March Update

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It’s been almost two months since I last posted. Much has happened since that time, but I haven’t had the opportunity to write about it. Here are some details:

Spring has sprung in southwest Florida. The Key lime, Barbados limes, and Bearss limes are all blossoming as is the tangerine tree. The avocado that we grew from seed may never bear fruit, but avocados never do until they’re about seven years old anyway, so maybe it will someday. I’m eating tomatoes and herbs from the garden. The rosemary bushes and Italian parsley are truly loving this climate. The African blue basil never stops trying to take over its space.

In February I was again reminded how my immediate family runs the gamut of the baby-boom generation. My oldest sibling was born in 1945 and my youngest in 1964.  My oldest niece Carrie came to Fort Myers on vacation with her husband Dan. They are now empty nesters and grandparents (!). This makes me the brother of a great-grandfather. Hmmmm. Even funnier, it makes Michelle, who is several years younger than my niece, a great-grand aunt. Hehehe.

It was great to spend an evening with them in downtown Fort Myers at the rooftop bar on top of the new Luminary Hotel overlooking the Caloosahatchee River. We caught up on many family things and laughed about the many things that makes our family unique.

While Michelle and I rejoice almost daily that we live in this paradise that we have created for ourselves, one of the things that we do miss is seeing the Feiszli clan. Of course, we had the whole family trip planned for June of 2020 until Covid-19 knocked everything off course. All of our generation with the exception of our youngest sibling, should soon have received their second Covid vaccination.  Michelle got both of hers quite early due to the nature of her job at a state-run facility.  I just received my first Moderna shot yesterday and am scheduled for the second on 1 April. Hopefully by the fall of 2021 we might be able to have family gatherings again.  I have missed at least three weddings and have not seen at least two new babies. I have not really seen any of my family since 2015. 

Mask up! Get the vaccine! Let’s get over this plague!

BTW, this photo was taken on a rooftop (outside), and we all wore masks to the table and only removed them when we were seated far away from others. Dan and Carrie had already contracted and survived Covid. Michelle already had both her shots. I (the oldest) was probably most at risk in this photo.

Only a week or so later, Jackson and Nathan came down for a visit. This was actually more than simply a “spring break” for these two. It was actually Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Michelle’s birthday celebration all rolled into one, since Covid had put the clamps on everything for the past year.

They now live in Sioux Falls and are carving out their own life trajectory.

Nathan is a rising star in the Olive Garden chain, serving as the culinary manager of the Sioux Falls restaurant but (from all indications) being groomed to become a corporate trainer for other managers. They have already flown him to Italy (in 2019) to study cooking and culture – an experience that, just as my first trip to Europe in 1989, was life-changing for him.

Jackson has come to enjoy the hospitality industry – despite the fact that he completed a degree in electrical school. He enjoys working with people and with the challenges that hotel work brings him. After working at the Alex Johnson in Rapid City, he immediately took a position with a boutique hotel in downtown Sioux Falls and may soon investigate other positions with more responsibility.

Their ultimate dream would be to have their own restaurant with Nathan running the kitchen and Jackson running the house. Too bad I’m so old because I’d love to run their bar.  🙂

They were here a week and the five of us managed to do much together. Michelle and the guys went to the beach one day while I and Rachel worked. The four of them went kayaking at the Manatee Park without me one day. We all went downtown the night of this photo. We hot-tubbed, swam, played with the dog (Loki misses Nathan now that he’s gone, I think), had some really great home-cooked meals with good wine and cocktails.

As the old newspapers used to say, “A good time was had by all”

I missed the kayaking trip because I have somehow managed to injure my shoulder. The specter of  old age is making its ever-increasing impact upon my life. I went to the doctor’s office and the nurse practitioner suspects a torn rotator cuff and ordered an MRI. OK, scheduled that only to have my health insurance company refuse to approve it until 1) I got an x-ray and 2) saw an orthopedic surgeon. <sigh>

So, I can’t work, can’t do yardwork (and have to pay someone else to do it), and have trouble sleeping because I can’t lie on my right side. Oh, and I have discovered how pathetically right-handed I really am.  Got the x-ray. It shows nothing other than arthritis (big surprise). If it is torn tissue that won’t show up in an x-ray, of course. I (finally) get in to see the ortho on Tuesday and then (maybe) the idiotic insurance company will OK an MRI so we can discover what the hell is going on. Grrr. 

Ah well, I can’t play piano because of arthritic fingers. I couldn’t raise my right arm to conduct if I had to. Looks like I’ll have to resign myself to being retired in Florida with a boat, pool, spa, and convertible. 🙂

That’s all the news from Lake Wobegon. Hope you’re all doing well and finding some happiness in your daily lives.