Have you ever had a specific locale take on mythic proportions? Our family has had the lovely opportunity to visit Watercolor and Seaside, Florida on several occasions over the past, nearly, 10 years. There is not only a different climatic feel to Florida, but also a slower and calmer pace to life. The pastel colors of Watercolor are a serene visual to the, frozen, eyeballs of we northerners. Seaside and Watercolor are so close geographically that it is difficult to know when you have left one and entered the other. There are a lot of walkers and joggers out and about along with many people on bicycles. You can tell the natives from the visitors from the frozen tundra. The Floridians are wearing bright colors that match the surrounding architecture, while the snowbirds are dressed in the drab browns and blacks and grays of the wearers, usual, winter surroundings. Happy people smile at you as they wave from their golf carts. It is easy to believe that you have entered an alternate universe where the normal cares and concerns of life have evaporated.
Sundog Books is a favorite stop of mine. It is an independent bookstore. One of the primary elements that I enjoy about Sundog, is the staff that work there are, supremely, into books. When I asked for a recommendation regarding mysteries…no less than four people assisted me. When one of my assistants had not read a book that I was thinking about…the, kind, person who was helping me called out to one of her colleagues, who had read the book that I was inquiring about, to help me. They made the books that I purchased, come alive, to me!
MJ was in search of a Tilley Hat. She had been admiring the one that I had purchased, in Maine, this past spring. Next door to Wine World…is a little shop called, Florida Outfitters. I knew that they carried Tilley Hats, because I had searched for one that would fit me for the past nine years. The manager of the shop was animated with joy when she inquired as to whether he had a Tilley Hat that would fit her. He not only assured her that he did…but subsequently produced the selfsame hat! She was overjoyed. Not only was there a hat for MJ…but there was one that fit me that was a different color and style than the one that I had discovered in Boothbay, Maine. Now we have matching hats!
Wine World has an almost mythic status for Ron and I. My friend and I have been enjoying the blessings of the grape and the wisdom of deep discussion for nearly 10 years…al fresco. Many of the world’s problems have been solved by us, as well as detailed colloquies concerning the meaning of life and the opportunities of retirement. At our visit, two Fridays ago, Ron and MJ and I enjoyed some wonderful Merlot. We were not able to partake of their delicious and diverse cheeses, due to a remodeling project that they were undergoing.
Our journey to the peaceful and beautiful Florida hamlets of Seaside and Watercolor were what fond memories are made of.