Second Month in Pompano Beach

I’ve been here in Pompano Beach since December 6, 2012 and am growing more accustomed to my winter home with its warmer climate and more relaxed inhabitants. I love my summer home in Colorado, but Florida is where I belong in winter.

There are times when sitting in my terrace room, I have to pinch myself into the reality that I’m looking out at a golf course on the other side of a charming little lake visited daily by various birds, including egrets, herons, and ducks.  That protected ecosystem is a peaceful reminder that there are other environments, that don’t include human traffic jams, useless rushes to get somewhere else, the annoying intrusion of cell phones, conversations the rest of us don’t want to hear, and blaring television sets playing silly programs, like “The Wrist Watch Channel.”  Drinking my coffee each morning in that room with that view gives me a different perspective on everything else and energizes me by putting me in touch with nature at her best.  There’s something glorious and inspiring about seeing a flock of snow white herons resting on the lake’s banks and then seeing a flash of white wings against a blue sky.  What better way to begin my day?

I have binoculars so that I can watch the golfers on the other side of the lake and their struggles in an out of sand traps and the occasional temper tantrum, sometimes from old men wearing Bermuda shorts, Izod polo shirts, straw hats, black shoes, and black socks.  Those scenes make me wonder what the herons think of it all.

I’ve met many of my neighbors, mostly retirees, who are wonderful people, always taking time for a little chat and to make a fuss over my Westie, Dudley, who loves the attention.

With the help of my GPS, and friends, I’m slowly learning where things are down here and the best routes. People seem generally friendly and less in a hurry than in places I’ve lived up north.  The other retirees I’ve met savor time and rarely seem rushed. Of course, that should be an important component of retirement anyway, but that’s not true everywhere else.  That’s probably one of the reasons people down here live longer than in other areas of the country.

 

My first week here Last December was warm and humid, due to the pocket of Caribbean air that blew away after a few days.  I haven’t needed the air conditioning since and have been able to leave my windows open for cross ventilation from the Atlantic Ocean breezes. Daytime temperatures are usually in the seventies or lower eighties with night time temps in the fifties or sixties.

I feel more physically active here and play Bocce Ball every Friday morning from ten ’til twelve.  I hope also to start some regular card groups for Canasta and pinochle, as well as for Mexican Train dominoes. I and three friends are planning a rotation of Sunday dinners, each of us preparing a meal for the others one Sunday per month.

Do I miss the snow and ice?  I miss only those times in Colorado, sitting with a cup of hot cocoa beside a fire, looking out at a snowy landscape.  I don’t miss shoveling snow and using a snow thrower with a scarf over my face when the temperature hovers around zero.  Snow scenes that charm us are found usually just on Christmas cards, not with snow plows, overturned cars, and the dirty slush that snow becomes so quickly after its first and ephemeral moments of pristine beauty.

I end this entry as I look out over the ripples on the lake, my dog Dudley watching a family of ducks gliding past our terrace window.  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 Second Month in Pompano Beach

  1. Jim says:

    That has to be the one picture of Dudley where he wasn’t filthy dirty.

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