Two weeks from tonight, my lovely wife and I will be pulling into a vacation rental in Matlacha FL. I’m a native Floridian, having been born there in the early sixties when my father was working at the Cape. However, I was raised in the mountains of east Tennessee, so my allegiance is a little divided.
For a decade and a half, we would travel to my grandmother’s place in Bokeelia FL during summers and winters — by the 70’s, my father was a schoolteacher — staying for weeks or months. It was a magical time for me, spending so much time in the “real” Florida, far away from the speed of the cities in the rural barrier islands of the Gulf.
In two weeks, I’ll return to the island for the first time in over 30 years. My grandparents are long gone, so we’ll be staying in a rental place not too far from their old place. For me, this is a return, a symbolic trip to what some folks have called “the land that time forgot,” and a step back to a time when I was much younger and carefree.
It’s also the first vacation we’ve had in a couple of years. Typically, we try to take some time off in the fall or spring, but this last fall and spring, I was fighting colon cancer. That pretty well took up my time. 🙂
We usually drive on vacation… a lot. This time, we’re not. We are driving to one spot, and staying there for a dozen days. If that’s not healthy and recuperative, I don’t know what is.
I can’t wait. It’s feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve had a break from work, stress, cancer, and doctors, and I plan to take full advantage of my time away!