It was warm and sunny in Sun City, Florida. My friend Sandy invited me to take a winter break at her home in Kings Point while her husband, Bob, was in Palm Springs for a golf week. Connecticut had been having temps in the 20s, and my asthma was in full bloom. Sandy is a very generous friend and great hostess. And she has dozens of friends who love to party! A great time to spend time in the south.
The shopping – well that was something else. She knows every thrift shop within 20 miles. I found New Balance sneakers for ten bucks; an exercise suit for four; an adorable denim hat for four; all like new. I always found what I wanted in a few minutes and stood and waited for her. “Are you finished already? I’m going to be here an hour,” she would say. Okay, that’s good with me. I am here for the Florida sunshine. Anything else is a bonus.
Only one day was really good for the outdoor pool, and I got some sun and a nice swim. There are two indoor pools, tennis, golf, theatre, and 50 activities to sign up for every day. If I lived there, I would be in the art room – 20 or so artists doing their thing in the studio when I went by.
Have you ever heard of “Cards For Humanity?” It is a hilarious game, made up of black cards each with a question, and white cards held by the players, with a word or phrase to be used for the answer. The cards in your hand don’t necessarily match the question, and some of them are very risque, to say the least. Whoa – we laughed so hard we nearly fell out of our chairs. We played this two nights with six or eight of her neighbors, lots of wine and apps consumed. These neighbors are terrific ladies with a sense of humor and intelligence that just made the evening.
Meanwhile, back in the Northeast, a “historic” blizzard was brewing, traveling up the east coast and expected to hit New England on the day of my departure. Oh great. It would be either stay in place for another two or three days, or get out of town as planned. We determined that making my scheduled flight at 10:15 a.m. on Monday would probably work. The storm was forecast to land in Connecticut later in the day.
Bob and Sandy got me to the airport just in time to make my flight. I had two great ladies for seatmates, and we chatted all the way to Bradley Field. Cathy, on my right, mentioned that she heard this was the last plane out of Tampa for northeast destinations. As we landed, we could see that the snowfall had just begun. Ann, on my left, said she would like a copy of my book, “Now I’ve Seen Everything.” Cathy, it turns out, also is from Portland, and we chatted about what a great city it is and how we enjoy being there. She also owns a consignment shop on the Connecticut shore and knows Sandy. (Remember that she is a great consignee and thrift buyer.) What a great flight, with no awkward or boring moments. My lovely daughter, Margie, picked me up at curbside and drove me home and helped me in with the luggage. My car is still at her house, and we’ll dig that out later.
Overnight snow has been in the 1 to 1 1/2 foot range, and the temps were close to zero. Today the temps are still very cold, and adding windchill factor makes it seem 5 degrees. However, as I look out the window, I don’t see the kind of wind effects associated with a blizzard. That would mean gusts of 50 mph. The storm east of here in Massachusetts is much worse, with more wind and power outages. Nantucket has been totally without power, according to the radio report I heard. I hear from my Facebook friends that the storm was not all that bad in Connecticut. Nevertheless, it was still prudent for the governor to ban all travel after 9 p.m. and for Bradley to close down by 7 p.m. Those decisions are made for getting the roads cleared and for everyone’s safety.
I received five phone calls shortly after I arrived home: Sandy; my brother Ron; my cousin Sandy; my neighbor Karen; and Margie. After getting my computer up and running and reading messages, I fell into bed at 8:30 and slept until 3:30. My thanks go out to all those who sent best wishes and prayers for a safe flight. I love adventures, and this was a great one.