Tuesday, January 24, 2012


We were driving along a causeway highway, with bright stucco houses with clay roofs and hurricane shutters beside us on one side, their mailboxes either shaped like dolphins or manatees, and with tall seagrass and trails on the other side. The day was brighter than bright. We had passed surf shops and tattoo parlors, a lone Starbucks and lots of rundown but still open restaurants, including one with a sand floor. To our left was the ocean and to our right was a wetland, and then a bay.

We had the windows open and the warm air poured over us.

"What would you do for a living if we lived here?" I asked my husband.

He decided he'd likely give up teaching, be a driver of some sort. I thought I'd probably be on a Fun Team, running bingos and crafts at a resort.

Instead, here we are. A land of snow. I've just returned from walking the dog. Both the dog and I had near slips on black ice. The wind whipped at us. I return to a desk filled with papers, empty coffee cups and ideas. Dave stayed at work late tonight, working on a project he rarely gets to during the day when other are around.

I choose this, I thought the other day. I'd rather live up to my potential than go troppo. Troppo was a term we learned in Australia years ago -- derived from tropical, and fueled by sun and sand, it's a description of a state of mind where you really could not care less, and where tan lines may be your biggest problem.

I choose this, I say again.


Today I wanted azure sea and geranium pink flowers. I wanted orange blossoms and fresh-picked fruits. I wanted seagulls that were white against a brilliant blue sky, instead of the unfortunate gray ones against an even grayer sky.

I choose this.

But I also choose small escapes. And I hope for you to tell me your escapes and dreams. What colours and scents and places and tastes do you long for these days?

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