Tuesday, October 29, 2013

End Of Vacation Memories

As we wrap up chores in preparation to depart Vero Beach, I find myself mentally separating out my favorite memories of Vero, much as I did as a child at the end of a week at Bethany or Rehoboth Beach. What shells will I keep, which will I leave at the rental, which should I return to the sand?

The pile of shells to keep for Vero includes my time with the Alzheimer’s Parkinson Association and Debra. I reconnected with individuals with dementia and their quality of life in a powerful way in Vero.

My time reconnecting with my adult children was priceless. Shells to treasure, fondle every once in a while. Shells to add to the best of life pile.

I treasure and hope to maintain my work as Dr. Cate. Presenting at Arden Courts of Largo reminded me of my passion, my gift and the thirst for knowledge and support that is so palpable for Alzheimer’s caregivers. Training Carole of Harmony Home Health, reconnecting with this agency was uplifting.

I sift through many shells of multiple colors and shapes. These were the opportunities I had to re-connect with friends from Tampa, St Pete, Alexandria, VA, MD. Some of these had been neglected, tucked in a bag in the back of the closet. What a joy it was to bring them out and shine some light and new experience on them. These friends remind me that I am so lucky to be able to travel and explore. They remind me of the importance of re-connecting, maintaining despite time gaps. They may be in a bag, but they are not to be discarded. They will continue to be a part of my treasures brought forward from the closet.

For the non-cruising sailors, the last of my shells, the ones I will toss back are the chipped and broken clam and oyster shells.

Common to many, but unique to someone who lived outside the United States for a while. One was the cinema, with a weekly matinee—a real treat we had missed. The free bus to anywhere in Vero. It had some unusual riders, and quite a variety of angles—but it was special for our time here. The Publix, Walmart, Target, Starbucks, Beall’s, . . . a mall. Michael’s and Jo Ann’s! West Marine. Car rentals. The freedom of driving through no-man’s land on the way home from an airport. Air travel----so freeing and fast :)

I relished these common and chipped shells while state-side. So now we head out. First an easy day or two on the intercoastal. Smooth waters. Then the weather window to the Bahamas Bank. And beyond to shells unknown.

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