May. 2, 2016

The Oasis

Like, The Who, I’m goin mobile.  Currently writing from my transport office on 95.   BK, Kev and I are in the Black Beauty, headed back up east; only have 1200 more miles to go, a short little jaunt.  Wasn’t home but a few days from the California trip and we took off again, this time for our annual vacation.  

For the past five years our standard vacay happens in Miami.  The sun and fun are a plus, but the real reason for heading south is family.  Shay and Luke live in the 305, destination foregone.  But hey, not a real sacrifice on our parts, you can do worse than palm trees and beautiful beaches. 

We usually fly down and rent a car, but this year we drove; flying with a 40 pound Lab puppy might have been a little awk.  Made reference to him once before but have never formally introduced you to Milton, our Chocolate Lab.  He’s every inch a puppy; a handsome maniac, who’s full of the joys of life.  We absolutely adore him. 

It’s our MO to rent a vacation property for a week, (always shoot for a house with a pool,) this year had to enter a new search parameter, “dog friendly”.  Not sure when we became dog people, Jeter always went to a kennel; just couldn’t picture the brown madman locked up for a week.  By virtue of his expressive and piercingly golden eyes, he’s been promoted to a starting player on the team, the game wouldn’t have been the same without him.  But saying dog friendly is one thing, putting up with a wild and inquisitive puppy is another. 

Enter Connie and Bella.

Connie is the owner of a gorgeous Airbnb in Dania Beach, FL, that just happens to be adjacent to her apartment and business.  The compound, (with an in-ground pool, natch) is surrounded by a seven-foot wrought-iron fence, bordered by a thick wall of lush palm and coconut trees; in the middle of a bustling city, the property is a completely protected oasis.  We scored. 

But our jackpot had more to do with the proprietors than the property.  Remember the girl on the plane, Sam?  Same deal; kindness is key.  The minute we rolled out of the car, Connie melted for Milton.  Labrador lunacy and all.  He ran straight through the screen enclosing the pool, ripping an entire panel away from the frame.  (She had every reason to kick us out, but instead, she embraced us.)  And then there was Bella, her stunning standard poodle, (happily posed for the pic.)  What a patient soul she was.  Milton immediately initiated insane antics where she was concerned, and this regal beauty, forty-two in people years, put up with our tempestuous ten year old, (six months,) all week.  Milton spent as much time in their apartment as he did in the big house.   

It’s worth noting, before we left on this considerable journey, BK told me the curse was over.  He planned this road trip to celebrate.  Said he had a sign, the two years of hell that’s hounded is behind us; good things are ahead.  Have felt it too, and landing at Connie’s convinced me.  It was more than just a relaxing refuge, it was a sanctuary; asylum from misfortune, some cool karma for a change.  Kindness marked the end of the curse.  Connie offered us the perfect setting to gather and heal the wounds, (and put up with our pesky pooch throughout.)  Our family spent the week around her comfy outdoor table, protected by a covered porch, with the soft inset lighting in the pool as a backdrop for our evenings.  So peaceful.  She left the pool lights on for us all week.  Breakfast and lunch around the same table were equally pleasant.  We lived outside.  The pool and Jacuzzi combo were the main event; raft races, reading, and relaxation.  Even used it for a dance or two.  Went hard one morning on the Danny Gatton tune, Funky Mama.  (Have a real soft spot for a good guitar album.)  Long song, I was huffin when it was done, but what a blast.  An astute counselor, who I have the utmost respect for, told me after the third death in six months that I needed to dance; she said the grief was killing me and I needed to move to overcome it.  So I do.  All the time.  Even in solitary moments of relaxing in a picture-perfect pool.  The rest of the gang was out or sleeping, complete privacy; unashamedly kicked out the jams, an iPod and a pool, what a combo.  New friends, a fantastic refuge, fabulous food, and some quality fun-time with family, (not to mention melodic aquatic fitness,) when I said we hit the jackpot, I wasn’t kidding.  Everything about this trip was a dividend, especially our hosts.  Lucky are the people who stay with Connie and Bella.  After a week with them, ours has definitely changed.  Thanks ladies.

Post script:  The 1200 mile road trip ended late last night.  Back to our home that can’t find its way to being finished.  But no matter, after living here for more than two months, we may still be plopped in a mud pit of a construction site, but we got TV and internet installed today!  No question, the curse is over; we’ve been to the Oasis.


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