sometime in the vicinity of the ‘fall’ it all went awry. We had two notable and painful deaths of co-workers. Many people had an acute sense of loss and pain for reasons ranging to years of teamwork to being walked to their cars on dark evenings and weekends after staying open late for visitors. Then, fresh griefs as our pastor at church abruptly left citing an affair that he had every plan to continue and under allegations of spousal and alcohol abuse. Other small things felt bigger – hopes of peace for the season washed away in fell swoops. With thoughts only of mental escape we booked a cruise for five days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Five days of feet up, magazine and book reading, fruity cocktails, exploring new places without a care in the world. Total bummer that two days before we were scheduled to depart I got a cold that kept on giving – so far going on two months and still with a tickle of a cough. I think it was one of those things that comes when you let your guard down and begin to relax… But we booked it and I figured I could Purell my way across the Gulf of Mexico. We packed up and headed out for the blue skies of winter -except they weren’t.
It rained in Tampa. It rained in Grand Cayman. It rained so hard in Cozumel that I bought a poncho (cough cough tourist) and was almost declared dorky for wearing it. Rain, rain, go away! Bright points? Of course. We perused the shops on Grand Cayman until the rain drove us inside and bought some chocolate bars from a non-English speaker in Cozumel while dodging raindrops. I saw the most gloriously large pod of dolphins. I was out one morning drinking coffee on the deck and reading/thinking/staring into the distance with two ‘old’ guys when we all three saw splashes of dolphins jumping. I didn’t have a camera and am probably better off for it since the image is ingrained in my mind. I would guess 70 to 100 dolphins were swimming a half mile or so (hard to say I guess) behind the boat. Stunning! We enjoyed our time-eating chocolate melting cakes for dinner, trying sushi, playing the penny slots and watching shows and celebrating some Christmas downtime. We sat open seating for lots of meals chatted with people from all walks of life. Getting away from our cares and definitely from it all.