Musings & Thoughts for Tuesday, June 14, 2022, or: Tempus Fugit Redux!

Though Hollywood released many movies in 1972, this is perhaps the most famous of all.

Hi, there, Dear Reader. It is late morning in Lithia, Florida, on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. It is a hot and muggy early summer day here in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, the temperature is 88°F (31°C) under sunny skies. With humidity at 72% and the wind barely blowing from the north at 3 MPH (5 KM/H), the heat index is 98°F (37°C). The forecast for today calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 95°F (35°C). Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy. The low will be 75°F (24°C).

I used to display a U.S. flag on the front of my former home in Miami, Image by DWilliam from Pixabay 

Well, we are almost in the middle of June; today is Flag Day, and tomorrow we reach the midway point of the month. I remember when I was in high school 40 years ago, time seemed to pass at the proverbial snail’s pace in 10th and 11th grades, then somehow started speeding up as though it were on steroids. So I guess what they say is true; time passes normally without changing pace, but our perception of time changes as we grow older or our circumstances dictate.

This illustration is so evocative of 1972!

50 years ago, today – I’m not sure what I was up to on June 14, 1972. I was probably attending classes at a bilingual school in Hialeah, getting used to hearing the English language in a classroom setting (although, as I remember it, I did not understand more than 25% of what I heard and talked in castellano most of the time) and learning how to behave in a U.S. school setting where uniforms were not mandatory and we only had half-hour lunches rather than the leisurely one-hour midday meals I’d enjoyed in Bogota’s Colegio El Nogal.

Wacky Packages were all the rage in 1972. (C) 1972 Topps
The author’s senior year school photograph. Photo by Bryn Alan Studios, 1982

40 years ago today, I was a junior at South Miami High School, either taking two final exams at the end of the 1981-82 academic year or, possibly, enjoying my first day of a brief vacation before attending summer school so I could clear two periods during my senior year for elective courses.

30 years ago today, I was probably doing some freelance communication consulting or freelance business writing, and hanging out with my group of friends from high school and Miami-Dade Community College,

Patriot Games was one of several movies I queued up for at the now-closed AMC Theater in the Mall of the Americas 30 summers ago.

20 years ago today, I was probably – ironically enough – spending time with one of my exes (Betty June Moore) in an apartment that she shared with her son Patrick and his girlfriend Robin in Seffner, which is where Amazon has one of its Tampa Bay distribution centers. June – that’s how she preferred to be called – was nine years older than I was and more into me than I was (by that time, anyway) into her. She was a nice, generous woman, but she was also insecure (due to her issues with weight and her age) and insanely jealous. We dated for four almost four years – 2002 marked the halfway point of the relationship – but eventually, I decided to end it because (a) I couldn’t cope with her possessiveness, and (b) she was pressuring me to move to the Tampa Bay area, a move that I didn’t want to make at the time.

I think this was the first movie I watched in the Tampa Bay area,….at the Town Centre in Brandon.

June and I had a not-so-amicable breakup – she did not take the news that I wanted to end the relationship in early 2004 well – but we became friends again in the months before her unexpected death on December 26, 2006. She wasn’t a bad person; she just wasn’t the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with at the time.

One of Mom’s home health aides snapped this photo of us in November of 2012. You have to have known my mom well to notice, but even here you can see that dementia was taking its toll on her emotional well-being.

10 years ago today, I was taking care of my mother, who, in addition to enduring a too-long recovery from back surgery, suffered from other age-related ailments (high blood pressure, glaucoma, and dementia) and the effects of being stuck in a hospital bed in the smallest room in the house because her mobility was limited.

Not only was I the Johnny-on-the-spot who oversaw my mom’s day-to-day care (my older half-sister did not retire till Metropolitan Hospital of Miami closed in May of 2014, so even though she wanted to be Mom’s primary caregiver, she could not), but I was running the house, too. Whenever the home health aides and respite workers were on site and watching over Mom, I did the food shopping, paid the bills, balanced the checkbooks – electronically, anyway – and cooked meals.

My mom trying to enjoy her lunch on a June afternoon 10 years ago.
This is what I looked like in 2013, three years after my mother got sick.
During my mother’s final years, I often needed to walk to East Wind Lake, the man-made body of water that gave our gated community its name, when the home health aide or the respite worker was in my house.

And because Mom was increasingly anxious at night and needed to know where I was always, I could no longer sleep in my own bed in the master bedroom up on the second floor of our townhouse. Nope. I had to sleep on a thin mattress on the dining room floor, where I could hear if Mom needed me in the middle of the night. As a result, I rarely slept soundly or for longer than six or seven hours. By the time my mother was admitted to Catholic Services’ hospice three summers later, I was physically and emotionally exhausted.

Tempus fugit, indeed, Dear Reader.

I don’t have a lot of personal news to share; my smartphone is giving me fits because the battery is on its last legs and goes through a charge faster and faster every time that I recharge it. Plus, the interface crashes almost every time I need to use it. Other than that, my life can be summed up by the military expression “Sierra Squared, Delta Squared.”

And on this note, I will take my leave of you, Dear Reader. It’s early afternoon now, and the temperature outside is so hot now that I can feel the heat through the wall in my room. So, until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

%d bloggers like this: