a christmas card to my wonderful readers

There is a hard, cool, much needed rain falling on the island, 5 days before Christmas. The rain is romantic, nostalgic, holidayish, not depressing in any way, a small storm that is perfectly appropriate for the season. The palm are crashing, the gutters gushing.The cat, silly thing, has this very strong instinct-thing to go under the house rather than wait the storm out inside. He’s a fabulous cat, a true gypsy who seems to have a crush on me. I’ve managed to find decent live greenery for decoration (difficult in the Keys) and have an abundance of candles. I have a ton of groceries sitting on the counter waiting to be put away, a fresh pot of coffee, I have cigarettes and weed and 2 invitations for Christmas Eve and 2 events lined up for Christmas Day. I have Jingle Bell Rock playing on pandora. I have friends that bring me fruit, a friend that is helping me hang a lighted peace sign, and a pile of packages to open from friends and family everywhere. I have enough money to make it through another year and I have good health.

I pass this along to you in hopes that you have such feelings this time of year and hope that simple gratitude fills you to overflow. I wish you peace and love and know that they are attainable—even if you live alone. Cherish your family and friends, cherish yourself. From the bottom to the top of my heart, I thank you all for reading.

Merry Christmas

babies and key west

I’m a grandmother now, the proud matriarch, the beaming mama who now understands the enormity of future generations, little ones who share my blood. I try my hardest to not be the nauseating nana, to not be gooey or sappy, to not bore people with adorable photos and snippets of life with baby. But, oh my, do babies suckle at your heart. They attach perfectly shaped lips to your thumper and you look down on them and are mesmerized by their innocence, their purity, their miraculous entry into life, their trust in you as provider and nurturer.* Babies are the antidote to the contemptuousness that poisons us all. I look at them and think that close to everything they come to know will begin with this circle called family. It’s a big deal, an enormous yet delicate responsibility, a thought that is sometimes overlooked when in the throws of parenting, but one that the grandparent with less responsibility and more time can ponder. But more time can also generate more worry, and I think, “what the hell kind of world will this innocent little soul inherit?”

And why Key West, what possible connection? Obvious, really; I worry about my island paradise as I worry about babies. This remote rock of misfits and drunks, contrarians and cross-dressers faces perhaps an even more ominous future than that of our children. Since my move to Florida the state has been shaken to its core by Hurricanes Irma and Michael, and the latest environmental report says we’re up shit’s creek, if creeks can indeed survive the geographic apocalypse. Will this island still be standing in 20 years? No one knows. I do know that my house was worth a lot more 2 years ago and I may never see that number again but I’m okay with that—truly. I bought a lifestyle that fits me like a tee. I just want this place to be here long enough to see the grandkids sitting at my kitchen counter for lunch, damnit—and for a while, I won’t give a shit about the rest of the world.

 * I have often wondered if men’s authoritarian anger towards women, their diminishing of the female stems from jealousy over the fact that they cannot give birth—no matter how bullish or rich or famous or whatever—they cannot perform, although they will certainly try to manipulate, the most profound act of life. Womb envy, click here.