Monday, June 1, 2009

Leaving paradise

I’d be dancing on air, if I had the time that is.
I’m too busy being busy. On Friday I get to leave paradise for a full three months.

Three months away from air so viscous it’s actually visible. Three months away from shelving books and screening out the incessant cries of toddlers forced to share the Thomas train table. Three months.

Late last Friday I received approval for (unpaid, of course) Summer Leave. There are few such glorious phrases in the English language. Each year I manage somehow to make it back “home” for an extended period. A young friend will move into my condo and care for my 14-year-old cat, Abbie.

Call it snowbird light.

By now, I am so homesick for the Jersey Shore its all-Bruce-all-the-time, combined with live streaming images of the surf and boardwalk. I dream of REAL rye bagels from Hand Rolled Bagels on Purdy Ave in Rye, NY,(Yes, I know rye bagels from Rye. What can I say? I don’t make these things up.) raspberry bomb ice cream, from Ryan’s on Shrewsbury Ave, Tinton Falls, NJ, and “Chinese” food that doesn’t make me gag. Dare I forget, NEW YORK CITY, the Yankees, TV channels with the correct numbers, the Spring Lake and Point Pleasant Beach boardwalks...

How, you ask, can I afford on a retail salary to take such time off? My bills don’t go on leave, that's for sure. I can’t, but I do it anyway. I am aided in this endeavor by dear friends who open their homes to me. In return, I make myself as useful as possible—house and dog sitting, as well as general chipping in.

This year the Feds will also chip in. Tomorrow I turn 62 and start my reduced Social Security the second Tuesday in July. The amount is small, but welcome (see previous post: pennies from heaven). I also usually manage to pick up a little cash with odd jobs here and there.

This summer I will once again divide my time between a spacious home on the Long Island Sound in Rye, NY, and a cozy Dutch colonial, a block from the Navesink River, within walking distance of No Ordinary Joe’s Cafe in downtown Red Bank, NJ.


My time will be spent reconnecting with friends and family—and myself. I am looking forward to focusing on my third book , a second novel. Of course, I will continue this blog, which began at the close of last summer’s leave.

Tata for now. Much to do. Gotta run.

Coming up next: Riding the Auto Train. Stay tuned.

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