Monday, January 25, 2010

A Journey of a Thousand Miles. . .

A journey of a thousand miles. . . ends with a "Check Transmission" message.

Linda and I arrived back home yesterday after a magical week.

First we got on a big hunk of metal with a couple of hundred other people and the unlikely contraption flew us a thousand miles in less than three hours while we ate peanuts and cheese crackers and drank coke and orange juice.

Then we spent four days running around and playing with the other kids at The Villages, swimming in nice warm pools, riding bikes, driving a golf cart, seeing movies, walking all over the place in 70+ degree temperatures and meeting interesting new people. Just for instance, we met this English couple who've visited the U.S. twice, once for six months and this time for one month, without ever going anywhere except The Villages. We found them looking down into the water at Lake Sumter Landing, hoping to see an alligator.

We told the Limeys they could easily see all the alligators they could possibly want by driving a few hours down to the Everglades; but they seemed more interested in staying right where they were so they could play golf every day. Their main interest in The Villages was the warm sunny weather and the inexpensive golf. Evidently, England has a terrible climate and every place closer to England that has a good warm climate has much more expensive golf. They mentioned that golf in Spain and Portugal costs about $75 to $100 a round and that the courses aren't as nice as U.S. courses.

We didn't play any golf down there; but we did visit with Kathy and "The Other Brother" as Sam has dubbed our moved away sibling. By chance Jenny and Doug were there visiting Jas and Kathy the first two days, on their way to Fort Lauderdale; so we got to see their 23 foot sailboat. They described their plans for sailing among the Keys for about 45 days. It sounds heavenly, and makes me think of John Masefield. Well, actually it made me think of the line "all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by." I had no idea who wrote it until I looked up up with google.

Anyway, John Masefield's poem "Sea Fever" is too good not to quote in full. Out of respect I'm going to resist improving a couple of his lines.

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

Lucky Jenny and Doug! Forty-five days loose on a sailboat in the Florida keys. The very thought makes me want to find my Sea Chanty CD, but I had best put that off until Linda is not around.

More about our trip tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Sully said...

That's what I'm talking about!