Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hugs, Loves and Drives

I expect it pretty much seems like I have been playing blog hookey. Maybe that's true, so I thought I'd post a little catching up .

I did not sit next to the 400 pound man on the airplane, he was 2 rows up and across the aisle.
I was seated next to a fidgity 20 something on his way to a fishing weekend with his Dad. He was late cause he was suppose to have taken a flight the day before, but forgot his ID so was refused by the airlines. He spent the journey whining about all the many "unfair" things his Dad had said to him about his "'simple little oversite". I did mention to him I had perhaps displeased my parents a time or two in my twenties and truth is they still love me so I expect he could relax, apologize and enjoy the fishing. He didn't mention the Bozo nose once.

I had a few surprises just about as soon as the airplane tires scorched the runway. But still, on Father's Day afternoon, I found myself driving the 528 across state to hug the first man I ever loved. My DaddyFish. He looks handsome and strong as ever, doesn't mince words or thoughts and proceeds through life as always; driven by intellectual imperatives, not emotional ones. There is a certain security in the absoluteness of Dad. I never expect him to be other than he is and should I one day show up and find a stranger occupying my Dad ... I will be horribly shocked!
And very sad.
He was sure glad I journeyed his way to speak my words of love and acceptance.
I was glad for the opportunity.

I enjoyed the blessing of again listening to the night rhythm of the Atlantic, feeling sand and shells beneath my toes and breathing in that salty night air. Solace of a unique caliber.

I awakened to greener than green, deep, rich St Augustine grass, moss draped oaks, giant staghorns, fat tropical leaves, and a very sassy squirrel. I once again walked tree lined streets gazing upon the houses of aqua, conch and sparkly white embraced by tropical foliage and brilliant fantasy blooms. The old neighborhoods of coastal Florida in early morning before the heat haze warps every view is spectacular eye candy.

Then it was back across the 528 in the searing Florida sun where my vision was more outward than inward. I had a clutch moment driving through the flatness of Florida with massive clouds doing their daily build up and once again feeling the impact of those endless views. Why, I wondered had I ever left the region of my family, my loves? Why had I chosen a path where I would forever feel the longing for where I was not? Would a Troll leave Troll Country or Boxer her Island or Aunty her Porch??? So errant of me. But a long done deal.

This part of Florida is still pretty natural until you get a bit west of the Econlochahatchee . "Growth" is still happening on long planned infrastructure projects. I found myself thinking I had really missed the boat in projecting what the future would hold in Florida. If I had been smart I would have had the company that provides the acres and acres of Plumbago and Oleanders that
prevent erosion along the embanked sides of new roadways and overpasses. Why did I never buy stock in the companies that manufacture those components for retaining walls or acoustical barriers lining the interstates like ginormous Chinese puzzle boxes? The profusion of Plumbago really got to me, miles of them. Here a scrawny little 8" pot of the blue flowered glory is $30. I console myself with the thought Peonies do not grow in Florida.

So it was back to the center of Florida to hug more loves where I stayed days longer than planned. Once my feet hit this Carolina soil it was time for the track shoes to make up for the extended time away and to again put the Pond and the design business back in order. No time for blogs.

The long awaited contractor for the UglyHouse project got things rolling while I was away. On one of my extended days away the lady of ChezUgly called crying. " How did you know " she asked, " how this was going to transform my house before it was ever done? Everything you told us would happen with this change is far bigger and better than we could have ever imagined. " She called me a present and a blessing and a creative genius and just kept crying. I expect it was letting go of the 20 years of living in a house that seared her soul, so she could move on to the happy. Truth is, I felt blessed to be able to formulate a plan that has the potential to make this kind, sweet, funny woman feel like smiling. On the day of the phone call, they were just getting started on the taking out of walls to let light flow through the house. She was feeling better living on a demolition site.... just wait til the good stuff starts showing up!

I walked on up there to check on things promptly after the return and found the project as expected. But I was shocked by the residents. Her arm was in a cast... there had been a change requiring the removal of some of the rods, plates and screws used to reassemble her arm after the running over episode. They put in smaller hardware this time and have declared this batch of metal will be permanent. He was maybe a bigger surprise standing there grinning and shuffling and saying he would have made these improvements long years before if he had been able to understand what a difference it would make. He gave me a sackfull of fresh corn, tomatoes, squash and peppers too. Amazing.

I made it to the rescheduled appointment to the specialist for the thyroid ultrasound ... all good news; a cyst not a node or tumor or anything jeopardizing. Check again in 6 months and a prescription change.

I received forgiveness from the client who had to move into her new home without her designer.

I received an urgent message from another client informing me I simply could not travel again
until her house is completed because she made poor decisions in my absence. Which means she let the plumber talk her into a foolish change which she is now paying to have corrected back to the original specifications.

I worked my way through an avalanche of e-mails, voice mails and snail mail that took an entire day to resolve.

I met the deadline for a contractor conference to review blueprints and specifications for a big new lakefront house to be.

I missed the blackberries reaching perfection but the Pond birds are singing very happy songs.

I still have not caught up on my sleeping, or reading, or blogging.

Now I am rushing to get on another plane tomorrow.
I need to go hug my MamaFishy.
I probably won't be back for Mute Monday, but maybe on Tuesday ....


Jenny said...

Welcome back Fishy - it's nice to hear the Ugly House is in the process of being transformed and could the mean old man, possibly be transforming also?

and for the record? I don't think I could ever leave my Island or the PNW.... even though I was born in the Midwest, I believe we all have a "spiritual home" inside us.

Safe travels. We'll all be here when you return.

sparringK9 said...

wow fishy. great news on ugly house. but i loved your description of florida. i really can feel your regret in leaving what you obviously feel is still home. im a cracker but i transferred to the blue ridges - not really atlanta but this place, yes. good visit with mamafish. i will be making a similar trip myself very soon.

h said...

Who was the ONLY reader who suggested that "Reverend Mean" might not be such a bad guy when all others heaped scorn upon him?

fishy said...

One day I hope to meet you as you always sound like such a good spirit. So smart of you to recognize the importance of place and I strongly encourage you to stay put in all circumstances. I came to the Carolinas kicking and wailing.... bit here I am.

yeah I guess you and I share part of that Florida heritage thing, along with Native Minnow, Floridacracker and Troll. There is such diversity in the Florida regions it would be hard not to love some if not all of that landscape. This trip the "regret" I feel is not so much about the place as the poeple I go to hug.
Time is marching forward and parents don't live forever. Mine are older, stoic about all things medical and age related but ... I fear the background noise I hear is the tolling of the bells.

Before you stroll on over to the winners circle to get your blanket of roses ....
tell me how a man who has refused to hear his wife's pleas for mercy for 20 damn years gets cannonized for going kicking and screaming and bad mouthing "that old woman" to the first bit of progress in eons?

moi said...

Sounds like you have a very active summer going on! I hear you on "home." My spousal unit has itchy feet and is always throwing darts at spots on the map he thinks would be "fun" to live in. I have to keep reminding him that, A. it's expensive to move and B. I have an attachment to the high desert of New Mexico that makes a Super Glue bond look like marshmallow. I don't mind traveling the universe, but I have to call this spot home.

fishy said...

keep glued to your patch!

h said...

I ain't cannonizing him. Just thought there was a chance he'd surprise you.

I think Native Minnow is from Utah, not Florida. He's a recovering Mormon! Grrherhahahaha!

Aunty Belle said...

Well well Reverend Rat got religion? Heh.

Huh? Ya loves Foridy but ya live in Carolina? Well, reckon Carolina ain't so bad--I likes it a lot in fact.

Looky, doan waste a minute huggin' yore mama--an' safe travels.

fishy said...

Hey Belle,
" Reverend Rat" ... I LOVE that, you sure have a way of nailing things with as few words as possible.

I think my thing is I like "old" Florida which is rapidly disappearing
Central Florida is hardly recognizable and to my way of thinking all the new is not necessarily better than the old. To live in some of the older neighborhoods now requires lots of money or lots of ammo or lots of both.

I do like my patch in Carolina very much, and while I came here under protest, I have transplanted
more or less successfully. It is my people I miss so acutely.

Aunty Belle said...

Central FLorida??? Huh?

Wait...wait...somehow I done thunk youse a beach Fishy? Warn't ya near to the Gulf? Or is mah wires crossed when I think ya used to be near Troll Country?

Now-- iffin' youse near to mah porch an' doan stop in, I'se gonna be maximum miffed...though I might give ya' a Hall Pass if yore family time is short. Might.

Whichever, definitely hug yore mama fer me. Aunty sends her regards to FishyMama.

fishy said...

Ya have things in order. Yep, I was a Gulf Coast Fishy, but I got fishys in my family school over on the lantic Cost, some in North Florida and some in Central Florida.

I can get some mighty reasonable plane tickets from a little airport in Carolina to a little airport in central Florida, get a rental and drive around in a big loop to hug those scattered loves.

Since our family school tends to get a patch and stay put, i been visiting these same cities and neighborhoods for a coupla decades now so I have seen the changes.

Thanky for the kind invite, one of these trips I hope to come and see
your Porch and visit Troll Country but I can't do it this time around. Appreciate the thought.

Maybe I will follow your example and tell MamaFishy about the bloggers sending wishes and friendship, she will get a kick outa me getting friendly " on technology".

Pam said...

Thanks for the update on the ugly house and ugly-man drama! BUT! Tell me more about your thyroid. I want to hear the whole story. I lost mine to cancer a couple of years ago so I have a website I recommend for good information in case you don't feel like you are getting the whole story from your docs.

Jenny said...

"Rev. Rat" - bwahahahahahahaha.