Sun, Rain and the Stormy Gulf

I write this from a beautiful place.  A place known for sugar white beaches, sun,  and sea turtles lumbering around burying their eggs.  I write this from the crow’s nest of the place I am staying, digs generously offered by friends who are down here, too, and find themselves with too much room. 

I write this dry, though a driving rain beats just outside the windows. 

It is early morning, even though I was up at midnight on the covered porch as lightening blazed and thunder rumbled, sometimes in the distance, sometimes clapping overhead.  It is a big rain.  A long rain with no signs of easing up today or tomorrow. 

A biblical rain. 

And I like it. 

But one of the reasons I am high up in the house is this.  One of my hosts is here for the golf, and just yesterday, also a day of rain, was to be his first day on the links.   Or should I say link, since he got in only one hole before the skies opened up.  He’s a bit cranky and working through it. 

I feel bad for him.  

Golf, requiring finesse as it does, has never been my sport.  I’m of an age now where I no longer plan a beach vacation around the hours and intensity of the sun, cabbaging onto a lounge chair at nine in the morning so I can have it still at high noon, the best and most efficient hour to toast oneself a gorgeous brown, the same activity that will land one in a dermatologist’s office forty years hence. 

My travel prep last week included coffee time with friends, laundry, procuring a house sitter and a plant waterer, and the purchases of high tech beach towels and a crushable sun hat.  Cheap t-shirts.  Sunscreen. 

In all my preparations I failed to watch the weather.  Didn’t notice the tropical depression working so hard out there in the Gulf to get a name.  So, it was a surprise when Claudette greeted me early Saturday morning as I drove with thousands of others heading south.  

A little past Montgomery I had just about had it and I tried to ditch her, or at least minimize her particular way of annoying me.  I left the bumper to bumper traffic and low visibility of I-65 for an Alabama backroad, I don’t know which one.  But I figured, as long as I keep heading south, the ocean will eventually break my fall and from there I just have to turn left or right.

Which is what I did. 

Instead of packing golf clubs, I pack knitting needles.  Binoculars.  Books.  Notebooks to fill with inspired and inspiring thoughts.  I save so much money because I bring them home empty and just toss them in my pack for the next time.  I pretend I actually live here, in this beautiful place with the manicured lawns and wild weather.  

I see myself pensive and tragic.

I see myself famous and jaded and hiding away from the world. 

I see myself in a muumuu.

But this is just me. It is early in the week and it is apt to rain every day.  I don’t know what my golfer pal will do.  His wife and I have other friends down here with us, and they are fun and busy, working jigsaws, getting mani-pedis when they can’t hang by the pool.  I, myself, could go for a spa day, if I wasn’t too lazy to make a call.  

So, I sit in the crow’s nest, giving my hosts some space to sort out their week in a way that won’t be too distressful.  There is good shopping, a movie theatre open, but still, I’m not on that committee and they will have to work it out for themselves.

Or maybe the gods will smile on us, and in particular Burnt Pine.  The course will dry out and the sun will shine on the greens.  I can loll by the pool or on the beach and try out that sand-proof towel.  Wear my new hat.  I hope so.  My friend  needs to golf and truly I have a head for hats. 

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