Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Ahh...flip-flops. I've only been home for two days and I miss my fuzzy flips that were on my feet for most of my trip to Florida. We gathered as a family in Sarasota at the House of Ringling for four days to celebrate some milestone birthdays...my father's 80th, my daughters' 30th, my sister's 50th and assorted others: a 25th, a 21st, a 45th, a 75th and a 55th anniversary. Most of the combined family was there - 14 in all. The house was at the end of the runway of the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport, but the planes taking off and landing didn't bother us. The weather was mostly cooperative and hovered near the 70 mark for most of the time. There were a couple of field trips to St. Armand's Circle, Siesta Key Beach and the Columbia Restaurant, but many of us (at least me) stayed poolside at the house. We ate, drank, sunned, partied, played games and laughed. Fourteen people sharing a home together in the bright, warm Florida sun.
Then it was time to go home. Twelve of us flew away, two went West and the rest of us went North, only to be greeted by monstrous winter storms carrying snow and ice. Today, as I sit in my living room by the fire, because all of our oil was used up while we were gone to keep the pipes from freezing, I miss my flip-flops and Florida sun. But not just because of the weather (although I really miss that weather right now!) but also because of the easy way our families came together as one. I know that it can happen anywhere - it's happened right here in my own home - but the warmth of the setting settled down onto our temporary home and we all had such a good time. I miss our Florida home and family and I'm so grateful that we had that opportunity to weave it into the fabric of our lives.