I’m sitting on Vanderbilt Beach this morning where normally I’d be enjoying the solitude of waves lapping on the shore and seagulls chirping. Instead, there’s a couple of guys playing with their giant Tonka Toys, pushing sand from one spot to another and disturbing the peace with their ear-piercing backup warnings. Yesterday, it was window washers, with an equally annoying beep as they moved their hydraulic equipment alongside the condominium buildings. To make matters worse the temperature is in the low 50s, so the piles of sand are reminiscent of snow drifts.

We had big plans last night with our friends to run together and attend a yoga class on the beach. Instead, I put on my mittens and hat for a solo run to the nearby State Park. My wife is taking a hot bath, while the others are trying to work up a yoga sweat with a chilly wind off the Gulf. We’ll be leaving soon for a lunch with other friends, while they are expecting more overnight guests.

We did have a nice afternoon by the pools, protected from the wind, despite the construction going on around us. My wife and I should be used to the lack of quiet with all the building happening in our neighborhood. We thought we might get away from it for the night, but that was not to be. We also enjoyed a grilled salmon dinner, conversation, and games last night, but it’s now time to move along. I took a few minutes to write this after completing my daily 7 Little Words puzzles, before hitting the shower.

We’ll be making a new acquaintance over lunch at nearby Doc’s Beach House in Bonita Springs, just down the road from Coconut Jack’s where we met Illinois friends over the Christmas holidays. The widow of my high school buddy has moved forward and found new love. It’s reassuring to know that she’s happy again after losing her husband of forty years. We spread his ashes at Wrigley Field together in July of 2016. It was my opportunity to say goodbye. Her new friend is from my hometown, so I’m sure we’ll have many folks in common. It’s going to be a good day.