Getting settled

Since we were summarily ejected from Longboat Key in March, 2020 on account of the then emerging COVID-19 pandemic, we have pinned to reactivate our winter sojourns. And it was only as recently as the first week of November, 2021 (when President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr opened the American border from Canada) that we were able to take any affirmative action in that southerly direction.  Admittedly we initially tried to locate a long-term rental on the Florida Keys (but without success) so we succumbed to investigating a similar ambition on Hilton Head Island from which we last exited over five years ago.  The task on Hilton Head Island was at the outset discouraging; but following a recommendation from our erstwhile estate agent Gail Edmonds of Destination Vacation she put us onto a new property manager Beverly Serral. From the start our conventions with Ms. Serral et al. have been exceedingly happy ones.

Today – after laboriously lugging our baggage from the car into the apartment last evening – we devoted ourselves to clinical domestic matters; viz., arranging our booster shots on December 22nd next, having bicycles delivered, buying groceries and specialty food items and putting the car back into its regular order (rear third-row seats elevated, superfluous items removed). Frankly I died a thousand deaths in the process.  But thanks to Tylenol Arthritis I made it through another day of mounting decrepitude.  I refuse to succumb to the trifling obstructions of pain! And I willingly employ the deprivation of martinis and cigars as sufficient purpose for the comparatively Puritan indulgence of pills and pure black coffee.

To further energize ourselves we climbed onto our respective bicycles late this afternoon and peddled along the familiar trails in Sea Pines to the Atlantic Ocean where I ceremoniously baptized myself in the purgatory of a brilliantly sunny beach day – and contemporaneously reminded myself of the reason I might be able to reduce my protuberant belly in the upcoming five months.  The bikes – brand new from the rental agency – are cruisers of one gear only.  They’re work!  In spite of the fact that we’re obviously at sea level and that the hills if any are essentially negligible – the demand for application is unremitting.  My Protestant Work Ethic nonetheless propelled me forward with gusto! I likewise hasten to remark that during our brunch late this morning at Low Country Produce I remarkably avoided the mini-donuts and biscuits.  By coincidence I reacquainted myself with Noel, the owner, and asked to be remembered to his sister Nancy who I understand is now living in Wilmington, North Carolina.

We have reaffirmed our interest in elemental provisions and dalliances.  Being dressed in shorts, untucked shirts and sock-less shoes is a convenient encouragement for candid and undiluted pleasure. Granted the environment is not exactly rudimentary but the diversions are. My interest is categorically the sea, the surf, the sand, aimless cycling and unobstructed pleasures (coffee at any hour, fresh food and minimal agenda – from which naturally I exclude the lingering necessity to have the car detailed, inside and out as is so skilfully undertaken on the Island.