It’s the second morning, the second sunrise, of our third day–at our winter home. I just got out of bed, it’s 8:56 am and the thermometer on the wall over my head reads 85.6 F. Mmmmmm. Should I read something into this?
The sun set yesterday on our first full day at the Siesta Bay Resort in Fort Myers. My tan line is getting defined, my sweat glands are getting an exercise in functionality and I’m feeling my age.
After arriving on Sunday afternoon and were led to our site (I actually backed the Rpod in myself, thank you) we began the ritual of unhitching, balancing, adjusting the supports (that’s RV talk for those of you who fly to a resort), hooking up the water line and plugging into the 30 amp box, we were overheated and as sweaty as those pro basketball players you see on ESPN. Two hours later, as we sought out a Barnes & Noble, a Starbucks and an RV Camper Store to make a few necessary purchases, we were even more sweaty and hot. We both took a quick shower and I tuned into the World Series on my TuneIn app. The game was great (and interesting to listen to rather than watch), until the late innings. My heart didn’t bleed real blood, I’m a Yankee fan, but I felt sorry for the Mets fans out in the boroughs, in places like Queens and Kips Bay.
But, first we had to get the interior cooled off just a little. I would have settled for about fifteen degrees cooler and 35% less humidity, but you work with what you have. What we had was a small fan. Actually, it’s a really small fan. It’s about the size of a compact box of Kleenex tissues. If you put a candle three inches in front of said fan, the flame might wiggle a little–maybe not.
We had to bring out the “big guns”. It was time to turn on our AC. The last time we used it was in October, 2013 when we were in Death Valley. It does a fine job in cooling off the limited living space in our RV. In reality, this AC unit could easily chill the interior of a Greyhound bus. Soon, I could see my breath. An hour later, my core body temperature was down enough to consider turning the thing off. We did and were stunned at how we had been shouting at each other over the noise from the fan. There is no Low/Medium/High setting. It was ON or OFF. The neighbors probably thought the Yanks were having a tiff. It would have been a logical guess–scenic traveling can be stressful.
I looked up at my indoor/outdoor thermometer (digital) that I mounted with velcro to the wall above my head. It was late at night–the temperature was supposed to go down after the sun set. But, I noticed the indoor temperature was 1.6 degrees warmer than the outdoor temperature. It must need new batteries.
Then the real heartbreak. I had been staring at a blank wall when I would lay down to read or play Scrabble. It’s an empty space above the window where my feet are during the night. I had plans to make that wall my (our) Postcard Wall Of Memories. I was going to put up a typical postcard from all the interesting places we visiting on this road trip. It would be a visual reminder of favorite places, fond memories. My first card was a sepia toned photo of the Chrysler Building at night. It’s a famous photograph. I put a long strip of double-sided tape on the back. I found it two days out of New York City–sitting at the foot of the bed. It fell off. The second card what called “Rainbow Row”. It was a beautiful color picture of the amazing houses in Charleston, SC. It stayed on the wall.
We were both up early so we could enjoy the cool morning air. After that twenty-five minutes was over, Mariam had to find a shady place to use her laptop (she works three days a week and all her business can be done with emails and phone calls). She had a nice shady spot in front of the camper. The mid-morning sun was getting serious so I had to seek out some shade so I could write in my journal and read a few chapters of a very thick book.
I found a place of shade provided by the middle tree of trio of palms in “our” yard. Or, someone’s yard. I put my chair in place and settled in. Then, seven minutes later, I had to shift my chair. The sun moves across the sky just like at home–in the North Country.
Later, in the afternoon, Mariam had moved her “office” to the breezeway, which is a common room open to the breezes. So, if the air ever did move, there would be a breeze. I came prepared to use the pool. I went into the gate and was confronted by about twenty elderly people taking half the pool to play volleyball. I looked around and counted the number of people in the water, those playing the game those just treading away in the deep end. There were twenty-seven. I made a fair estimate of their average ages and decided that 71 was an appropriate assumption. Not counting me (I was about to be the twenty-eight), the aggregate age of the pool population was 1,917 years. Calendar-wise, that goes back to the beginnings of the major religions. That made me take a step back. I prayed that I would skew that number by a few months. This pool needed it.
After a few laps, I retired to my lounging chair to watch my sand dry in the sun. Don’t ask. It’s a long story and another blog. If you must know why I have a zip-lock bag of damp sand, send me a message or email and I will tell you the whole truth).
Back at our site, which is #143, in case you were starting your holiday shopping early, I noticed a tree about thirty feet from the front of the R-pod. It’s too perfect. I have strong suspicions that it’s a cell phone tower like the kind they use when local populations force Verizon to make things look “natural”. I think this helps to explain the constant vertigo I’ve been feeling since we left Rainbow Lake. Maybe I should do a Google search for a local Pilates Class for Seniors.
So, what have I learned in my first day and a half at the place where we will celebrate New Years Eve ’15?
I was quick to notice how ubiquitous the golf cart is to the folks who stay here year after year. They are everywhere. And, I think that is very understandable and hip in a way. They are quiet, non-polluting, and can get you to the pool in just a few minutes.
Then there was the warning we were given about the picturesque pond just beyond the tennis courts. The woman who checked us in said that we can’t swim there.
I asked why.
She said something about alligators, two of them, who live in the pond. At least that’s what I think she said.
We’ve been in Florida now for four days. I’m pretty sure I heard correctly. After all, the northern end of the Everglades are a mere one hour drive away.
While I’m here, I fully intend to obey all signs say: No Swimming.
The crickets are chirping in the foliage and the cars speed by on the highway to and from Sanibel Island.