Chatting with the neighbours

Say what you will, the high point of any vacation is the people you meet. In the instance this morning, it might be more suitably characterized as getting to know the neighbours better and chatting with their visiting friends who are here for a week. It naturally takes time for details to insinuate any relationship.  I find too that acquainting oneself with others at different opportunities no matter how abbreviated is assured to expand the boundaries of familiarity. Because we’re not disposed to formal or even semi-formal gatherings, we thrive instead upon casual encounters such as the random crossing of paths or what may be called bumping into one another from time to time.  It makes for a more spontaneous introduction to what is invariably an enlargement of personal knowledge on both sides.

The thing I like about unpredictable rendezvous is their fluidity.  It is normal that these unanticipated meetings arise during the process of some other purposeful ambition, perhaps adjusting the garden hose or preparing to go grocery shopping. If the time constraint is not too pressing it is normal to permit at least a brief interruption of the enterprise for a chat. This morning for example we first saw our immediate neighbour walking outside on his way to breakfast at his townhouse next door. When he excused himself after a momentary confab, we then met his male adult visitor who is married to our neighbour’s former intern (now a Commissioner) who together are the parents of two young boys (Beckett and Brooks) aged 4 and 7. The father (Justin) noticeably lit up when he mentioned his boys, always a good sign of paternity, though he had the austerity to jokingly say he loves them and hates them at times. Justin is a flight attendant and he manifestly has the buoyancy of personality to go along with the job.  He told us that most of his flights are to Europe and that he especially likes Ireland (in which he has taken a train ride on his 32 hour lay-over to acquaint himself with the surroundings).

In an atmosphere such as Key Largo, where normally it is just one day of sunshine to the next, the novelty of human relations constitutes the spicy ingredient of the mix. Interestingly – and as usual by total coincidence – Justin was familiar with Longboat Key where we previously wintered.  He said that he prefers Key Largo – not because of the fishing or deep sea diving (its usual highlights) – but because the people here are more laid back and less concerned about the vulgarities of society.  He was however quick to add that he hadn’t any longer an appetite for the hedonism that is Key West, neither for himself and his wife nor for his children. He could have included us in that disparity. I confess I was particularly interested in this summary comparison of venues as we have already rebooked our winter here on Key Largo for next winter. The laid back theme seems to be common among others whom I have met here as well.

Though the predominant weather forecast on Key Largo for today and tomorrow is windy conditions, the sky is currently clear and beaming with sunshine. Because the wind is from the Northeast at 32 Km/h the high temperature today and tomorrow is only 77°F (for which purpose we briefly turned off the AC and opened the windows). I have for this reason today abandoned linen for cotton. After I complete my cup of black coffee and have brushed my teeth I shall fulfill the mandatory customs of the day; viz., a tricycle ride about Buttonwood Bay and then a brief residency by the pool where I suspect I shall take a swim in spite of the frigid conditions. Accommodation is a peril of existence!