The Long and Winding Road

I’ve learned a couple essential facts these past few months.

One, if you leave water balloons your grandson threw sitting on your patio deck, they will stick like glue and not be able to be removed, even with a pressure cleaner. Two, if you build a Zen garden, they will come. They, being cats who will come and then poop in your Zen garden.

Exhibit A. I will spare you the photo of the cat poop.

Well, it does kind of look like a giant litter box.

said Emma.

And while I thought a Rock garden would be zero maintenance, I didn’t count on the leaves and palm fronds falling and weeds sprouting through the rocks. The black weed blocker I put down underneath apparently doesn’t prevent weeds from growing completely. It just slows them down.

The third thing I’ve come to realize is nothing stays the same and change is inevitable. I already knew this one, of course, but lately it’s been hitting home hard. My babysitting gigs with middle grandson Liam ended when they moved to Colorado in September. A friend bought a house in Alabama to be closer to her family and she’ll be splitting her time between the two places, actually three as there is also a home in North Carolina. (Hi Tami!)

Other friends, Doug and Heidi, sold their house in Miami to move to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They still have a condo in the Keys, so hopefully we’ll see them there, but they have moved on. And other friends, Brooks and Sharon, decided to sell their home in Cutler Cay and move to one of two cities in Florida. As soon as they find a house they like, they’ll list their home. Sharon’s mother Connie, who’s lived with them for many years, is moving to The Villages to be by her other daughter and have a more active social life. At 86.

So, all of this change, makes me feel sad and a little like we’re being deserted. Like we’re missing the boat. What boat? I guess the boat out of Miami loaded with a big bag of cash. While we would like to sell our albatross of a house (I’m sure this will attract plenty of buyers!) it doesn’t make any sense to sell it unless we move out of Miami. And my kids, stepkids, grandkids, Mom and sisters are in Miami, so we are not moving. My life is here; but still it makes me sad. I guess the only thing I can do is enjoy the time I have with friends and family, because you never know when they might leave.

So I had my sister Elise, who lives right down the street, over for caviar with all the trimmings on Sunday night. It was leftover from a party the night before. She came with her Frenchie Cosmo, a lovable, little hunk of a dog. Emma and Gui joined us, with her Cocker Spaniel Lucy, who looked awfully cute, recently groomed with a big pink bow, but she didn’t get along with Cosmo. Apparently, Lucy doesn’t play well with other four-legged friends.

For dinner I made Lemon Pasta since I had leftover shrimp, which I thought would pair nicely with the pasta. It was a Nigella Lawson recipe (Lemon Linguine), quite easy and delicious. I served the pasta with Rustic Bread and, for dessert, made a Dried Apricot-Pistachio Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.

I thought it was quite yummy- sweet, salty, fruity and crunchy. It was more apricot-flavored than pistachio, however as you stir the pistachios in at the end. He suggests “warming Crepes and serving them, folded, on plates topped with scoops of this ice cream, a drizzling of honey and a scattering of chopped pistachios.” Sounds delicious and I have loved trying recipes from this cookbook, given to me by friends Gema and Rogelio, who are not moving out of Miami anytime in the near future (as far as I know.)

I have actually meditated and done yoga in my Meditation/Rock/Zen garden, but it has to be after 3 p.m., when the workmen who are constructing the new house next door, have left. Along with the beeping, grinding, whirring, crashing and booming, there are grown men screaming loudly at each other at all times of the day. Not peaceful and makes it hard to get your zen on, to write, or concentrate.

I found a perfect white oval rock lodged into some dirt on the outside of our coral rock wall. I removed it, washed it and painted Hope on it. I reinserted it in the ground where I planted wildflowers. My previous attempts at growing wildflowers have failed miserably. I have now thoroughly researched how and where to grow them, killed the weeds, prepared the soil and am anxiously awaiting the seeds to sprout. I am also hoping the constant screaming and yelling next door will stop.

So my neighbor Maggie’s house is gone and they’re building a new one in its place. Maggie moved, at 85, to an apartment in Coconut Grove where she is reinventing her life. I consider my friends who are leaving and think it would be hard to start over at our age (I’m 61), but here are Maggie and Connie (Sharon’s mom) starting over in their 80’s, so anything is possible.

I told Zeke I wished the lady who was building a house for her parents (also in their 80’s) right next to us would have come over and apologized for making our life a living hell for the next nine (or so) months.

No one does that Gina.

said Zeke

I guess not. Even I probably wouldn’t do that, but one can hope, can’t one? Hope springs eternal.

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Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

One thought on “The Long and Winding Road

  1. Didn’t think your house was an albatross. It’s eclectic,
    interesting, and great for parties.
    Yes, friends move away. You have a better than most
    local support system. ( get your own dog ?)Hate the next door construction. I’m betting my neighbors hate our generator which can be heard a couple of blocks away. (New muffler needed) And yes, Zeke is right:
    “no one does that” .[complain]

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