Category Archives: friendship

On the Waterfront.

One of the most pleasurable activities that I like to experience is dining on the waterfront.

There is a large lake on a chain of lakes that my best friend and I enjoy going to, for not only does it have the beauty and serenity that we like, but there is also a small out-of-the-way restaurant on its shores.

It is a simple place and nothing fancy at all about it.  The white frame building is old – perhaps circa 1940s.  Behind it is a row of two buildings that house little rooms, perhaps kitchenettes for fishermen in another time.

The restaurant itself has a small bar.  Wooden tables are scattered about the two dining rooms.

Outside, there is a seating area with tables and a counter where diners can eat looking over the piers and across the great expanse of the lake.  From time to time, we spotted alligators and fishing birds.  The restaurant sort of reminds of me of Mildred’s restaurant in James M. Cain’s book, Mildred Pierce, or the restaurant in another one of his books, The Postman Always Rings Twice.  The restaurant we frequent has that cozy, post-war feel.

The menu itself is basic and reminiscent of home cooking, with offerings of simple cocktails to wet your whistle.

Our usual spot is a table for two looking out towards the water.  Sometimes we see fish jumping in arcs, playfully energetic.  Occasionally, we spot water birds darting in and out of the water, looking for a meal or just sitting on the piers, wings outstretched and drying off.

There are always some sort of boats skimming across the waters.  Some come from the homes directly across the far side of the lake, and some from any one of the another lakes in the chain.  When the boat captain ties the boat to the pier and the passengers alight, there usually is laughter and excitement as they walk down the boardwalk and into the restaurant.

Over the speakers in the ceiling, music gently plays, loud enough to hear, yet soft enough to carry on conversations without yelling across the table.

There is something calming about being near the water that takes away the stress and clamor of everyday life.  Nothing else is important but the immediate experience and the topics of conversation at the table.

Indeed, this is one of my favorite ways to spend some wonderful time on a Friday afternoon or a Saturday night.  Not only do I benefit from the atmosphere and good friendship, but it also clears my mind a bit to gather and clear my thoughts and get lost in a quiet world, with the benefit of sparking some creativity and cleansing.

It’s about peace, calm, and a sort of escapism, of course.  It is good to periodically break away from the world’s insanity.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my book, “Your Table is Ready,” and my new book coming up, “A Hopeful World,” ©2023

Name Calling.

The weather was beautiful these past days – warmth, sun, and more time outdoors to catch a few rays and smell the freshness of springtime.  I like the coolish mornings that slowly warm up to a cozy heat by noontime.

Earlier today, I was thinking about being at the pool.  As of this writing, the neighborhood beach pool is still under reconstruction.  You see, it was sinking, and the entire pool had to be completely rebuilt.  Nonetheless, my thoughts went to last summer when I was at the neighborhood pool last week with Best Friend.  We happened upon two neighbors who began talking to Best Friend.  Eventually, I was able to contribute to the conversation, and that’s a story for another day.

Well, Mr. Neighbor constantly called me by a different name during this conversation.  And I constantly corrected him.  But either he didn’t care, or he didn’t understand what my name is.

Mrs. Neighbor overheard this, and she also attempted to correct him, but in a way that subtly made fun of my name.  So, she was a bit cutting, too.

I gave up on them and swam away.  I don’t know whatever I did or said to them.  In fact, I didn’t meet them until that day, and this whole episode with him purposely calling me by another name and she getting mocking flabbergasts me.  Their actions pretty much tells me what their demeanor is anyway.

Who needs to be around ghastly people like them?  I certainly don’t.

It is the height of disrespectfulness for someone to call another by a name that isn’t theirs and especially when corrected.

That is the state of this neighborhood and unfortunately, the world at large.  Little disrespect for neighbors and acquaintances is the new sport.

It makes me sick.

As ever,

●▬● ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ●▬●

Excerpt from my upcoming book, “Diary from The Ridge,” ©2023

Jubilation Day.

As the sun climbed high in the sky, it turned the grey-blue sky a happy pinkish-orange, and ultimately a clear, optimistic blue.  A flock of sandhill cranes flew over the field in back of the property, honking while on their journey to somewhere.  A soft breeze crossed the veranda, and I inhaled the fresh smell of dew-covered grass.  All was well at The Oasis of Four Queen Palms.  It was a lovely dawn to mark a personally important day.

Best Friend, a.k.a. His Lordship, and I have been friends forever, it seems.  We have been through the best of times, and the worst of times.  Yet, we always – always – come out on top of it all.

That is why every year we celebrate Jubilation Day.

It is a day for us, about us, created by us, observed by us with reverence and revelry.  We celebrate our strong friendship and unwavering love that has a bond like no other.  It cannot be copied or duplicated.  Oh, sure, there are weak imitations, but there is really nothing – nothing – as true and as strong as the bond of a loving friendship we share.

Today is Jubilation Day.

Raise a glass in our honor.

Here’s to another magnificent year.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my upcoming book, “Love Essays,” ©2023

Twilight Bay.

In the greyish-blue twilight of a fresh early evening, Best Friend and I escaped from our home and drove a couple short miles to the old part of town.  We parked the car along the waterfront, drifted over to a bench built for two, and we snuggled in.  The heat of the day still lingered heavily in the air, yet the crisp, cool breezes off the bay and the anticipation of watching the sun dip dramatically below the horizon made us disregard that heat.

I detected that the breeze and the lateness of the day made the usually bluish-green hue of the choppy water turn a gloomy blackish-grey.  As I stared at the spot in front of me, it didn’t really look like water.  Instead, it appeared so dark as to be reminiscent of undulating tar.  The more I stared at the water, the more it became black, the more it looked like tar, the more it undulated.

Best Friend and I got up, held hands, and wandered in a westerly direction along the railing next to the bay.  Pelicans silently flew overhead and over the expanse of the bay – not one stopped on the lawn nor sidewalk to plead for a nosh, as they usually do.  Instead, that evening they were making a beeline for the ships in the harbor.  Perhaps dinner was more of a delicious guarantee on deck.

A large, fat gull sat on the railing facing the sunset, long enough for us to admire his white and grey feathers.  With a stretch of his wings and a push off the railing, he was out over the water, but not before I could snap a picture of him.

In the distance, a lone sailboat bounced in the bay.

Serenity prospered and offered to all who would take it, the pacific beauty in an otherwise insanely troubled world.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my upcoming new book, “A Hopeful World,” ©2023