July 14, 2008

Vegetarian Cheeseburger in Paradise

“I feel like I’m on vacation,” I say to Hubby, who is munching on a vegetarian cheeseburger, a Jimmy Buffett song playing in the background.

Hubby delicately points out, “You’re raising two teenage boys, caring for two pets, me, you work – a lot – cook, clean, volunteer, and--”

“Oh, yeah. I forgot.”

Despite that dose of reality, I still feel like I’m on vacation in sunny South Florida. Opening your door every day to palm trees, exotic birds and interesting geckos will do that to you.

In winter months, we “natives” are overrun by tourists and Snowbirds. (Yes, this means you, Grandma!) Our roads are jammed with people in competition to drive below the speed limit, we can’t get a seat at our favorite breakfast spot and there’s rarely a square inch (or yard) of beach for me to fit my fanny in.

Summer, though, is a different story. Something about heat exhaustion, alligators and wild hurricanes scare people off. Can't imagine why.

Yesterday morning, I dropped my flip-flops in the sand and took a long walk along the water’s edge. The only others on the beach were a few guys fishing, a large dead fish (yuck!), a couple carrying thirty pounds of toddler and ninety pounds of buckets, plastic shovels, folding chairs, an umbrella, a cooler and a bevy of sunscreen. There were also folks poking at shells and walking just like me. Locals. We nodded as we passed each other, grateful to have our little corner of paradise to ourselves.

While I was admiring the view on a jetty, an older gentleman nodded at my Penn State T-shirt and told me he used to teach there. A long time ago.

We reminisced about how grand Happy Valley is with its mountains, lakes and fine university. Not to mention the grilled sticky buns at midnight at Ye Olde College Diner. Yowza!

Doing my best Vanna White imitation, I pointed to the intracoastal waterway leading into the ocean with the Jupiter Lighthouse in the background and said, “Of course, this isn’t half bad.”

The man nodded. “Best place in the world to live.”

As I headed back along the beach (not caught in a violent thunderstorm this time), the ocean rushing over my feet, clouds overhead, I couldn’t have agreed more.

For our family, the only thing missing from our little corner of paradise are family and friends from home.

So, to them I say, “Pack up the sun screen, a bathing suit or two and come on down. The water’s fine.

To you, I say, what makes your corner of the world a little piece of paradise?

Hope you’re having a delightful summer,


Edrian said...

DONNA! You have a blog! Congrats on your blogs 1year b-day! I'll be stopping more often.
It was great to get your feedback on Saturday ;)

Wild About Words said...

Thanks for stopping by the blog, Edrian. Great meeting you Saturday and seeing your lovely artwork.