An Alternative View of the Florida Keys
The Infamous Christmas Letters - 1997
Greetings and Happy Holidays!! I am happy to announce that I can end this year with 100% confidence that I haven't had my act together once this year. And for me, that's really saying something.
Our family unit remains stable at a count of four. We are down to two cats, PK and Precious. Tigger is now happily chasing rats and mongoose at a Paso Fino Stable in Isabella, PR. He wouldn't have adjusted very well to the Keys. Any cat who refuses to come inside while a hurricane is blowing over the house wouldn't appreciate being cooped up and licensed in an American suburb. The first snake he messed with here would have most likely eaten him anyway. Which brings me to our newest addition, a red tailed Boa constrictor named "Sneaky". "Sneaky" is fairly small at the moment, but Dave is feeding him a mouse a day, so I suspect he's going to grow - a lot. I secretly suspect Dave is beefing "Sneaky" up to a size capable of consuming PK and Precious. he doesn't deny it, which worries me a little. Jemima, our boxer dog, is suffering from a reduction in territory. This yard is much smaller than the one in Puerto Rico. She defends it like it was a ten acre farm though, running the fence and barking at all the appropriate times.
I got my Christmas present early this year. A move back to the states and gainful employment! I am very very happy. And, while there are some who would argue that the Miami/ South Florida area isn't technically part of the United States any more - and they are right - I can at least drive up to civilization when I feel the urge. The politics here are every bit as amusing as the politics were in Puerto Rico. In the recent elections for Mayor, the Hialeah crowd managed to resurrect the dead to exercise their right to vote. Both candidates did very well amongst their cemetery constituents. It makes a warped kind of sense when you consider how high the murder rate is here. Just because they kill you off, doesn't give you the right to slack off in your civic duties.
Bearing Miami's reputation in mind, Dave and I decided it would be safer to live in the Keys. Our offices are well south of the city and the drive through the glades is beautiful. But, the Keys are still islands. And, we are still immured in islander weirdness. I have spoken with people in Key Largo who haven't set foot on the mainland in over two years. I asked them where a good movie theater was and they pointed out the Tavernier Twin Cinema - a decrepit, run down little place which shows last months feature films.
"No. Seriously. where do ya'll go when you want to see a movie?"
"That's the place, " he insisted. "No point in going all the way to the mainland, when if you just wait, it'll come to you!"
I couldn't argue with that, so we happily watch month old movies at the Tavernier Twin, different Island, same lifestyle.
It looks as though we may have sold the Tropical Thing. A very nice, soon to be retired couple have made an offer on it and the deal should be settled in a day or two. Dave now has faster, way faster, boats on the brain. The man is dedicated, I'll give him that much credit. Not a day goes by when he isn't consumed with boats in some way shape of form. Even hunting doesn't sway him from his boating addiction.
I heard a great term on the radio by the way which suits Dave to a Tee when it comes to the Christmas Season. Dave is "Seasonally Impaired." I love that term. I laughed for over an hour when the radio announcer first said it. last year I bolted a "Bah Humbug" license plate to the front of Dave's truck. Lauren died laughing every time she saw him driving with it. Dave didn't notice it for over a week, but when he finally caught sight of it, he just grunted and said, "Yep!" he left it on there until it rotted off.
Lauren and Jon Jon are adjusting fairly well to school here. Jon is playing basketball. Lauren will be starting dance lessons after the New year. We are now living in a real neighborhood with actual children to play with and all the horrors that entails. I have never heard some of the words they are coming home with and Lauren has gone on some sort of Hygiene strike. The little boy next door keeps bringing power tools over to play with and our front door is never shut all the way with the traffic coming in and out. I am assuming this is normal life in the suburbs. Feel free to write me if I'm mistaken, because, as you know, I have very little recent experience on which to base my assumptions.
I hope this letter finds you in the best of health and humor.
Cindy and Clan (Dave, Lauren and Jon Jon)
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12/20/2008 10:33:34 AM
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