A Very Long Drive

On December 3, my old friend Pam, my dog Dudley, and I  left my house in Centennial, Colorado in order to drive to Pompano Beach, Florida, where my partner Jim and I bought a condominium last April as our eventual retirement home.  Jim will not be able to retire for at least another two years, but I wanted to go earlier to establish residence and take care of the condo.  Pam came with me for moral support, as driving has always been a threatening experience for me that I seem able to take only in small doses. Driving, however, was necessary due to my fear of shipping pets, which can be very dangerous and traumatizing for dogs and cats.  The result was that Pam, Duds, and I took our time, eating our meals along the way and staying at motels each night.  We drove about ten hours per day and arrived at the Pompano Beach condo on Thursday afternoon of December 6. The trip was almost 2400 miles.

In contrast to Denver, Pompano Beach was, during the first three or four days, very warm and humid because of a pocket of air from the Caribbean that lingered, forcing us to use the air conditioning, even at this time of year.  Pam and I had a good time despite the muggy air, but it blew away by the following Wednesday, allowing me to open all the windows to enjoy the pleasant sea breezes. Pam flew back to Illinois on December 10.

Today is December 26, and though I have enjoyed very much being with friends here, Christmas was unusual because of the weather being 80 degrees.  That was a first for me. The sound of sleigh bells doesn’t really work here, and People putting big plastic snowmen on their front lawns seems an affront to reason, but then there are many other things that at this time of year seem an affront to reason, not just in Florida.

I’m getting more used to being here each day, and Duds has acclimated splendidly.  We have things down to a routine, and I still glory in the fact that I can swim each afternoon in the outdoor swimming pool. I’m learning where places like my bank, the barber, grocery stores, post office, etc. are, but it will be a while before I feel completely at home.  Thank goodness for friends!

Jim will be visiting next month, probably becoming as spoiled as I have become in not having to shovel snow or chip ice off the car’s windshield. His coming here to settle after retiring will give him something wonderful to look forward to, and because he was born and raised in this part of the country, it will be for him like coming home.  JB

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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One Response to A Very Long Drive

  1. Steve Marshall says:

    JEB I do sometimes read your blog.BOY! I am sure you are glad you are not in CO now!

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