We ritually dressed for work at 6:00 am this morning, preparing for an early mission to the Publix Island Crossing grocery store at 11 Palmetto Bay Road just beyond the Greenwood Avenue entrance to Sea Pines. But first we determined to go to Watusi Café on nearby Pope Avenue for breakfast. They opened at 7:30 am.
We were not however the first to arrive. A table of four in the most prospective corner of the airy, spacious restaurant was already seated. They were obviously “regulars”, three men and one woman, meaningfully sipping coffee and prattling about what seemed to be casual business matters. We settled at another brightly lit round table with white table cloth somewhat removed from the others. Soon a very acceptable Cappuccino (prepared by a tall, slender unshaven barista behind the counter) and black coffee arrived. It was some time before our plates of food arrived but the wait was worth it. I expressed the customary approbation of the chef. I resisted the caramel pecan sticky bun but His Lordship did not, further evidence of the satisfaction of the main course though admittedly the gooey warm syrup looked divine.
“Mystie”, our server, was loquacious. Comparatively late in life at forty years of age or so she abandoned her erstwhile rambling lifestyle about the northwestern part of the country for marriage and maternity both of which appear to suit her though she insists her five-year old daughter accommodates her, not the other way ’round. The child appears destined for one of those “adult” type of only-child upbringings which parenthetically will be imbued with a religious element (though Mystie did not enlarge upon the particulars beyond mentioning the proclivity).
Although Publix opens as early as 7:00 am we deliberately withheld an earlier attendance than one after breakfast (and car wash, naturally) because the fishmonger’s counter doesn’t get into full motion until 9:30 am. Nonetheless this morning in spite of our rigorous planning I failed in my intended enterprise because there had not been a delivery of the “Aprons Salmon Burgers, Lemon Dill, Fresh, Fully Cooked”. I’ve placed an order which the fishmonger assures me will be in store within two days. Meanwhile I settled instead for the Premium Crab Cakes, a small deprivation under the circumstances. Otherwise, as I wandered aimlessly about the aisles (naturally employing my Publix APP), I appreciated that we were engaged in grocery shopping after having previously sated our appetite. There are so many sinful choices especially in the prepared foods department. I stuck to the flax and wild honey. My only extravagance was Saffron Road Chickpeas, Crunchy, Sea Salt “certified halal” which was a variation of another “flavour” to which we were initially introduced on our recent jaunt to Key Largo. Oh, and the lobster bisque.
We were back at the condo, groceries unpacked and prepared for our constitutional bicycle ride by shortly after ten o’clock. Today’s adventure was somewhat unique in that we traveled together from start to finish – skipping the usual interruption I make to linger by the dunes in the glistening sunshine.
The unmistakeable allure of the beach today was the 19 km/h easterly wind. For this particular serendipity we skilfully positioned ourselves as far as judiciously possible up the coast (that is, beyond Sea Pines) so that our return journey along the beach was spirited by the wind at our backs. And sail we did! The wind was so strong that we didn’t encounter even one cyclist coming in the opposite direction; it would have constituted a punishing ambition to have done so,
As we soared along the beach with the roaring waves of the sea and the blazing sun at our left, the images of the beach, water and horizon were perpetually changing, ornamented on occasion by sprawling remnants of silvery water upon the beach as the tide continued its lunar ebb. We were not long in attaining Sea Pines Beach Club where we slowly exited the coastal speedway and trod upon the thicker white sand towards the Clubhouse. I fell from my bike once again, awkwardly breaching my attempt to dismount. There were no injuries on this occasion but the second repetition in as many days heightens the perception of decline – though I prefer to see it as mark of bravery, just like the blood from my index finger yesterday was my “red badge of courage”. Mocking the entire display does nothing to dismay me. I AM getting old. Cycling at 73 years of age is not terribly common in the overall scheme of things; and as long as I continue to exhibit my decomposition in slow motion there is no reason for alarm. Anyway, as I observed yesterday, it isn’t the first time I’ve fallen from a bike, I’ve been doing it for years – and twice at least with far greater disadvantage.