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...for my annual trip to Florida to visit my mother and my grandmother.  I choose this time of year for two reasons: i am there to celebrate my mother’s birthday and i’ve had all of the northeast cold that i can take for one year!  I look forward to my trip for other reasons, as well.

My grandmother is 94 and a half.  I think that sounds funny.  I doubt my grandmother qualifies the “half” but i think it’s imperative!  Isn’t it funny how so many practices of our childhood once again become relevant when we‘re aged...but that’s another blog.  Mimi has always been a steady influence in my life.  She’s kind, considerate, courageous, loving, hard-working, sharp as a tack but deaf as a stone.  She plays bridge and bingo every week as well as hosts cards at her home at least once/week with my mother and her husband.  I have some pretty amazing memories of Mimi during my youth...for Mimi used to summer at our house when i was growing up.

My mother is 70 this year.  She’s aged very well, just like Mimi.  Mom loves those sudoku games that i hate.  Mom enjoys her himalayan cat (used to have two), her home, her husband and the warm weather of Florida.  Mom’s needs are pretty basic...she doesn’t need flashy jewelry, clothes, cars, etc.  Don’t get me wrong, Mom always looks lovely, she’s a real girly-girl and always has been.  My mother would wear something that looks nice even if it was extremely uncomfortable!

My visits usually involve my just going along for the ride.  I don’t go to the beach, even though it’s less than 5 miles from my mother’s house.  I don’t have any interest in visiting Disney or Sea World or Busch Gardens or any other tourist attraction.  We go out to eat several times, i accompany Mom and Mimi to BINGO on Saturday night, we go rummage saling on Saturday morning, out to dinner and cards on Wednesday evening, and maybe some shopping once or twice while i’m there.  I sleep in, and wake to the smell of freshly brewed coffee that i did not make.  I eat coconut cream pie and potato salad and  that i did not make.  I swim in a pool i do not maintain, i do no laundry, no vacuuming or dusting.  All in all, it’s like being in an alternate universe!  LOL

While i am in Florida, my family will go about their business as usual and i will hear from at least one of my children every single day.  I expect some drama from Jacquelyn, some “missing Mom” from Kelly and Patrick.  My husband will miss me about halfway into my time away for he will have had a steady flow of demands placed upon him with no one to assist in the dishing out of money, the rides to this place or that, or the finding of any number of missing items that one of the children MUST have.  I, on the other hand will have to ARGUE with my mother in order to help her do the dinner dishes!  I will have to keep a sharp eye on my laundry or she will do it behind my back.  I will have to be careful not to suggest that there is something i want to do or she will be dressed and ready to go in minutes.  I will need to refrain from mentioning a favorite food or it will appear in the cupboard or refrigerator!

This year i am arriving very late Wednesday so i will stay at a hotel near the airport the night i arrive and drive to my mother’s the next morning.  And, since i’m leaving so dreadfully early to come home, i’m driving back to the hotel the night before i leave and staying there. I don’t want to disrupt my mother’s house at late or early hours and it will be nice to have a couple of “me nights“, too.  I do enjoy staying in a hotel!

When i arrive home on the 31st of March, i fully expect that Spring will be on the horizon.  This is what i refer to as “the punctuation of my vacation“.


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