Day 50:Visit with Joe!

Thursday, 5/23/19:

I never did get to do stand up paddle boarding but I had called a local surfing school a few days ago to see about scheduling a lesson while we were in Florida. Last night before I crawled into bed, the surfing school called back and said I could join a two person class that was scheduled for the next morning at 11am.  I was so excited. Ever since I was a little kid, I had always dreamed of learning to surf. The timing was just never right to actually do it.  So I woke up today so excited. I was going to see my brother in the afternoon, and learn to surf in the morning.

Fred was feeling much better today. He slept well through the night and was his regular happy, peppy self.  He was excited for me that I was going to fulfill one of the things on my own bucket-list. I had picked out a cute little surfing outfit the night before and had my towel ready to go. I had prepped beach snacks.  About 10:00am, I sat down to use the bathroom before we left to go to the beach.  My phone rang… it was the surfing instructor calling to warn me that it was extra windy today and the conditions were not ideal for a 1st day lesson. He wanted to know if I still wanted to brave the rough conditions and try it.  I thought about it and decided I still really wanted to do it. I said I would be there and I hung up.

As I sat on the toilet, I started thinking, “I wonder if that is the Universe telling me that I should not surf with a 3 level spinal fusion.” I then thought, “Nope, probably not.”  Just then the surfing instructor called back and said, “I really think its too windy. Let’s at least push the lesson back into late afternoon to see if the wind dies down.”  I thought, “OK Universe! I get it! I am dense but I hear you this time.”

I thanked the instructor for his honesty and willingness to be upfront about the situation.  I’m sure some people would have been happy to take my money and let me get hurt. But this guy was awesome and actually cared about people having a great, safe time. I listened to the Universe and I cancelled the lesson.

I hung up the phone and burst into tears. I was absolutely devastated that I could not go surfing, and, if I wanted to be honest with myself, I would probably never would.  I waited too long to live out that dream of mine and now I was filled with regret for not having tried it before I destroyed my back.

Fred came over and hugged me. (I was no longer on the toilet.) He was so sorry for me, but thought it was really for the best. All my bottled up emotions every other aspect of our life poured out of me and I cried like a two year old having a tantrum for a solid 20 minutes. Fred just held me.

Then I felt bad that I had unloaded all of my baggage onto Fred. Stress goes straight to his gut and twists it around. I got scared that I had just ruined his day too. He assured me that I hadn’t but I knew it was a very real possibility. 

I composed myself and wiped all the boogers from Fred and my pillow.  Then I got super hungry.  We decided to run some errands and then grab lunch.  Fred needed to refill the prescription inhaler that his doctor had called in for him while we were visiting the Cape.  (He has been using it every night before bed.) 

The RX had been filled and was waiting for Fred to pick up on the Cape. We went over to the local CVS to see if they would transfer it over.  They called the CVS on Cape Cod and transferred it with no issue what so ever. In 20 minutes, we were out the door. I was amazed it was that easy.

I have been asking Fred to get a second inhaler since he “misplaced” his other one last week.  We didn’t know where it was for about 5 minutes and it really freaked me out.  It brings me great peace of mind knowing he has two now.

We hit the grocery afterwards for some breakfast bananas and then went through the Jimmy John’s drive thru.  We have been splitting their 16 inch # 12, Beach Club, with: Turkey, provolone, avocado, cucumber and shredded lettuce, (No mayo) on French bread.

We grabbed our #12 and headed back to the RV. Fred put a little Grey Poupon Mustard on his half (which would later, cause some nasty indigestion).  We ate lunch and then Fred took a little nap.

I went for a little walk when Fred fell asleep and was pleasantly surprised to see my brother Joe drive up behind me. It seems like it has been a year since I saw him last.  This seems to be our normal interval for a visit. I try go see him before his military deployments.  Last time I saw him, he was up in California last year, as a pit stop while he was transferring bases and moving his family back here to Florida.

Joe and I decided to let Fred rest so we parked his truck and walked over to the Boardwalk to catch up. Every time we see each other, its like no time has passed. Joe and I have become so much alike over the years.  We were so different as kids. I was a shy jock and he was a shy computer nerd. But now we are both jaded public servants, with that very dark sense of humor that comes from years of dealing with the nasty side of life. We also both love lifting weights and being strong.  We usually hit the gym together when we meet up, but there just wasn’t time this go around.  I love hanging out with him what ever we do!

Joe had not had lunch yet so we went to my new favorite restaurant, the “Rockin Taco.” It was like I have reserved a table there, because I have now sat at the same table each of the three times I have been there. Joe had the Gator Tacos. He is big on experimenting with new sources of protein.

The Gator Tacos were pretty gross though. They were like super-chewy, super-stringy, over-cooked chicken nuggets, in a taco shell.  I tried a piece.  Meh… now we can say I had gator at least.

After lunch Joe and I walked the boardwalk and looked in a few of the shops. Fred texted us that he was awake so we had Fred drive over the Boardwalk to join us.  We hung out on the picnic tables for a while chatting about Joe’s military adventures.  It started to get real humid so we drove back to the RV to hang out in the air conditioning. 

Joe’s wife Kristin was able to get off work early and join us in the RV.  We talked about Joe’s genius cooking recipes.  A few year back he introduced us to his version of Chicken/Rice/Egg Stir-Fry. Today he blew our mind with poached eggs in Top Ramen. You basically make your Top Ramen and when you have about 2 minutes of cooking left, you add a few raw eggs to the water and poach them! Its crazy easy.  Then he likes to add sweet-chili sauce to it after its in the bowl.  Its genius! I can’t wait to try it.  

We joked about how Fred always used to talk about dying on a softball field, valiantly throwing a softball in from deep in left field to stop a run at the plate. But yesterday, he almost killed himself cleaning the motorhome. Its just not as glamourous to die with a sponge in your hand, face down in a bucket of soapy water. We all managed to laugh at it. 

We chatted until dinner time, and then we took Kristin to the Rockin Taco. Why not, right? Aside from the Gator Tacos, every thing else was amazing and its so close… You just cant beat the view either. It is literally the paradise ambiance that movies try and recreate. We stayed out on the deck and watched the sun go down then headed back to the RV.

We chatted some more on the patio until the bugs started coming out. The mosquitos love Fred and Joe. So we called it a night.

We couldn’t get a space in the RV park over the Memorial Day Weekend so we had to be out in the morning. We made plans with Kristin and Joe to drive our RV out to their place and visit for a bit in the morning.
We couldn’t park long term at their place because they have a nasty HOA that prohibits RV’s in the neighborhood.  They also love animals and have plenty of pets, so Fred’s allergies go crazy after a few hours in the house.

I was already looking forward to seeing them again tomorrow, if even for just a short time😁


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