Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 + 51

Coconut Grove, Miami, FL 25º43.532N | 80º14.193W

Chip's Awesome Carrot Cake.
These days my first thought in the morning is, "wonder where I am?" Many times I have clicked on, put my cursor in the box for "city," and drawn an absolute blank.

Good lord, on this day before I turn 51, these memory lapses should cause alarm that my aging brain has lost its way, that dementia is surely setting in.

Au contraire. Temporarily losing my place on the planet is just a delicious consequence of my constantly changing new existence. I wake to find the same cozy v-berth but rarely remember where I have parked it. These are the kind of surprises caused by adventure, not dementia.

Special delivery.
This new life has come with its share of uncomfortable adjustments and a new list of chores that is exasperating, but the payoff? Well, for eight days now I have lived in the elite neighborhood of Coconut Grove in Miami for $20/day, enjoying the good life with good friends.

Next week, if all goes as planned, I will move my house to Bimini and dip my feet in shiny, turquoise waters, then set off into the Bahamas where I can anchor for free and ponder the five-legged life of a starfish for three days if I choose.

And who to go with me but the man who makes getting old(ish) fun. Tonight he took me for dinner in a tiny French restaurant where we lingered over duck, a rich Bordeaux and toasted the New Year with kisses and shouts of bonne année! He not only understood when I shed sad tears, but shed a few himself.

Looking 2011 in the teary eye.
Sweet, sweet happiness at turning 51.

Deep, deep sorrow that I enter an age and a year that my old friend Dale will never see.

How is it that extreme happiness and deep sadness can stand right up next to each other, neither diminishing the other? I am neither half sad nor half happy but fully both. Life's mysteries.

Happy New Year. I hope yours holds bright promise and sense of adventure. 2011, here we come!

Coconut Grove, Miami, FL 25º43.532N | 80º14.193W

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