Carl Clark, Naples
The passing scene
"Look, honey, isn't that Sanibel?"
"Could be, or maybe it's Boca Grande. I can't tell"
The plane lands and sure enough, there's the guy holding a card with your name on it.
"Well they didn't lose our luggage. That's good."
You step out of the terminal and that warm, soft air hits you for the first time this year.
"I sure don't need this jacket."
You open all the windows in the condo to let in that Florida air. He digs to the bottom of his suitcase for shorts. Him clad in wrinkled shorts and black sox and her in flip-flops, you head to the store.
"We don't have to get everything tonight, just the essentials."
Coffee, bread, milk, orange juice, cereal and something for dinner. Plus wine.
"Oh look, stone crabs!"
"Not tonight, Phil; save those for a special dinner."
"Avocados and mangos! Look at these mangos."
"OK, but get some grapefruit too."
"Red or white? Are two enough?"
"I don't care; you decide."
"What about Kleenex? Did they have some at the condo?"
"I dunno. Buy one to be safe."
I see them coming toward me down the aisle, checking their list and debating as their cart fills. It happens every year. You can spot 'em a mile away.
They bring money. We give them springtime.