Wednesday, July 23, 2003

And yes, we did other things in Florida and on the way down. We visited my dad, Hilary and my son Christopher in Knoxville. We visited Mike's parents and sisters outside of Gainesville - his sister Kathy keeps some livestock - two goats, a donkey and a miniature horse - which Joseph took great, bustling pride in feeding. We saw friends in Gainesville, Lakeland, and the Tampa area. We all are the same, and we all change. Friends once immersed in church life now barely go, for various reasons, ranging from ideological to familial. Heavier, thinner, grayer. Once single, now married with children. The greatest physical change - from apparently glowing good health to frailty and impairment wrought by battles with three kinds of cancers - embodying the most consistent spirit - a woman who still represents to me undaunted love of life, faith in God and a generous heart.

And what are they saying about me, I wonder...

Speaking of change, we went by my old house in Lakeland, my sweet little 1920's bungalow in between the lakes that I sold to a couple the male half of which was a free-lance set builder for the likes of Universal and Busch Gardens. So, as they told me, they had big plans for the place. I was happy.

Well, I hope they've been spending the past three years working out those big plans on the interior, because the exterior was a wreck - I'm hoping that they're simply in the process of repainting, for that's the only reasonable explanation for the way it looked. The fruit trees in the back were gone, victims, I suspect, of a canker that I heard went through central Florida soon after I left. I was surprised. Katie wept, for some strange reason....

The tonic of the trip was our time at Treasure Island, which is the beach just north of St. Pete Beach. It was just what I needed, especially after days of puzzling at the pointless weirdness human beings create, both at the CBA and at Universal.

God does a much better job, I think.