or Day and come back just before the end of the year. A few years we’ve driven, once taking two kayaks with us. It all depends on where in the week the holidays fall and how much vacation I can take and how expensive flights are. This year we were able to use frequent flier miles, which made it quite a cheap trip.

It was a pretty good trip, too. (To see the pictures, either go to the gallery or click on the individual links below). We didn’t manage to see any sights or go to any movies, but we did get to spend some time on the beach, where we saw lots of different kinds of birds and even a few flowers. Just hanging out on the lanai and in the backyard was fun, too, what with the tropical plant matter and geckos on the porch and the starfish and the elusive crabs down by the dock on the canal, plus the gorgeous sunset views. I ate too much and slept too little and failed to execute any strategy when playing hearts, but that’s what these trips are all about. For added fun, I put sun-activated color-changing polish on my finger and toe nails, and it worked a treat. Well, the stuff on my toes did, turning from pale, pale pink to almost purple. The pearl on my nails only turned into a pale, pale pink, which was a little disappointing.

We got lucky with weather. The prediction of up to eight inches of snow in Detroit for the day we left turned out to be alarmist in the extreme. There was no accumulation whatsoever, just rain, and it wasn’t cold enough to have to get the plane deiced. Once we got to Florida, it was warm and mostly sunny with no rain at all the whole time we were there. We didn’t even have to pay for that by shoveling snow when we got home, either, because it had stayed warm enough that it was still just raining.

Our house had not stayed warm enough, though. The flaky furnace, which required an emergency no heat call to the repair service a few hours before we left last Tuesday, had quit working again. Mr. Karen tinkered with it and got it going, so by the time we went to bed the temperature had risen by about twenty degrees and I was able to take off the Polarfleece I’d layered on when we got home. The furnace was still behaving itself when I left for work, but I wouldn’t say I trust it. Last I talked to Mr. Karen, the people who’d come out and gotten it going again on Tuesday (but hadn’t charged us because they didn’t really fix anything) were going to come out this afternoon and take another look. I might have to look into making Bubba a snowsuit if we can’t get this resolved.

Today it’s back to the regular world with this new office I’m not comfortable in and a job that now depresses and distresses me more often than it delights me. Sigh. But hey, at least I got to spend most of last week in Florida, and there’s a bottle of ice wine at home with New Year’s Eve’s name on it. If I buckle down and my customers cooperate, I might even be able to take Friday off and have a five-day weekend. That’s not so bad.


A year ago, I wrote nothing.

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