The most interesting thing about South Florida is its precarious hold on civilization – a constant tug-of-war between the lawn mower and the strangling vine. I love it here in spite of this and because of this. You can never really relax, even though the Department of Tourism calls out for you to come here […]

Monday in the Park with Mom

I live right off a main road that starts at the ocean, (if you see the ocean as the beginning of things), and reaches inland, due west all the way to the Florida Everglades. As you go west the shopping centers drift away, the named communities, the billboards. You go under the turnpike and past […]

Leaf Dance

It’s been that kind of week, where every minute seems staged for a particular purpose, everything scheduled. It ends with three deadlines. So there’s been no time for anything that’s not planned, for drifting. But I was standing for a few minutes on the back porch, taking a breath, and saw a small brown leaf […]

In the Company of Orchids

My neighbor’s orchids put me in the mood to go back to the American Orchid Society last Sunday, to see what my true orchiding neighbors had been doing since I went there the first time, years ago. I remembered a concrete circle and the beginnings of a garden, and a greenhouse, but not much more. […]

My Neighbor’s Orchids

I have no talent for orchids. But some of my neighbors do.  Early mornings, I ride past them on my bike. I hardly see anyone around here in the summer, so I don’t really know who lives where. But I know their orchids. I love their mix of Walt Disney and Willy Wonka and David […]


No. I’m not here today.  Not here either, giving a sand castle a try. (I didn’t build this one, but some very talented person(s) came, built, and went away). Not walking along this path, made up of millions of tiny white shells. Haven’t done any of this in a while. It’s ok, I’m awake, I’m […]

Joyce’s Garden, (part 1)

In May, I wrote a little piece about my friend Joyce’s house. A few days ago, she sent me photographs of her garden. And, of course, I had to share them. Joyce’s home has always been more than a house, it’s the focal point of her many talents and a gracefully composed poem about what she […]

Friday Night Lights

It’s the time of year now in Florida when the heat rolls in, this time with drought, so the day-lit colors that I obsess over are starting to bleach. Summer is night’s favorite season here. The sky deepens from aqua to cobalt to indigo blue, then retreats completely. The lights come up, and everything that […]

Chlorine Summer Blues

When I moved to Florida, I brought with me many assumptions. Endless summer, I guess. That it smelled like coconut oil and chlorine. That every day might include a pool, late afternoons with David Hockney’s arcs and squiggles dancing in rectangles of aquamarine and cerulean blue: (though this was California) But life fits itself back […]