God’s Waiting Room has a Paneras

Here’s the problem: I’m in Florida and we don’t have internet here at the bungalow (Or TV for that matter. It’s actually quite nice). But it means I have to go to Panera’s to read, comment or post anything. That’s tough because when I’m down here lounging about I have a lot to say and many comments I want to leave but I always end up smelling like burnt coffee and running out of battery before I get that accomplished. At this moment I’m sitting outside in a wi-fi zone of the BayWalk complex, dining on a fine buffo mozzarella salad, drinking a glass of Chardonnay and putting up this post. Then I’m going to linger over tiramisu and see if I can and come see you. It’s 72 degrees and balmy in St. Petersburg.

I was no sooner out of town than Bonnie signed off. I will miss her more than anything but I feel as though she came into my life at just the right moment and I’ve made a new and real friend who will stay in my head and heart forever. I think we started our weblogs around the same time and she was one of my earliest commenters. I’m fairly sure it was the thought of Lutefisk that first brought her to me and from that point on it was love. “Pasties or Lutefisk? What to have for dinner tonight?” Oddly enough, Hoss made his first visit here that same day- he was drawn by the visual aids describing the difference between pasties and pasties."Those pasties look good to me."  I must have good mojo to have them and you as my friends.

Bonnie epitomizes the best of blogging at this level (the one where we write about our lives and homes and interests): her posts were always beautiful and informative and gentle and she always exhorted us to call our mums. Bonnie also took good care to visit everyone regularly and leave good humor, poetry and wit. While she will be ever so sorely missed in the neighborhood, we know that she is up to more good doing her yoga and teaching and loving that beautiful family. I dare say, the woman was a blessing in my life.

I did try to leave a couple comments yesterday and they were all full of dyslexic junk typing so I came back here to the house to drop a little more of our essence about the place. We had it rented out for three months over the summer and to that end I put away all personal touches and so now, since we’ll be here off and on over the next couple months, I need it to feel more home-like.

Our bungalow (you can see pictures in the album on the sidebar) is a delightful little Arts and Crafts affair in the heart of historic NE St. Petersburg. It’s not near condos or pink flamingoes or beach bars, although we are just a few blocks from the Bay, the marina, the pier, the museums, Baywalk and downtown proper with nice shops and restaurants. We have mature trees and brick paver streets.

I have always thought of Florida as the waiting room for the next go around, way too hot and cursed with hurricanes. I still think that but we’ve discovered the better aspects of the place now that we’ve had this house for almost a year. Like giant cockroaches.

Abby lives down here now- right across the street in her own little pool house and our neighbor is her landlord and keeps an eye on her in times of storms and car maladies but otherwise leaves her be. This pleases Abby. She’s going to USF and is in their Honors College and Environmental Science and Policy Program. Last night at dinner I heard more about the inner workings of solid waste treatment plants than I ever wanted to know.

One thing that I think is synonymous with Florida is tacky Christmas lights and, like a magpie to glitter, I LOVE tacky Christmas lights. And with our schedule, it seemed as though we should error on the side of early in getting them up. So after dinner we went to Wal-Mart’s and bought really tacky lights and, heaven forbid, a small fake Christmas tree. The centerpiece of our outdoor display is a handsome three-dimensional polar bear who moves his head from side to side. Rich also wanted a string of those hot burning jumbo old-fashioned lights to drape around the front door and I’m terrified that they are going to ignite the frame house the second we turn our backs. As far as the Christmas tree goes the idea of fake is repugnant but necessary if we’re going to have a tree here because we need to be able to come and go and not worry about it. This morning I pulled it out of the box and bam,bam,bam, three shakes and it’s up. Not too shabby for 29.00. Actually, we got what we paid for- it looks like 29.00 worth of green bottle brush- but that leads me to my next post, with a brief interlude for a photo post.

5 responses to “God’s Waiting Room has a Paneras

  1. Amen to everything you said about Bonnie. I will admit to a welling up of tears when I read her good-bye post, and when I went back and read her last comment at my place. I know she is doing the right thing for her family and herself, but I am selfish and I want her in my neighborhood. I am already writing my Bonnie post in my head, and I suspect that a few others are doing the same. God, it seems a little melodramatic to be weepy about this. But here I am, sniffling and feeling a little sorry for myself. Thanks for indulging me by reading this long comment. Sounds like you are having fun in Florida.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about Bonnie. Hang in there, toots!

  3. Bonnie will definitely be missed–but how wonderful is it that this blogging thing is able to bring so many people together the way it does? The bond that the two of you share makes me smile– that two such perfectly lovely people found each other…

    This is the second mention of the fantabulous three-dimensional polar bear. I’m holding you to your word and demanding a pictorial.

    Oh, and please tell me you are kidding about the giant cockroaches.

  4. I am sad about Bonnie also–she always knew the right thing to say. That’s what happens when you have 11 children, I guess. I’m glad that you are having a decent time in Abby-land, in spite of the primitive Internet.

  5. Early this morning I clicked on Belle on her Toes just to read a few of her earlier posts that I missed. She is really gone. The whole site is gone. God bless you Bonnie, and your family. We will always remember to call and love and hug our moms because of your words of wisdom. And each time we do, we’ll think of you.

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