We regularly quip, as I did by email this Friday morning with my longstanding friend Fiona St Clair in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, that we’re having to endure another day of unbridled climatic flawlessness on Key Largo. The magnificence of the azure sky has blended with an uncommonly arid and cool northerly wind of 31Km/hr. It has made for an exceptionally reinvigorating atmosphere throughout the island.
The morning’s dawning drama was punctuated by a generous cup of strong, black, hot coffee which these days forms a signal indulgence of inexpressible satisfaction. This now alien treat was in turn amplified by my traditional composition of two toasted wheat bread slathered with Irish butter and then separately dressed with 2-slices of premium Black Forest ham each wrapped around a shard of Philadelphia cream cheese and on the other toast Teddy all-natural peanut butter and honey. This delectable recipe is served on one plate thus commanding a moderate and unwitting swap of ingredients between the two which in turn manufactures distinguishable and highly memorable tastes.
It was with this superbly delicious nutrition and narcotic conception that, after having refreshed my mouth with Colgate toothpaste, I then buoyantly launched my constitutional tricycle ride about Buttonwood Bay Club. So stimulated was I by the refreshing morning air that I readily accomplished an unhesitant 4 Kms before stationing my tricycle adjacent the fence next to the gate into the island pool. It was the work of mere ticks before I was cheerfully prolonged on a chaise longue while moaning soto voce about the divine sensation of radiance and what I willingly recognize and accept is my serendipitous location here grâce à my lifelong partner, traveling companion and very best friend. The sun and the wind aren’t the only unsurpassable elements of this paradise.
I mentioned earlier that today is Friday. Living as we are in a community of predominantly seasonal residents (as opposed for example to purely transitional interlopers commonly called tourists such as are associated with hotels and resorts) there abides an air of continuous property management peculiar to private residences. The gardeners, swimming pool attendants and infrastructure technicians are mostly of Mexican descent (with very few if any people of white or African descent which quite naturally reflects the predictable and no doubt pragmatic decision to employ people of similar ancestry). My overriding regret of this insinuation is that, upon regularly hearing Spanish spoken among the staff, the mellifluous strains make me yearn to learn the language. As much as I adore the snobbishness of Parisian French or the rhetoric of mid-western American, I am far more inclined to Spanish than for example Italian or German.
Each Friday there is a custom to abandon the shackles of employment by 3:00 pm. This seamless absorption of staff into the nether instantly triggers a film of tranquility over the entire community. It bespeaks the arrival of the weekend. Odd as it may be at my advanced age in retirement, I continue to be motivated by the advent of the weekend. It instantly invokes recollection of happy social events or simple relaxation before my domestic hearth, nibbling smoked oysters, sipping a gin martini, reading Jane Austen while my lovable French bulldog Monroe snored upon the green leather couch.
An amusing congregation arose about the pool today. Quite to my surprise, when greeting a gentleman who entered the gateway entrance to the pool, I noticed a ring upon his finger. It had upon its bezel the well known symbols of Freemasonry; viz., the square and compass. When I shamelessly enquired whether he were a member of the craft he unhesitatingly divulged the name and number of his lodge. I responded in like fashion. There then ensued a diverting conversation between us. I was pleased thereafter to acquaint myself with several women who formed part of his afternoon convention. I learned that the women had been friends since high school and they had proven themselves an undying sorority which I wasted no time associating with the fraternity among the brethren of the craft.
Serendipitously afterwards late in the afternoon after having concluded my ebullient confab about the pool, we received a FaceTime call from my erstwhile physician (and brother of the craft) from Australia. It was already the weekend there – namely, Saturday morning when he and his family – were just finishing breakfast.