Things are getting real, here. I've been absorbed in the process of packing up my life and trying to see my dear friends, who have kept me afloat all these years. Thank goodness for my teaching career and the dog park, because those are the places where i met most of my friends. Others just dropped in my lap, in weird and random ways, but i love them just as much. So i have been trying to cram fifteen years of socializing into three weeks, and i am starting to pay for it, physically. My throat is starting to feel suspiciously sore, and yesterday, I was flat on my back fighting a respiratory infection that turned out to be a reaction from the dusty rug I had Mike Patton roll up on Tuesday. I refuse to be sick for any part of this adventure. So i am trying to pace myself, with lukewarm success.
Over the past few days, I have been getting nervous, especially about this weekend's moving sale. People are going to come and paw through my stuff, make snide remarks, and offer my pennies for my amazing treasures. Also, it starts at 7:00 am, and i am not really a morning person, although i think i can roust myself to make money for my journey. Laura already bought the white lamps.
As things feel emptier, i start getting panicky and grabby, threatening to keep more than i promised myself i would. i breathe and the feeling passes, sort of. At the moment, i am a bit short of breath.
I've spent the past couple of weeks, wrapping things up with the paper, and taking care of other pressing business, like getting my passport (yesterday), paying the speeding ticket I got two weeks ago, applying for a new bank card, getting a post office box, packing things, and coming to terms with the fact that i am leaving Vero in 12 days. Twelve days. Oh, and i cracked my right back molar for which i paid $4,000. Whenever a guy asks if my ample chest is real, i tell him that the only implants I have are in my mouth. This is the tooth that broke on Halloween in 2010, and how i met my wonderful dentist. The injury is the same as it was then, a sharp piece of broken tooth lodged in my gum. I am ignoring it until first thing tomorrow morning, when I will call the office.
In the meantime, I have to write my penultimate house of the week column and it is really hard to come up with 800 juice words and thoughts when i have so many other things on my mind.
It is good that i am so busy, because, then I can only concentrate on what's immediately in front of me. If i think about the whole long trip, i get totally overwhelmed. Plus, there is a lot to be sad about leaving. My friends, first and foremost; the ocean; the weather 8 months of the year; wearing flip flops to work; seeing my former students all grown up; my sweet little healing house; taking a shower outside everyday; the stars; Karen Mantell's backyard; my neighbors, the Mermaid family across the street; the natural beauty; royal poincianas and bougainvillea; the kountry kitchen; the ocean drive christmas parade; the christmas windows at Coastal Living; Seaside Grill; Tea & Chi; Downtown Vero (west of the bridge, across the tracks - gasp!!!); some of the nicest people you will ever meet; grove-to-mouth citrus, especially the december navels and grapefruit you don't need to sweeten: Jungle Trail; Coming east over the Wabasso Bridge; A1A; the amazing history of Vero; McKee Jungle (I mean, Botanical) Garden; the UUs; the scent of may gardenias; the dog park; the other bridges; Riverside; memorial island; the ELC; the Indian River Lagoon; driving around the ranches out west of town; the wacky letters to the editor in the Press-Journal (or the Press Urinal, as my dad called it); bonfires; courteous city workers, especially at the courthouse and county administration building, but not excluding the police, electric, teachers, firemen, nurses, road workers who work in the most unbearably hot weather, when the snowbirds are home, the sweet scent of orange blossoms along CR 510, gekkos, mybold, but friendly racoon ....
The point is, thispart is about endings. Most of them are easy to close off and keep moving, but some have borne a groove in my heart and changed me for the better. Living inVero for the past nearly fifteen years has been full of challenges (huge understatement), as well as really happy, funny times. All in all, it balanced out, but taught me how important it is to have strong, true friends who hate to see you cry, but will let you bawl in their arms if necessary. My friends have been like glowing life preservers in a tumulutous, deep, dark ocean.
Now i have to focus, because i need to write my story, set up tables, pack a few boxes, and get a good night's sleep.