Time flies…maybe too fast.

October 23rd.  I’ve been in my condo a little over a year now. How well I remember a year ago leaving my cute little house and a very dysfunctional relationship to start a new chapter in my life; it’s been an interesting year, for sure.

Muhly GrassFall ushers in the best time of the year in Old Florida. The temperatures are cooler, I can have all the sliding doors open, turn off the a/c, maybe catch the sunrise at a more decent hour. Though I’ll miss the vibrant green kudzu vines of summer, I love when the beautiful rows of muhly grass turn a vibrant shade of pink and wave in unison in the breeze. The beaches empty, the RVs caravan south, and the area preps for an increase in its population.

A lot happened this past year.  I was able to spend three precious months with my mother, months I would not trade for anything.  I saw two fabulous concerts; Bruce Springsteen with Drew, and Rascal Flatts with Meg; unforgettable, both. I shared the tragic loss of a nephew to suicide and, in the circle of life, met my beautiful new granddaughter Audrey. I discovered the joy of ballroom dancing and as an added benefit met some wonderful people.  I lost my Sadie this past Labor Day that brought an additional heartbreak with it.  My job has had its share of unmentionable challenges with the ups and downs and office drama that only a large corporation can offer.  I tried online dating and met some lovely men and a few not-so-lovely ones, made a great friend, and am more hopeful than I’ve been in awhile. I survived Hurricane Matthew, and in doing so learned there are many angels walking around here on earth.

I can only imagine what’s ahead. I’m looking forward to a quick but much-needed cruise with Meg next month. I’ve started working virtually for a transcription company in the hopes of having an exit strategy when the time comes to leave Hospice. I’m eager to spend time with my mom and siblings at Reed Ranch in January, see my Oklahoma kids and grandkids again. Next spring will bring another opportunity to go to Michigan, hopefully with Meg, and see Audrey and her parents.

It has been a surprisingly good year; I have no complaints. I’m grateful for my many blessings; I’m excited about the future. I know we can’t stop time, but perhaps we can slow down a little now.


an·tic·i·pa·tion1 : the act of looking forward; especially : pleasurable expectation;                                                                       2 : visualization of a future event or state

I have to say, I have a love/hate relationship with anticipation. I love surprises, the spur-of-the-moment, the let’s-not-think-too-much-about-it-in-case-we-talk-ourselves-out-of-it kind of impetuousness that began in my teens and has not yet left me. I’m not saying I like living on the edge, but I’m all for jumping into the car and just driving, or getting short notice of a trip home and really enjoying the whole experience, the good, the bad–all of it. But I also love looking forward to things, thinking about them, trying to decide the hows, then whens, the wheres.

So here’s a rundown of the past few months regarding the theme of ‘anticipation’ and how it has applied to my life lately:

  • Anticipation #1:  Buying a house on a short sale. If you’ve ever heard about how difficult this can be, you’ve heard correctly. While not impossible, it is definitely stressful. This kind of anticipation I can do without. You actually do not know until you sign the papers whether you have a done deal or not. The ups and downs of that roller coaster ride will not quickly be forgotten.
  • Anticipation #2:  Going to Disney Flower and Garden Show and looking forward to that Soarin ride. Awesome!!! And trying to fit this in with packing, working, beaching, packing and working.
  • Anticipation #3:  A stupendous, impulsive acceptance of an offer to fly home for my son’s graduation party, a quick overnight totally worth the stress of missing the first leg of my flight (see previous post about Amy).
  • Anticipation #4: Finally moving into the new house (even though half our stuff is still at the old one); sleeping here, waking here, driving to and from work from here (1 mile!). But tomorrow should be the end of the dreaded anticipation of renting a truck and moving the rest here. To. Be. Finally. Done.

And then these little anticipations, like looking forward to having our wretched patio door replaced with lovely French doors that will open out onto the screened lanai (must wait 4 days!  Anticipation!). Like seeing the kitchen come together after Thom took all the doors and drawers down and repainted them. Like going to work with the broken old counter in the kitchen, only to come home to a beautiful NEW gray counter to go with our now white cupboards! I love leaving the house in the morning and coming home later and seeing new things on the walls, new paint on the lanai, a slightly different room arrangement. Those are FUN surprises!

  • Anticipation #5: Kevanna. They are flying down in 14 days. 14. This is when I love/hate anticipation. I love to look forward to having them here. I love that I know they’re going to love it here and have a great time. I love that they’ll love our new place, because that’s the kind of people they are. Frankly, I love having that ‘deadline’ to get things moving more quickly around here so it’s more than ready for our first visitors in our new home. What I hate about this sweet anticipation is that the hours are going by in a jumble of preparation, and I have to spend all my days at work where time seems to drag slower than a bored manatee. I could be doing soooo much more around here. So while the days are, on their own, going slowly till they arrive, I know without any doubt that we’ll be looking at 5 of the fastest days the earth has ever seen while they’re here with us.
  • Anticipation #6: Caitlin’s wedding. It’s at the end of June. I’m flying in the 27th, a Thursday. I’m still debating whether to spend the money on a car. I don’t want to pack much, but I’m thinking all about that, anticipating the unpredictability of Michigan weather, what clothes to bring, where I’ll be staying, who I’ll be seeing until I leave on the 4th.
  • Anticipation #7: The moving south of my knittin’ sista’ ‘Neet and Dean. Never in a billion, gazillion years did it ever even take a baby step across my mind that she would really want to move down here.  I can’t put into words how very happy — just really HAPPY — this makes me. And I look at hundreds of houses online and send link after link to her, sometimes even going to the house itself and taking pictures of it and talking/walking though it with her on the phone. Her cabin sale just HAS to go through. C’mon Dad, C’mon Murph, Amy, Ria…this little project shouldn’t be hard for any of you, so let’s make it happen!

Yes, anticipation can be fun if you’re the patient type. I’ve been told it’s not my thing  Instead of I’M PATIENT, I’m more without the apostrophe: IMPATIENT. I do think the life lesson I’m here to learn has to do with patience and my lack of it., and I will say that at least I do feel like I’m more patient than I was even two years ago.  Sure, I still stew and worry about how things are going to get done and when. But I’ve also learned to try and step away from the project so no one gets hurt, especially Thom. 

Leatherneck MummaSo yes, lots of anticipation going on around here. The vast majority of it is good, for a change.Summer is coming, family is coming,the beaches are calling our names. I’ve got the days off work to just enjoy being with the kids. I hope there’s a good Florida thunderstorm while we’re at the ocean. I hope we see dolphins and pelicans. And I wonder, were we to get up in the early hours of the morning, if we might just spot a female leatherback turtle, one who has spent the past 10 years of her life in anticipation of moving her nearly 6-foot girth up the very beach where she was born to the dunes to lay her hundred eggs and then turn and slowly make her way back to the water, never to see her offspring again.

Or will she…….?  Something to anticipate!