A brilliant day!

Today and tomorrow are forecasted to have a maximum temperature not exceeding 70 degrees. Combined with a northern wind and a crystal blue sky this qualifies as fresh. The view is however nonpareil. I especially enjoy the scan of the Gulf of Mexico as I approach Block 4000 on my bicycle. The island is extremely narrow at that point and as a result affords a panoramic view of the sea over the tops of the grape bushes sheltering the sand dunes.

The morning began early today – around 4:15 am to be precise. Neither of us could sleep. Rather than return to the lair we commenced a routine laundry followed by black coffee then fruit and toast by which time it was approaching 7:30 am and we had to shower before our appointment at the nail spa for our regular manis and pedis.

At the spa I chanced to chat with an extremely captivating and cultivated woman from Maine who was seated next to me. She was good looking too.

Merle Nelson

The discourse began when I showed my nail attendant a photograph I particularly like from the movie “Death in Venice” which the woman immediately identified as based upon the novel of the same name (“Der Tod in Venedig“) by the German author Thomas Mann (which I did not know).

When I subsequently coincidentally quipped that everyone on Longboat Key is retired she contradicted me and said her husband was not. Of course I enquired what he did and how old he is. She replied that her husband is senior counsel of his law firm.

Following my summary internet search I’m guessing he is Leonard M. Nelson of Bernstein Shur in Portland, Maine. His on-line bio echoes his wife’s intelligence that he is a cyclist and to my discredit he wears a helmet which shamefully I do not! Reportedly his family was from Halifax, Nova Scotia where I attended law school – though he was born in the United States of America. Later I recalled that the Lord Nelson Hotel was one of my initial memorable haunts in Halifax though of course there is likely no connection to the Viscount.

I further understand Mrs. Nelson – actually Dr. Nelson (an honorary doctorate as she was unassumingly quick to point out) – is a “recovering politician“, an erstwhile member of the Maine House of Representatives. I told her I’d vote for her but she assured me she has no intention to run again for election. Given my own limited history with the process of public office I quite understand.

This singularly animated conversation with Dr. Nelson heralded what proved to be similarly unpredicted and energizing conversations with several others afterwards in the aisles of Publix where we went to do grocery shopping. The serendipity of the entire morning made me question whether it was not the strong coffee at four o’clock in the morning!

In spite of my accelerating fatigue I succumbed as usual to my statutory bicycle ride. But I confess my heart – or should I say my hips, legs, feet and arms – were not in it. Nonetheless I persevered and accomplished my customary rendition – reminding myself repeatedly along the way that this was an indescribably magnificent day and that I hadn’t a care in the world. I even briefly composed a death bed assertion that “Life owes me nothing!” which I consider an adequate summary of all that I have experienced.