Friday December 13 2013

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)[i]

Waking up around 12:30 p.m.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk. Orange Grapefruit Juice.

Meeting Ana at her house in Norfolk. She gives me a ride to the Newport News airport.

Ana: "Sometimes I feel like I wanna cut off my hair. It's like my best friend and my enemy at the same time."

I turn on 790AM talk radio with Rush Limbaugh. He's reading out a list that Forbes Magazine just released called Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid, "Mentally tough people don't give up after failure! Mentally tough people don't fear alone time. Mentally tough people enjoy and even treasure the time they spend alone!"

I raise my hand to Ana, "High-five to mentally tough people! That's me and you right there."


At the airport. She waits with me before I go through the security/gate entrance. Over in a secluded area we do ab exercises together. She steps on my feet as I pump out 25 curls. We hug and kiss goodbye.

Ana at Airport (Dec 13 2013)

Crunches at Airport (1)(Dec 13 2013)

Crunches at Airport (2)(Dec 13 2013)

I wait by gate B1. The sun is setting through the glass pane windows. The fairly small terminal is littered with people just waiting. Waiting. Hurry up and wait, the motto of any experienced traveler. Three kids perch themselves by the window and point out all the actions of the flaggers outside.

"Look! She's blowing her whistle!"

I fill myself up with lunch: Banana. Almond, Cashews, and Dried Cranberries. Popped Potato Chips. Raspberry Lemonade.

Our plane is apparently delayed by an hour. The guy manning the kiosk declares through the PA system that it will be "open seating", meaning first come first serve. This causes every single one of us to swarm up in line. Luckily, I was already waiting close by. People are upset they aren't going to get the seats they paid for. I overhear someone joke with another about there being no first class on this plane. "It's all cattle class!" We all pile into the plane. I try to locate the calmest seating situation I can. I choose a window seat next to a very quiet and reserved Asian man. Impatience and anticipation fills the compressed air. The plane still isn't taking off just yet. For some reason the flight attendants keep walking up and down the aisle doing a head count. A group of newly acquainted strangers behind me laugh at the absurdity of our scenario. One of them is a hick comedian.

"I'm gon' miss my lobster dinner at 8:30!" 

"Y'all done had some egg nog before y'all got on board!"

Eventually, we take off. I keep my nose into Anne Frank in hopes I can finish before we land. Snacking on some Ginger Chews. It's hard not to doze off for a few minutes. My feet are freezing.


I arrive in Orlando. Outside of baggage claim I spot the silver GMC. My mom smiles so big it makes her tear up. She let her hair grow natural silver gray. She's wearing a green Ninja Turtles t-shirt. Everything about her is still youthful even at 57. Myra is driving; she's my mom's new best friend, or life partner shall we say. They've been living together this past year. It's a little over an hour and a half drive from the airport to Bartow. Sharing Apples.

When trying to figure out the directions my mom recognizes familiar territory and says, "We're where we know where we are." The on the spot alliteration is uncanny.

We make it home. My mom whips up a small makeshift dinner for me in the kitchen with leftover Red Beans and Rice, Onions, Carrots, Egg, and Bread. I watch her cook underneath the big sign above the door that reads, "Live Life Well And Love With A Pure Heart". I always thought that was appropriate for my mother. She does have a pure heart. And I love her for that.

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)


Floridacation Weekend with Mom (Dec 2013)

Myra seems to be a little shy, or I guess she's just being careful to allow time with my mom. Late into the night I catch up with my mom. Finding old music books in the piano bench along with an old score sheet from a piano recital I performed when I was 15. Reminiscing to music like Etta James, The Crickets, and Patsy Cline on the computer. I show her a few modern bands like Vampire Weekend that could match up to the oldie style. History repeats itself in music. 

Sipping on Tea and snacking on Animal Crackers.

I settle down on the air mattress in the guest bedroom that my mom covered with a blanket that says Showers of Blessings. She never failed to provide showers of blessings to me in my life.

[i] Images by me.

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