We followed the college kids for March vacation, but did so in a more careful environment in Surfside on Florida’s east coast. As a New Englander who summers much of the time at Cape Cod or New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee, I had, as usual, architectural culture shock when my plane landed. So many modern condo high rises tower along the exquisite sandy beaches as palm trees wave. This area is north of Miami Beach and not by much. Therefore, one can take a break from the water, walking along the paths along the shore in Surfside, and napping, to dine out for varied cuisine. Naturally, on St. Patrick’s Day, we ate corned beef at Flanagan’s. All except for me, who enjoyed baby back beef ribs with a lovely Makers Mark on the rocks with a slice of orange. Cuban, Peruvian, Indian, new American, Italian, Asian, Greek, and Arab are just some of the restaurant offerings. All amenities one could desire are close by: great food markets and specialty food shops, designer clothing big name stores and other boutiques, and for necessities I visited Target and Best Buy {forgot my laptop cord}.

Don’t worry I got my two shots of Moderna, while my husband got Phizer. We tend to obey rules. Perhaps I’m more careful because I’m facing my birthday on Monday; just another notch on the check-off of years, but still a date to be recognized. I have time on this vacation to dream and dream I do as well as review my life and its work. I catch my breath when I realize the sum total of my experiences. Every day, the work we do, often appears humdrum. In looking back, I see myself, a woman holding one baby in her arms with three at her feet. I see the student in engineering and her busy social life. I feel her pain when her family suffered from sickness or accidents or worry over her children’s chosen direction. I remember loving the teaching in my college classes, despite the academic content for I remember the students and our interactions. I most liked forensic accounting from all my time as a CPA. I truly enjoyed every moment in construction dealing with different subs on the jobs and planning restoration of historic buildings. I learned so much from my experience as Executive Director of The Springfield Parking Authority, most significantly in balancing the loans to pay on time and avoiding bankruptcy for the agency. I remember the major repair of one of the garages and using a new material that stopped rusting in its spot on the rebars buried in concrete. And I happily recognize the joy in writing mystery novels, my current work. I tire thinking about it all, but I am also grateful for the lovely actions of so many people, some, later, long term friends, I have had the opportunity to meet or work with. I had time this week to enjoy my history and willingly accept another birthday. I feel love to all I’ve met along the way.

K. B. Pellegrino, Author

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