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It's been an interesting start to the new year with ups and downs that may have neutralized as February quietly rolls in.
My first two weeks were spent in a Port St. Lucie Airbnb with a wonderful couple who migrated from Cuba many decades ago. It felt like I was visiting the grandparents I never had. The first question was "Did you eat?," and while I had, I still sat down to a plate of red snapper with salad, and so it began. During my stay with this lovely couple, there was cafe cubano in the morning, fresh mangoes, and spanish rice with shrimp (bringing remembrances of my dad). I didn't just rent a room, I was part of the family, and enjoyed hours in the early morning or evening sharing stories.
Incorporated in 1961, Port St. Lucie is suburbia -- it has no downtown and is 20 minutes from the beach -- but it's well-planned with sidewalks, bike lanes, parks on the canals and rivers, and a great library! As expected in January, the weather was up and down with cool and wet days intermingled with beach temps; the main reason I chose a bed over my tent this month.
It was during this visit, however, that I had my third car stalling incident; something I thought was a fluke until now. The first, in Maryland, I attributed to the cold morning weather; the second, in South Florida, to a loose battery terminal, but now? This oddity has been appearing every 3-4 weeks, so I started to worry, and moved it to the top of the list.
Two weeks of camping along the St. Lucie River in Stuart filled the remainder of January. It's a quiet, scenic spot that's a favorite of mine with just a few tents, a dozen RVs, and a few boats. Yet, reality kept getting in the way of my escape. Did you know that when you ask five auto "experts" a question, you get five different answers, and a price range of $59 - $1,660? I went with the guy who offered an affordable, feasible solution, and honestly said, "it might have to get worse before we figure it out".
The second half of January was two weeks of swearing that mercury must be in retrograde (but it wasn't!). Besides the auto worry (I live in my car!), my bike cables frayed, my air mattress blew at 4 am, and the weather went from 81 on a Sunday to 34 three days later. Oh yes, it was a bit cool getting out of my sleeping bag when mother nature called that morning! Suffice to say that my mood was also up and down.
I'm now staying in one place for February, and Monday, the 10th marks one month since my car has stalled. Do send me positive karma.
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover