|Chalet Suzzanne, Lake Wales, Florida|
Nonnie's Poetry Trip: Part 1
Last night was my first with a home oxygen delivery system. I have an apparatus, that looks like a gas mask, which straps around my head and covers my face, a CPAP machine that takes up most of my night table, and a big blue square thing that supplies additional oxygen and makes soft factory noises. Blue does not go with the color scheme of my bedroom. Neither dog nor cat stayed in the room, let alone got on the bed, once I started my machines, and my brother wouldn't even look at me while I was wearing it. Maybe he has to get his courage up a little more. Maybe it's hard seeing someone you love needing help to breathe through the night?
Before starting this life-prolonging indignity, though, I went on a road trip. Two days driving and staying at historic hotels, six days and nights at a poetry festival, then a night with Yvette Managan, a kindred spirit and fellow editor (The Linnet's Wings), and a morning with Cormac Tully, who I first met when I was three and he was four (and a half!) Ten days away from Drago, my brother and housemate, Blossom, our dog and Sam, our cat. I missed them and they missed me, but jeez louise, what a time I had!
On the way to the Palm Beach Poetry Festival in Delray Beach, I drove along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico from Panama City to Panacea (I know, right?) with sparkling blue water (well, it was sparkling and it was blue) on my right, tooling gently through small towns or no towns with minimal traffic and Paul Simon, The Band, and Amadeus Mozart to keep me company. I lost the shore for awhile after the Big Bend, but recovered it, on three sides (!), when I arrived in Cedar Key. I spent the night in the Richard Boone room at The Isand Hotel. The building dates from 1859, has survived 150 hurricanes and is said to be haunted by several of the dead, including a prostitute from the days when the place was a Speakeasy. I took a long walk around the docks then had fresh clams and pasta for dinner. Outside my room was a second-story veranda with a view of the tiny town and the Gulf. There was no TV or phone in my room and I had an Alan Furst novel to start. Just right.
|Cedar Key, Florida|
I lingered at Chalet Suzanne in the morning. Oh, yes. But it wasn't all that hard to get back in my excellent 2005 Buick, because I only had a few hours to drive before I could check into The Colony Hotel and Cabana Club for a week of top-shelf poetry. That will be Part Two, though. At least.