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).
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.