Monday, February 13, 2012

Nonnie's Poetry Trip: Part 3

So…the poetry festival over, signed editions packed, laundry bag bulging, I left Delray Beach to start my trip home to Panama City Beach. The feathers in the pillow that is me had been plumped and I felt fat and happy. (Er, let me be clear. I'd actually lost a little weight-lots of walking, fore-going restaurants except for lunches, and yogurt.) If I'd any tendency toward bluishness, it was insignificant, because I wasn't just trudging home. I was on my way to spend a night with Yvette, who I've known online for six years give or take, but only met in person last year, and from there on to Cormac and Nancy's. I've known Cormac my whole life.

Before heading out, I asked at the desk of my hotel, and no, there was no way to get to Titusville from Delray without using I-95. The young man made his point, with lovely patience, when he said, "you'll have a horrible drive and besides it will be ugly." But, you know? Once I drove through the south Florida crush, the interstate wasn't bad. And I got to Yvette's in the early afternoon. This was a good thing, because we needed to talk non-stop for seven hours. Only Downton Abby's new episode interrupted the conversation.

We talked about: books, writing, men, dogs, cats, parrots, horses, childhood, children, photography, journaling, home décor, books, poetry, The Linnet's Wings's, (the magazine we both help edit,) World War 2, Holland, names, death, books, cooking, (Yvette's good at this-I'm getting better) the many parts of the country we've in common, drinking, not drinking, Zoetrope Virtual Studio, money, money for writing, other people's writing, men, friends, being a twin (Yvette is) ancestry, pets, divorce, politics (we are both liberal, fairly sensible, and women) health, treasures, dance, music, road trips, films, films from books, and family. We talked a lot about family. Then, after all the superb conversation, chicken curry, and Downton Abby, we collapsed. Yvette had to get to work the next morning, and because she had to be there so early, (normally she gets to work at 6am, but she was going in a little later) I'd called Cormac and told him I'd probably show up at his place by 7am and he'd said that was fine. In fact I didn't wake up the next morning until 7:30. I called Cormac, Yvette and I had a final coffee together, she went off to her re-arranged day at her lab, and I set off to find my old friend and meet his wife.

They didn't mind that I got there three hours later than we'd planned the night before. Cell phones are great for situations when you are running a little behind, don't you think? Ah, well. Beautiful, sleek, airy house. Nancy, who I immediately liked, plied me with coffee and offered eggs, but I settled for an English muffin. Jeez louise I had fun at Cormac and Nancy's! He'd been Tarzan to my Jane when we were little. (I'd always wanted to be Cheetah, but hardly ever got to.) My brother Drago performed the ceremony when, as Princess Sunny Feathers, I married Cormac, who was The Chief. We had the best neighborhood to play in! Woods, a pond with a swampy part, front, side and back yards that connected to each other, streets that were ours to play in until the dads got home from their NYC jobs, a mob of kids, and in winter, ice-skating, a huge, by our standards, sledding hill, snow forts, all of that. Everyone knew everyone and the grown-ups got together on Saturday nights for a party at one house or other. Cormac's mom was my mom's best friend. I hadn't seen Cormac since the 70's, so this was quite a catching-up session. Funny, sad, astonishing lives.

Nancy made me maps for my trip home on the cross-state road that Cormac suggested. Rte. 40 was an uncomplicated drive through Ocala horse country and beyond. The easy drive was a good thing, because, man, did I have stuff to think about! My head and my heart were full-up. I made it all the way to Perry late Monday afternoon, where I stayed in a spiffy new Holiday Inn (the first chain motel I'd been in on this ten-day jaunt.) Tuesday morning I woke up at 4:30 (!) and hit the road soon after. I was that anxious to get home to Drago and our cat and dog. There was fog for awhile, but the kind I could deal with, and then the lovely Big Bend of Florida's Gulf Coast. I was unpacked by the time Drago got home from teaching yoga.  Since getting home, I've seen two of my three doctors, started the damn breathing machine, and settled back in to my quiet life. I know my loved ones are relieved that I made it home safe and sound, and I am too, and I can't say I'm anxious for another road trip just yet. Not just yet.



Unknown said...

We did not talk about beetles and cornbread. Every other thing - handled. What a wonderful visit we had, and we will have more.

I love travelling with you, Nonnie, through your words. You plump your reader's pillows and hearts.

The Coyote Kid said...

This is as good as Downton Abby. Well ... I watched again last night as I do every Sunday. Hooked.
LIne and sinker. Just like I'm hooked on Augustine's Confessions.

Is there a 10 step program I can join?

Wendy Ogden said...

Loved this post Nonnie.

I am in awe of your conversations.
Also I'm fairly envious of your memory!


rak said...

i can understand some of why you may not be wanting another trip but damn i will reading about them.

rak said...

Miss reading about them!

Karen said...

Well, I join the others in hoping you'll be tripping again soon .... love reading of these adventures, and I am sooo looking forward to a Florida adventure again, perhaps this year. I want to explore Key West.