February 2016: Miami, FL

Well, it’s not exactly Miami. Miami-Everglades RV Park is just outside the eastern boundary of Everglades, and we thought it would be a suitable location to explore those aspects of the Everglades that we missed while at Flamingo (like the Shark River tram tour), plus Biscayne National Park, plus being a lookie-loo at places like South Beach. And maybe even a day trip down to the Keys somewhere. Or, if I got really bold, I was toying with the idea of a ranger-guided “wet walk” through the Cyprus swamp in the Big Cyprus National Preserve (not Wendy’s cup of tea). From here, we’d head to Chokoloskee, then Lake Okeechobee, then The Villages, then home.

20160217 Miami IMG_0289 (Custom)

Miami-Everglades RV Park: a little crowded, but basically fine. An OK destination for escaping Atlanta winters and we plan on coming back, maybe even next winter.

Great plan. Except that we had to flush it. Here’s the deal. We’re basically old geezers. Proof? We’ve got Social Security, Medicare, and we’ve developed an irresistible urge to play shuffleboard. And one more thing: we now have “afflictions.” You’ve probably noticed that when geezers get together, they engage in a social ritual of sharing stories about their afflictions, using words that have no functional significance for anyone less than 60 years old, words like “sacroiliac,” “presbycusis,” “incontinence,” “prolapse,” “stroke” (not rowing-related), “joint” (not marijuana-related), and so on. It’s great fun, especially when combined with another ritual of showing each other one’s surgical scars and swollen body parts. [On edit: my sister-in-law tells me that in their community, these sessions of sharing afflictions are referred to as “organ recitals.” An apt designation!] So, we thought that talking about afflictions would be a great way to slide into senior living until we realized that talking about our afflictions means having afflictions, which is not fun.

Ever since we left, and actually before we left, Wendy had been nursing a minor foot problem that she had resolved to get addressed after we returned. Unfortunately, while on the trip it turned into an “affliction.” We were able to work around it up through the Everglades stop, but by the time we got here it had progressed into an Affliction, with a capital “A.”

So, it’s basically time to bail out. We’ve had a chance to do some things around here, checking off a few stops, like a trip back to the Everglades visitor center, to the Biscayne National Park visitor center (one of the best we’ve ever seen), a drive down to Key Largo, and generally relaxing. We had a great time at a pot luck soup dinner, where Wendy brought her jambalaya, and which was a great hit. We can also check off having a Type 2 Breakdown, as enumerated previously. But we’ve done essentially all of the major things we wanted to do on the Florida trip as originally planned, and not hanging around here with a Nagging Affliction makes a lot of sense. Better to disengage than to push a bad position.

And here’s the good news: being retired means that there’s no pressure to do something just because it’s on The Schedule. We now control The Schedule, rather than The Schedule controlling us. Of all the aspects of retirement we’ve encountered so far, that has got to be the most liberating!