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Unroad Trip, Tampa Florida






"Put your hands on the radiator, honey."
Fer cryin' out loud! We're in Florida and it is cold. And the kids' house has a broken furnace. The motel, built in the fifties, boasts a little white radiator-looking thing that is warmer than a baby's breath. Barely. Well,the love keeps the heart warm. But the hands? Maybe I'll give the pathetic little heater a shot. It has been on 'full' for 24 hours now, and has successfully knocked the edge off the cold.
The light switches and plugs are mounted near the ceiling. Amazing. Apparently they were designed to cope with flooding. Old school.
Contrarily, the little motel is quaint. Really. It boasts a living room, kitchen, bath and bedroom. Antique stuff everywhere. Older sometimes is better, as the Little Woman needed a scissors, and sure enough, inside the wooden drawer (made of wood, how about that?) lurked a scissors. You probably couldn't find one in a Ritz Carlton on the beach, because at some board meeting, at a fifty foot granite table, they decided it would be just too dangerous to let common people loose with a sharp object like that.
I don't know why God gave Florida all the water. Why not give them half, and share the rest with Nevada? It is everywhere. What Nevada lacks in water, it makes up for in elevation. Florida is flat as the economy. The motels are built on stilts or over parking garages for hurricane flooding.
I suppose absence does make the heart grow fonder, because we are crazy about the kids and grandkids. And those little adopted baby girls? I did the Grandpa thing. Just couldn't stop it. I knew the phrase, saw Grandma in my memory saying the exact statement fifty plus years ago, and still couldn't stop myself.
"My how you've grown!"
I remember not believing her, thinking that she was saying it to be nice to me, because I wanted to grow and simply wasn't. She couldn't mean it, could she? It never dawned on me that she wasn't talking to me, but just blurting it out, in her simple amazement.
Yet there I stood, astounded, that the two little girls who could just crawl, now stood (tottered, but upright) before me with those beautiful brown eyes, wondering about the strangers that talked about their growth.
Great stuff.
Let the spoiling begin.

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