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.
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.)