My morning has started just right. I am up early and the coffee maker is workin and perkin, the waves are crashing against the sand, and Diana’s sleepin.

I take a couple cups of coffee from the balcony, amazed at the continuous trail of brown seaweed the night has deposited to the ocean’s edge. A few walkers fast walk, a few older couples stroll; as I watch, one runs. The cabana boys begin to set up the rental chairs and umbrellas as they trudge thru the sand, nearly hurting my legs to watch.

At 7:30 AM, I ice my beer down, grab my camera and a beach towel and after leaving the room 3 different times only to have forgotten something again, I go claim a rental chaise and umbrella. That alone, I thought to myself, proves I’m old. My mind using the mathematical, economical, logical combo, telling me the rental is cheaper than the visit to the back doctor and it’s a lot more better too.

One of my trips back thru the door was to get this pen and paper and my third cup of coffee. Now that I am here on the beach, I am glad I went back up the stairs for my coffee and pen and paper.

When I am writing things just flow; it constantly amazes me, and I often wonder where it is going and how far I will let it go.

Lettin go is hard. Allowing is hard. Having faith is hard. Believing you are good enough just as you are is hard. Times are hard. It all hardens me, making it hard…. to let go….. to allow…. to have faith. But I keep on tryin.

With each passing of each day, I am grateful for the air I breathe and the people who love me and depend on me. Those alone and collectively, keep me pushing the ball up the hill with no end in sight. I have accepted my life from here on out will be all uphill and hard. Thank God, I have been hardened and seasoned for the chore ahead called life.

So it’s 9 AM and I have popped my first Coors Lite, stuffed it in a cozzie cup and took a long sip… and it was good.

By now all the chaise lounges at our timeshare have been rented and at 57, I am the youngest renter by 20 years; oh wait, I see one couple with kids at the very end and they are 20 years younger than me.

I have been taking pictures all this time, stopping my writing off and on to do so. The beach is readying itself for the onslaught of tourists, like me, as families with tents set up for the day and new walkers appear, more family and middle age people, most with a drink of some kind in their hand. Old folks are reading books with heads down and hats on. I am laying facing the ocean breeze and squinting my eyes under my sunglasses as a subconscious self defense from the Florida sun’s brightness that makes writing and squinting a tiring chore.

So I lay my pen down and grab my second beer and my camera. The lady next to me has a broken umbrella so I try to help her put it in the trash and then try to help her adjust her rented umbrella to block the sun. The winds soon blow this one out of the sand, making it tumble down the beach. I catch it and reset it and go get in the ocean. After 15 minutes in the perfectly temperatured Gulf Coast waters, I see Diana coming to join me… a happiness comes over me and we make eye contact and I wave and come to the chaise lounge where she now sits. We exchange loving looks and small talk of the morning.

Diana has slept 18 hours yesterday, uninterrupted and she was so grateful. Dusty’s Oyster Bar is always my first stop, so lunch was shared at Dusty’s…. where we spent a couple of hours and devoured 24 oysters and a fried grouper sandwich. Out back there is a smoking deck and we spent an hour there, chatting and taking turns playing with the Sony A33. We got some good shots and enjoyed the nature of the setting, with hundreds of turtles, fish and other stuff like a raccoon feeding off the old oyster shells. Back to the room and Diana went straight to a nap and I started writing yesterday’s blog.

Where is this going….. nowhere it seems…. It’ll be alright as long as I keep it lite.

Morning has broken in today and I have allowed all to happen as my mind talks to me. I have faith that my decision not to go to the funeral of my friend is the right one, and I am ready to move on….. live some more as if nothing has changed.

A storm blows up and the beach clears around 3 PM. It’s nearly perfect timing for me and my fair skin, that now wears a nice sunburn tan.

I met my goal today and that was put in 6 beers in a row, back to back, in my belly before the rain ran us from the beach. After a shower and an hour we headed to Captain Anderson’s Seafood Restaurant for fresh caught fish and creamy pina coladas and back to the room and in bed by 9 PM…. old we are, as we laughed at how early it was and we were in bed…. in Florida… and the young people are just hitting the streets and bars.

I wake up at 2:40 AM and Diana’s watching TV…. she is still young I guess.

6AM wakes me and I get up and its Wednesday. Talk to you later.. It’s coffee time.

7:30 AM now and I ready for a day at the beach, while the cabana boys put up the umbrellas and place the cushions on our set of rented chaise lounges.

I received the call from Ryan, Jay Cotter’s step son, who says the funeral won’t be til Saturday. I told him I had decided to stay here, where Jay Cotter and I had spent our last time together – sharing time about the good times. Ryan was very gracious to call me and I love all them and hope for them daily.

I look at my loving wife sleeping and I see my better half…. at rest. I enjoyed talking to you even though this journal blog went no where…. just like I plan to do today.

Beach, here I come…. life’s troubles will have to wait on me…. until I return home…. to face that pile of bills and problems on Friday.