Is there anyone who doesn’t like Morgan Freeman?
Before Mom had her heart attack, I visited The Clearwater Marine Aquarium [Florida]. Tim, a fantastic tour guide at the facility, told the audience that he spotted Morgan Freeman during the filming of Dolphin Tale.
“Vincent the Vegetarian Vampire!” Tim blurted.
Freeman’s jaw dropped. He put his hands on Tim’s shoulders and said, “Of course you know, you just dated both of us.”
So of course, when I got home from Florida, I had to look up videos of “Vincent.”
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Rows of tread; an acrid smell.
Light streaming through pane glass. REPAIR, STRUTS, SHOCKS, BALANCE, ROTATE – words cast upside down and backward across checkerboard tiles. Punctuated by a sunspot period.
A rack of wiper blades. 22, 24, 26, 20, 19, 16.
An old television with a yellow sticky note. “Do Not Touch!” No sound. Hoss pats a horse wearing a white sunbonnet.
A paper cup from Sonic rolls across the parking lot.
A copy-paper sign Scotch-taped to the window: No employment applications accepted at this time.”
A day-old newspaper scattered across a long red bench.
Passing traffic. A school bus reflects in the window pane.
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Since Mom was with her physical therapists every morning, I was able to steal some time at the beach. One morning, I walked along Clearwater Beach; another I walked Sand Key.
During my walk at Sand Key, I think my guardian angel was watching out for me. I was standing calf-deep in the surf, and suddenly forty to fifty seagulls and terns started diving around me. They were literally inches from me, and flying just over my head. They came out of the water with little silver creatures in their beaks. I thought they were catching fish, but then one seagull hovered next to me, as if to show me what was being caught. The prize? Quarter to half-dollar sized jellyfish – and I didn’t get a single sting. The whole thing lasted a minute or two, and then all of the birds landed at my feet, the nearest one, again, only a few inches away. They barely moved as I walked through them.
Observations from the beach:
A small, silk bow from a child’s swim suit.
The petal-like footprints of seagulls.
A stingray, its tail waving in the current, lounges in the surf.
Schools of small fish. Cast shadows double their numbers.
Sunlight filters through a shell rampart – orange; red; chocolate brown. Fragile protection for a discarded sandcastle.
At the water’s edge, ribbons of foam.
Ripples, etched into the sand, shimmer gold in the morning sun.
I leave Florida at6:00 a.m.; drive thirteen hours. I pass through Mobile, Alabama, and continue toHattiesburg. A sign catches my eye – Ramada Inn on the Hill — $45/night. I can’t see the hotel from the road, but drive up a zig-zagged driveway to investigate. “How bad can it be?” I think. “It’s a major … Continue reading