What lurks beneath?

Busy, busy couple of days. This life of leisure is time consuming, to be sure. Yesterday, Abby called to see if we wanted to go jogging with her across the Gandy Bridge. Snort. We saw this for the ploy that it was: she has been running the bridge every day since returning after break and she is often hoping for a ride between campus and the beginning of her run. We said we would walk while she ran and that worked out just fine.

Until I told her she ran like a platypus. But she DOES! I took some pictures of her running away from us and her legs go flopping out to the side like, I don’t know, mermaid flippers or something. It’s no wonder the child has knee problems. When she comes down all the impact of her weight is on the inside of her knees rather than the bottom of her feet. Fortunately, Rich, with more diplomacy, agreed with me that her stride is a bit off (WAY more than) and we talked to her about finding a trainer or following through on the PT recommendation of her physician from a year ago when she first complained of knee pain.

Rich and I walked. For some reason he feels compelled to narrate our activities. “Look! This trash barrel is at the half mile marker so I bet when we get to the next barrel, it will be one mile. By walking on this side of the bridge we are more protected from the wind than if we walk on that side because of that cement barrier there. Over there you can see the 275 traffic bridge to Tampa. There’s a plane coming in. Yadda, yadda, yadda.” I know he’s just making conversation- he’s the happy companion sort- so it’s hard for me to tell him that, basically, since I retired, I’m done listening or talking to people. Silence, please. Just for the next 14 years or so. I’m taking a break to commune with animals and birds and the like.

I know he also would have preferred a brisk walk but I was quite content to drag along the rail and look over to see what was in the water, if anything. For a good (slow) mile nothing but then- is that something? Rocks? Rich: “I think it’s moving. It is moving! What is that? Yadda,yadda,yadda.”

In the end, we saw a school of about a hundred rays (manta birostris), moving parallel along the bridge at my slow pace, so it was fun to watch them for about twenty minutes and then the platypus came running back to us and we went to lunch before she had another class. (This week, between birds, manatee, and rays, I am definitely aboard Fridays Ark. Go see who else is setting sail.)

That girl is taking 18 hours split between two campuses, working 30 hours a week and running every day- all without eating meat. Her goal this year is to run a thousand miles and do 10,000 push ups. That seems not only overly ambitious but a bit arbitrary to me. My goal is to lose five pounds and eat 14 fewer pounds of butter this year.Aruns

Today was the final punch list, pay off and building inspection on the house. The only sticking point on the inspection had to do with hurricane shutters. The builder wasn’t here at the time and the inspector wanted to know how long were the screws that held the shutter tracks to the house. I didn’t know. Besides, I had some very good company visiting from Bradenton.

Later in the afternoon Rich asked if the house passed and I said all except for some question about the shutters and the inspector said he would call the builder for the answer, so it was fine.

Enter Larry. Or Laawwry. Laawwry is helping me with landscaping- carting plants and dirt around, lugging heavy cement pots for porch plants and so forth. Laawwry is from the back hills of Tennessee and he is just as gay as gay can be. There’s something about the combination of the thick southern drawl and a gender affectation that makes his speech comically endearing, especially since he prefaces everything with, “Whaay, honey!”

Today, he overheard me talking to Rich about the shutters and he said, “Whaay, honey! I waas wundering ’bout thaat, maself!” I asked, “About what, Larry?” And he said, “Bout them shutters. Whaay you got them kind.”

I don’t know anything about hurricane shutters but these seemed pretty nice, pretty secure to me. The tracks are permanently adhered to the door and window frames and then these pleated sheets of metal get screwed on if there’s BIG WEATHER coming.

Lawwrry said, “But honey! Thay’re solid! Thay’re not fiberglass!” I asked him what made fiberglass shutters better than these solid metal ones and he said:

“Whaay honey! That hurricane will done come and go and all yur neighbors will be outside in tha sun, mingling and you’all still be in the dark, thanking that it’s still stormin!”

He has a point. With solid metal shutters I won’t even get to watch all that BIG WEATHER. And I’ll miss out on the post storm mingling. Now I want fiberglass hurricane shutters.

(you probably wouldn’t know, from reading this post, that I am happy as a clam at high tide spending my days with this incredibly loving husband and my darling platypus. But I am.)

22 responses to “What lurks beneath?

  1. St. Petersburg-ite wannabe...

    I’m still laughing but trying to type fast so I can be number one on the comment list…egads 28 on the last post. Watching the all those rays seems really incredible and the info from your smart gardner seems very valid. I saw a feature on TV awhile back about special storm windows or shutters that allow light to come in during (batten down all the hatches) hurricanes, and that is a very important consideration.

  2. It all sounds wunderbar!!

    Hannah used to narrate, too. “That girl over there is crying….” (Girl 6 feet away.)

  3. Oh I know what you mean about people talking while running/walking. My running group talks constantly. Sometimes I just want a solitary run. So I have to run faster or slower. And sometimes that doesn’t work. They slow down or speed up! Shhhh!

  4. Lordy, how could you talk and run at the same time. I would think it would take all you had to put one foot in front of the other and manage to breath… much less talk.

    Nyssa drove up to Fairfax today to see a school friend. She left around 2PM and called at 4:15 saying she was there…. I don’t think there is any way on earth that she drove the speed limit. I don’t drive the speed limit and it takes me a good hour and a half or a little more to get to Richmond. OK, I am going to stop thinking about how fast that was.

    She has one more week before the RA’s go back to campus. Her bright idea of the day… make roll out sugar cookies with the almond icing in the colors of William and Mary for all her residents. She practiced this week… it looks like I will be making the cookies.

    Have fun. I’m still a bit jealous about Beverly getting to have lunch down there. Just don’t fall in and ruffle the feathers on those stingrays… (yes, I do know they don’t have feathers!!)

  5. The Snarl is nothing if not ambitious. 10,000 push ups, huh? She’s gonna have some good-lookin’ guns on her.

  6. No fair. When I was a kid my family vacationed regularly in that area and I NEVER got to see a ray OR a manatee. No fair at ALL!

  7. I understood all that Lawwrry had to say. I probably know him. His Whaay ryhmes with my Paahh (pie, to otherners). Ask him to say it.

    10,000 pushups! wow. I think I did about 12 yesterday before flopping down and daydreaming.

  8. I loved the newsiness of this post, Vicki. All of it.

  9. What a treat to read your posts! I don’t think I’ve ever seen rays in the water like that either, but then, I don’t go walking over the Gandy Bridge. Many thanks for taking the time to spend with me yesterday with all that you have to do.

    I LOVE your house, McCloud and Sophie, and especially you, Vicki. Enjoy your days in the sun. I hear it’s going to be very cold in Chicago.

  10. Is your daughter an athlete? My daughter (24 now) swam competively for 11 years but always hated running. I do, too. I laughed all through your post, especially at your description of Rich. My husband talks a lot about nothing I care about, too, especially during car rides. Who cares if the steel beam supports on his left will be used for the new entrance at the tunnel?

  11. Well…from one very cold, dark, blistery,snow up to my… hummm…arm pitts, Canadian chick…this is very nice to read about you soaking up the sun, planting non-grass plants, playing with 100 or so rays makes this girl dream of lemon and lime trees. How wonderful it would be to walk out into your yard and pick some lemons and limes. Are you planting any trees? Would you consider these?? I can dream… can’t I? Thanks for making me feel like I am sitting in the sun with you.

  12. It must sool cool to see stingrays…always wanted to see something like that…living in northern michigan all I see is squrriels, deer…but that is ok. At least I don’t have to worry about storm shutters.

  13. When Roger and I walk, the only thing we say to each other is this, “Sssh, I think I see something.” In fact, we’ve talked about not even saying that. If either one of us stops, we know not to make a sound. Something is afoot. When we walk with friends we realize that mostly people like talk, talk, talk. We miss a lot of very cool things trying to keep track of their stories.

    Nice photo, vicki. You do see some great wildlife there.

  14. Many women long for more communicative men, you know. Yoga heals the ankles and knees better than anything else.

    Keep clam.~Ivar Haglund

  15. My husband can chatter too, and when I least want him to. (like when we are getting ready to take off in a plane, or Alison is starting her beam routine) I just want to be nervous in silence. I always claim to want a life of leisure, but I suspect that I would end up as busy as you. And I need to drop about 5 too before the weather gets nice. If it ever does.

  16. Manatees? Falcons? Rays? I want to come to Florida and see some wildlife.

    My wild turkeys are roosting elsewhere for the winter, so I’m stuck with squirrels and the occasional cardinal. I’ve stopped feeding the birds, because, well, I was really feeding my cats. And all the neighborhood cats.

  17. You should try sitting on a surfboard while a school of rays pass around and under you like a brown cloud. Pretty tingly.

    Tell the Snarl, I am at 240 pushups so far this year so she’d better try and keep up!

    You sound like a happy camper.

  18. Your “very good company” has a swell blog about the Chairman and the clowns. I am stealing it.

    Have you slept on the porch yet? And where are the flix of the baby running down the street with calves akimbo?

  19. Boy Wonder narrates EVERYTHING. There are some things, especially as his mother, I don’t need to know.

    Your wildlife sightings leave me breathless. We have have elephant seals and a very anxious Welshie. 😀

    And I’m gonna let the mocking of southern accents slide. This time. Ahem. (hee…)

  20. I am SO jealous…you have a flamingly queenesque landscaper. Can I borrow him?
    I’m sure he will make your yard look FABULOUS.

    And I am totally adding you to my blogroll. Because you make me ROFL.

  21. I love this post. I think I love it more because I am going backwards and I already knew you fell on your ass after making such fun of others!!!

  22. Rich’s Chatter is ALWAYS worthwhile.

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