Normally, I'm happy to get home from a trip to Florida. These days, I'm happy to see my parents, in part because I don't know how many more years they'll be in this world. But, apart from them and some lovely bike-rides (The good and bad news is that they're all flat!), I have almost no motivation to go to Florida.
Since I got back last night, though, I'm feeling a little wistful. I think the feeling started on Monday, when I rode down A1A through Painters Hill and Flagler Beach. Along the way, I stopped, for no particular reason, in one of those stores that sells things made out of seashells.
The proprietress was one of those friendly, helpful and sun-bleached people you meet by the sea, though not necessarily by the trendy beaches. "Anything I can help you with, let me know," she intoned in a voice of sunshine and sea salt. She wasn't one of those surly, hipper-than-thou storeclerks you see working in trust-fund enclaves. She probably wasn't making a lot of money, but she also, most likely, didn't need to.
I imagined myself in her place, but with my cats and bikes. I imagined myself closing the store and riding Tosca up and down A-1A or along any number of other roads. It used to amaze me there weren't more fixed-gear bikes in Florida; this time, I saw a pretty fair number in and around St. Augustine. Of course, their riders were young, or seemed to be: I don't expect a senior citizen who hasn't been on a bike since he or she was a teenager to hop on a track bike.
Anyway, I'll be back to my normal rides, work and such soon enough. One day, if I can afford it and don't have to worry about property values, I might have a house that looks like this (ha, ha):