I’ve been away.
We stayed plenty busy down in Florida, with Ahab and The Nana for the last few weeks.
We did a lot of this:
A little of that (I think it’s important for you to know that I only mostly win.):
Some of this:
And even a visit to my favorite South Florida barbeque joint. (The Georgia Pig, for those taking notes.)
But, the most exciting things to happen, by far, were my Close Encounters.
First, we had a lizard that decided that the car was a much more exciting place to hang out than the yard. For 3 days! I mean, I thought, fer sure, this little bugger would “expire” in the heat of the car while we were at the beach, that first day.
I forgot one little fact. Floridian lizards live in the heat all the live long day. The car was probably a respite. The more I think about it, the car was probably like a spa visit. Some air conditioning, a few generously sprinkled cracker crumbs… he had himself a veritable spa weekend getaway!
He really lived it up in there. Until, I finally had enough of our “Where Will Larry the Lounge Lizard Be Today” game, every time we got into the car. So, The Nana graciously, and bravely, got him to Sit! Stay! Jump on a pole! And promptly took him out of the car.
HOORAY FOR THE NANA!
Said with no relief what-so-ever.
However, it was the close encounter that took place in the ocean, that caused the most excitement.
And, by “excitement”, I mean, cause for adding to the salt content of the ocean.
Ahab taught me two important things about snorkeling, growing up. One, stay aware of your surroundings. Two, objects in mask are smaller than they appear.
Sweetboy, my nephew, Ahab, and I were snorkeling around a reef area close to the beach one day. I swam in to drop Sweetboy off, up at the beach. He was tired, and I was using my old fins, one of which had a split on the top. It made for lots of stopping to empty the sand out.
As I neared the shallow area where I could stand and shake out my fin, I noticed another type of finned thing off to my left. A long sharky looking finned thing.
“Calm down, woman. It’s not as big as you think. Just carry on.”
So, I took off my fin, as planned. I was just about to put it back on when I noticed that my finned friend had come much much closer, and was most definitely longer than I was.
I’m not short.
I haven’t moved that fast since high school! I scrambled my way, fin in hand, up to the beach and out of that water so fast, I darn near ripped one of my fingernails off!
Ahab and my nephew tried to convince me to get back in and swim out to them.
Uh, no can do!
My family, of course, has ridden this for all it’s worth. From placing things like this in front of me, to ask if I recognized my “friend” from a lineup:
to telling me that he “just wanted to get to know me better”, the gags have been nonstop.
He might have wanted to get to know me better, but I just wasn’t that into him.
We even sidled up to a car at the movies with this bumper sticker on it’s rear:
Everyone in the car erupted in laughter.
Except for me.
That was an encounter of the too close kind, thank-you-very-much!
And finally, Sweetman and I were granted the opportunity to skip out one night for dinner.
Did we do the Happy Dance all the way out the door? Why, yes. Yes, we did.
When we returned home, Sweetman practically swept me off my feet. But, not for the reason I’d have hoped.
“Is that one of those deadly poisonous snails”, he asked?
I’m just going to admit, right now, that between the darkness of night and my enjoyment of a beautiful bottle of Cab with that Sweetman of mine, I was in no shape to be differentiating between deadly and non-deadly snails.
When we had safely maneuvered into the house, we showed The Nana a picture, (Because, even if you’re near a deadly snail, you still have to stop and snap a pic. Am I right?), and asked if these were the Death Snails.
(By the way, she was totally waiting up for us – even though we are solidly in our 40’s!)
The Nana informed us that these African snails are indeed deadly, but that the bad ones are 4 or more inches across.
These, thank The Good Lord, were not.
We escaped death, once more.
All said, I believe this trip was filled with enough adventure and close encounters to last me a good long while.
Or, at least until next year.