Saturday, June 8, 2013

Viva Palma Ceia

A year ago the Republican National Convention was a gathering in Tampa to officially nominated Mitt Romney for President. Party leaders delivered speeches around the convention theme, A Better Future.  It’s almost a year later and Obama is still president. Dad is moving closer to his 95th birthday. Greg’s boy Matthew is in college at the New College of Florida.* (Matt and I share our birth-date with Joe Cocker and Cher. He’s 21 now.)

Four years have passed since Lindsey and Chris began sharing a two bedroom apartment in the South Tampa, just a few blocks from Bayshore Boulevard in the South Tampa neighborhood of Palma Ceia. The long winding sidewalk on Bayshore along the bay is a favorite of joggers. Tropical storm Andrea manages to produce enough water to cause it to be closed to traffic part of the week. (Five days in Florida, four of them rainy days. It’s okay.)  

I’m on a mission of support for the remarkable, incredible, determined and fantastic Lindsey Morgan. She is down more than 150 pounds. A stomach band, diet, exercise and now adominoplasty (tummy tuck) are all part of her journey. She is a poster girl/testimonial for Orange Theory Fitness; an inspiration for all of those she encounters as youth group director at Temple Schaarai Zedek; a case study success for cosmetic surgeon Daniel P. Greenwald and a champion for all of those who may have self-doubt about what they may or may not be able to accomplish in life.

Dad is surrounded by vets at Baldamero-Lopez State Veterans Nursing Home in Land O Lakes, Florida. He’s not keen on the cuisine this evening; Shepherd’s Pie, Corn, Mashed Potatoes and white bread with butter. He does enjoy his cranberry juice though, before moving on to chocolate skim milk. Greg makes a note to check with dietary. He wants to follow-up on medication protocols too. This is a new location for J. O’C. M. Greg is watching the details. Since being delivered to the dining area, Dad has a mild obsession with the time. He checks his watch frequently and comments. “No-one has the right time here. Do you know what time it is?” Of course, I can’t resist the set up line. My catchy response, (I get to use it at least a half dozen times as Dad raises the question again and again): “Well Dad, he (Greg) doesn’t know and I don't care,” offering two plausible excuses to the irresponsible lack of attention to the passage of time. It’s true that I don’t care because I know these are precious moments and I’m not on my at home or in control of anything.  It’s not true that Greg doesn’t know what time it is, however. He is in charge of a long list of time-sensitive logistics at his household. (He might be in charge of picking Lauren up from a Girl Scouts community service function or stocking up on groceries for Taco Night at the blended Morgan-Yoho compound. He might have to meet with a roofing contractor. He might have to make arrangements for the next Broker Poker Night, Real Estate Lives meeting or Red Cross fundraiser. In fact, just recently he has been pressed into service to be chaperone for Lauren’s mission trip to the Dominican Republic, for which he may need to prepare.)

Uneventful and rainy for most of the trip, I finished reading Dethroning the King about the InBev take-over of Anheuser Busch and started reading The Wizard of Lies about Bernie Madoff and the giant Ponzie Scheme fraud he masterminded (a book recommended to me by Chris Dewey). Since Lindsey was not very mobile this week we watched a lot of pre-recorded reality television episodes of Little Miss Supreme pageants; little people adoptions, pawn shops, pickers, cooking competitions and the dangerous perils of crab fishing off the coast of Alaska.

What time is it? I don’t care, but it is incredible how slowly it seems to move and yet how quickly it passes. Maybe I care more than I like to reveal.

*Sarasota, FL - New College’s historic Bayfront Campus sits on the former estate of circus magnate Charles Edward Ringling (1863-1926), the older brother of John Ringling. Charles was one of the owners of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and was in charge of production, while his wife, Edith, participated in the business and was a member of the board of directors of the circus.

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