Friday, September 20, 2013

Saying Goodbye to a Neighbor

It's been wet here.

One of those weird wet seasons that make you look at radar and the weather forecast before you go outside to change your mind.

I've had times where you look at the skies and say it's going to be clear, get the tools out for yard work, close the gate and ... monsoon.

Others where everything holds off just long enough to take the trash out.

Yesterday, in one of those breaks between the storms, I went out and assumed the Suburban Gardener's Position.

Yes, feet spread apart, bent over and pulling weeds out of the rocks in the Swale, all the while mooning passing cars.

I never promised to be genteel, especially in the uniform of the day, cargo shorts and an over sized T Shirt.

I hear behind me, a familiar voice of a neighbor.   Turns out that he's gotten back from a month in Colorado.  Trading our normally wet and spotty weather in for floods in the High Plains, we get caught up on old times.

He's saying to me that he's going to be leaving, for good, in another three weeks.  His other half is "gone now" so nothing is keeping him here on our quirky little island.  His business will be sold and moved to St Petersburg where he will live part time when he's not in Colorado for their Summers.  

It may be 105F there, but it's a dry heat!

I told him that I'll miss seeing him every day, as I brush the beach sand that passes for soil here off of my hands and my legs.

In the warp and weft of the daily fabric, you see people in different ways.  He's one of those folks that I'd see from time to time outside of the house.   In fact he's the one that makes me get up and make breakfast, passing by every morning around the same time.

Sitting in my chair, doing my own routine, I get a view of the great outdoors.   I am facing Northwest, watching the sun come up and paint the world over my right shoulder, first in midnight blue, then mauve and yellow, finally to the brilliant overexposed colors that we know as South Florida.   If you come here in the winter, you will notice it my Snowbird friends, because everything looks bright and lush.

To us we see it as Tuesday or Thursday.  Just another day in the week.   Another bright day in paradise if it is not Wet Season, that is.

Sitting in the chair as the Italian Peace Flag waves in the breezes off the ocean I see a head bob by.   Shoulders and chest walking by the house.   There's a blond Cocker Spaniel out of view, below the couch and the screw palms.  I know it's there because a half of a block away it spotted another dog that had the temerity to walk in view.  The little blond dog is now barking its fool head off, and my neighbor is telling it to quiet down.

I see this little scene every day, and in three weeks this patch on the quilt of life here on my little block on the quirky little island of Wilton Manors will be sewn to the fabric and another patch will begin to be made.

Describing this to my neighbor surprises him.  It may be a mere walk but every day someone notices what you do, no matter how minor it is or how inconsequential you think it may be.  Threads intertwine and make the fabric of life.

Since we have two days that are predicted to be dry with a zero chance of rain, my days will be filled.  Yard work that has been on hold since March or May or some drier time will get done.  Sea Grapes will be brushed from the pool deck.  Weeds pulled from gardens.  Concrete to be power washed.  Life will go on, even if it won't startle a little blond dog at 815 in the morning.

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