Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel

No, I’m not lying on the floor with the keyboard on my belly in an attempt to call for help. I just feel totally incapacitated. I broke my glasses yesterday. My eyesight has never been great. In fact, I had an operation on my left eye when I was 12 because I was so cross-eyed. I wasn’t born with this affliction – it just happened as I grew older. Sometimes the muscle that holds the eyeball in place doesn’t grow as it should during adolescence, resulting in the eyeball being pulled to one side and “Voila!'” you get crossed eyes. That’s what happened to me.

Struggling through with broken, taped glasses

Struggling through with broken, taped glasses

The eye doctors tried everything: visual exercises, eye drops, they even tried putting a patch on my good eye to make my ‘lazy’ eye correct itself. But the only thing that happened was that I couldn’t see the lines on the writing paper when I was doing my homework. For about six months my vision was a blurry-eyed mess that caused my writing to wander all over the page.

My parents were understandably concerned. Some of the doctors had told them that I would probably never be able to hold a decent job and most certainly I would never be able to drive. So they sought out expert help. They took me to a specialist named Doctor Lieberman. I loved it because he was located in the Jewish neighborhood of Chicago and my Dad took me not only to see the doctor, but he introduced me to Lox and Bagels as well. For me it was an adventure. Only later did I overhear Read More

“The cells of the heart which nature built for joy die through disuse. That small place in the breast which is faith’s cramped quarters remains untenanted for years and decays.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn on maintaining joy in life.

I’m reading the classics these days. When I came across this quote from Solzhenitsyn’s Cancer Ward I realized it spoke perfectly to my situation. Until recently, I’ve been dying bit by bit, inexorably trudging through each day, trapped in a job I disliked and staying there for all the wrong reasons. Those of you who have been following my blog know that I recently threw caution to the wind and retired to Sarasota, regardless of the fact that my house in North Carolina has not yet sold. It was a leap of faith – faith that the Universe would bring me what I needed. Read More

I got up early this morning and walked five blocks to the Sarasota Farmer’s Market. This market is held every Saturday and is about four blocks long. Almost all of the produce offered is locally grown and the lion’s share is organic. It’s located next to Whole Foods Market, so if I don’t find what I want on the street, I can just stop by WFM on the way home.

Local residents and tourists gather at Sarasota

Local residents and tourists gather at Sarasota

My major find today was a stand selling Heirloom tomatoes. An heirloom is generally considered to be a variety that has been passed down through several generations of a family. The definition of the use of the word heirloom to describe plants is highly debated. For instance, one school says that the seeds must be over 100 years old, others 50 years, and others pick an arbitrary date of 1945 which marks the end of World War II and roughly the beginning of widespread hybrid use by growers and seed companies or industrial agriculture. It was after the end of World War II that hybrid seeds began to proliferate in the commercial seed trade. Read More

I slept ’til 9 AM this morning, then got up and rolled around on the floor with my Feldenkreis tubes, working out every last kink in my back and shoulders.

My new apartment is on the top floor of Rosemary Court Wellness Center

My new apartment is on the top floor of Rosemary Court Wellness Center

At around 10 AM, my roommate, Joan, and I walked a few blocks to the French Cafe in the heart of downtown Sarasota, Florida and dined on coffee and croissants at little patio tables set out on the sidewalk, watching the world go by.

After breakfast, a leisurely stroll took us to the book store – rich with the fragrance of new ink – where I picked up a couple of new novels. Any other day I would have plopped into one of their overstuffed chairs and vegged for a couple of hours over more coffee while I delved into one of the new books, but that will have to wait for tomorrow because we have other things on the agenda.

Off we went to the Vietnamese market, where we got a huge bag of bean sprouts for $1, three of the biggest grapefruit I’ve ever seen for $1, and an assortment of oriental sauces, rice noodles, etc. Yesterday it was the Latin market. Both are within walking distance.

My apartment is the top floor of one of the buildings in a wellness center that is located in a lovely historic neighborhood known as the Rosemary District, just blocks from downtown.

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I feel like my body has been invaded by a mammoth slug that is injecting slime into every cell in my body as it slithers through my system. My brain won’t work right. I ache and I’m bloated. I can barely zip up a pair of pants that two days ago were falling off me. I suppose a lot of that has to do with being in the car for the last day and a half, making my final move to Sarasota. Maybe my body is having sympathy pains with my car, which was loaded to the gills with way too much crap (pun intended), or maybe it’s just that I am in a total state of change.

Over the last month my car has changed, my employment status has changed, my residence has changed, even the State I live in has changed. I am usually a fan of change; I think it is good for the soul. But there is only so much change a body can take and I am apparently at my limit. So I think I’ll just slither off to bed like the good slug that I am and sleep this off.

My co-worker, Charles Rocknak called this morning to say he has a gift for me. He left it at the Front Porch Cafe (our local coffee shop extraordinaire) and said I need to pick it up before I head out of town. I’m here at the coffee shop, debating if I want to open this plain brown envelope in public or scurry off to the car where I can tear it open, away from prying eyes. I take the bold route and fearlessly rip it open in the middle of the coffee shop. Inside I discover a St. Joseph Real Estate Kit, consisting of an 8-inch tall plastic statue of St. Joseph and a brochure explaining what to do with it.

St. Joseph statue is said to help owners sell a house if buried upside-down in front of the house

St. Joseph statue is said to help owners sell a house if buried upside-down in front of the house

Joseph, the carpenter husband of the Virgin Mary, is the patron saint of laborers and house hunters, family, and household needs. For years there has been a persistent belief that you can sell a house faster if you bury a St. Joseph statue upside down in the front yard of the house. The United States Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C., traces the tradition of burying St. Joseph back hundreds of years to St. Theresa of Avila (1515-1582), who prayed to St. Joseph for more land for Christian converts and encouraged her Discalced Carmelite nuns to bury St. Joseph medals in the ground as a symbol of their devotion.

This is not my first acquaintance with dear old Joseph. Some years ago, before our real estate market went crazy with appreciation, I listed a house in Ocean Sands in Corolla for some nice folks named the McDermotts. We tried everything but the place just wouldn’t sell. Until, that is, Read More