Friday, December 21, 2012

Post Cards from a Tropical Christmas

Will today be the last day of the world?  For those of you expecting that your local Apocalypse Gal would have something eschatological in nature, I'd direct you to this post that I wrote for Her Circle.

What was that Mayan maker of the calendar thinking?  My post for this Sunday may shed light on that.  In the meantime, let me record some snippets from my own December calendar page.

--Are you celebrating the Winter Solstice today?  We're expecting our first seriously cold weather down here at the southeast tip of  North America.  Finally!  It's hard to feel festive in the traditional ways when the temperatures are getting close to 90 degrees.

--I saw a bougainvillea tree with extravagant fuchsia blossoms.  Someone had hung huge glass and metallic balls on it.  A tropical Christmas tree!

--Early in December we saw our backyard neighbor stringing lights in his huge mango tree.  Twinkling lights in the mango tree--seems it should be a metaphor for something.

--I do love the ways that people string lights in their palm trees.

--But I also miss evergreen trees.

--I saw a powder blue convertible.  The driver had a Santa hat and a sparkly top, but I couldn't be sure of the gender of the driver.  The driver in the Santa hat seemed to be having an argument with someone.  It was very disconcerting to see a gender ambiguous Santa yelling angrily into a smart phone while driving aggressively.

--Yesterday I went with my German friend to the heart of Miami.  She needed to get her passport renewed at the German consulate, and even though she's a world traveller, driving in Miami unnerves her.  I understand.  It's much easier to have a navigator along.

--We zipped right downtown--no morning commuting traffic slowed us down!  We found a parking place right at the building which houses the consulate.  It couldn't have been much easier.

--Because we were so early, we lingered at a Starbucks.  I wondered if we were near any places that would have served us an authentic Cuban breakfast, but I didn't see any.

--Still, it was interesting to do people watching at the Starbucks in the heart of downtown Miami.  Lots of VERY high heeled shoes on the women.  Even the people in their exercise clothes looked glamorous in a Miami way.

--My friend and I discussed city living.  If I had lots of money, I'd move to the heart of a city in a heartbeat--any number of cities call to me:  Miami, D.C., New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco.  But I don't have lots of money.  My friend is perfectly happy in her suburban house.

--From the 22nd floor of the building that houses the German consulate, we had a great view of Miami:  the towering buildings, the rooftops of the shorter buildings.  I could see the beautiful pool area of a huge condo building.  Despite it being a beautiful morning, no one was swimming.

--All these things I have seen, but with no camera to record it.  My words will trigger my own memory.  Hopefully, your imagination will create a visual too.

--My friend wrapped up her business and we zoomed back up to our home county (Broward, not Miami-Dade).  We had coffee and bread I'd frozen from Santa Lucia Day baking.  And then it was back to mundane life.

--Yes, mundane life:  running to Target, cutting some cloth strips for a church project (see this post for more on that), making a simple supper.  I remind myself that even if I lived in a downtown city, I'd still need to do mundane things, like picking up prescriptions and making dinner.

--It's the end of a Mayan cycle:  may your next baktun be even better than the last one that's ending today!

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