As a hopeless romantic, it is too easy to be philosophical this time of year. I have made my soon to be broken New Year’s Resolutions list and created a 2021 Bucket List of things to do.

At this very moment, one year ago as I started off my last trip around the sun, perched on my favorite beach approach spot, with the dawn’s first light permeating my senses; the sound of the waves splashing ashore, the salt air tingling my olfactory receptors, and the palette of colors painting the sky. Wanting something different for 2021, superstitiously, I have opted for a different launch to this year’s 365-day voyage.

My last formal 2020 workday was the 23rd and am not scheduled to return until the 4th. These past days have been spent embracing my alternative reality, reflecting on 2020’s social awakening, political strife, and worldwide pandemic, and catching up with some lifelong friends. Through this pedestrian paced and reflective lens, I have been able to ground my true realities, put a fanciful spin on life’s crucibles, and regain my recently faded optimism.

During this downtime, Christmas Eve was spent with my three incredible daughters and my future son-in-law; which was undoubtedly my best day of 2020. I believe in Santa and he never fails to overwhelm me with childlike giddiness!

On Boxing Day, FISH, my imaginary Sphynx cat, and I took off to the glades to see our old pal Skink – Trooper Tile gave us the updated GPS coordinates. His first words were Squeeze Me! With the magical help of Tink’s pixie dust, we were next off for a marvelous adventure with Peter in Neverland chasing that tic-tocking croc around the Sea of Serenity. Then, to celebrate the new year, my bestie Pooh had us round for tea. It had been much too long since I strolled the 100 Acre Woods’ idyllic paths.

Quarantine be damned, no one should hesitate to make your virtual trek back to visit your lifelong friends, especially those unfailing childhood companions who are always there when you need them. Just throw life’s emergency break and jump out reality’s window for an hour or two.
As we pass through the Einsteinian bridge between 2020 and 2021, it is important that we make sure our hunny jar is filled with hopes and dreams. We can’t allow any Heffalumps and Woozles to steal our hunny!
As we gathered round picnic table, it was just as I remembered! The gang was all there; Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Owl, Eeyore, Kanga, Rabbit and Roo gathered to celebrate.

Pooh immediately set the conversation’s tone with a toast to the wonderful things which lie ahead in 2021. I have always envied his blissful naiveté and unwavering optimism. I wish I could compartmentalize the past year’s life altering events as if they never occurred.
At these reunions, Tigger, Fish, and I are always separated. We are too rambunctious and always wind up in an innocently mischievous predicament. There was this one time when… Well, I’ll save that for another day…

Always the teacher, Owl queried each attendees wanting to know if we had committed our resolutions to writing; reminding us that it’s just a dream – it must be on paper to be a goal. When he asked about my primary 2021 goals’, he scoffed at my superficial answers of “lose weight, eat healthier and earn more money” and dismissed them as trite. He pressed me further reminding me not to become apologia. Owl wanted to be certain that in the coming months, happiness will be my true pursuit, not the monotony of daily survival.

The kind-hearted Kanga encourages us all think about Owl’s admonition of pursuing happiness. Knowing that I have not dealt with sheltering in place very well, she lovingly reminded me that the much-awaited pandemic vaccine would be here soon. Reassuringly, she let me know that I’ll soon be released to venture about once again. She counseled patience which can be quite challenging for me. Those comforting words struck true to Tigger and Roo as well.

Eeyore added that he had signed up to get inoculated and in the same breath added that it probably wouldn’t work anyway. He went on mumbling that he didn’t believe anything was going to change anytime soon. This downcast predilection drew a scornful look from Owl and Kanga, and a comforting hug from Pooh.

The usually timid Piglet surprised me when he asked if I had found my mermaid. He said the group felt it was time that I overcome my fears and that they would be my support group. This really caught me off guard as Piglet usually doesn’t speak for the group, but I am sure he was emboldened by the belief that everything will be better in 2021. I was pleased to share with him that I may have met an angel in person – someone with a caring heart, who is kind and puts others first; and the I convinced she’d like the 100 Acres Woods!

Rabbit asked about my daughter’s April wedding and wanted to know about the Father-Daughter dance. Everyone thought Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” was a perfect song for these evolving times. I regaled them with tales of when Ells and I would take magic carpet rides through the endless diamond sky!

Playful Roo wanted to know what adventures were on my bucket list. I told him that my application as a Space-X payload specialist was denied, so was going to try air-boating. If my hunny jar allows a new sailboat, I’ll probably return to the sea. Nothing transatlantic, but fleet enough to defend the Dry Tortugas from Black Beard and his band of buccaneers. They were excited that Huck would be along when we rescue Jim Hawkins from Ft. Jefferson and retake Cayo Hueso. Tigger insisted that we catch some square grouper when at sea. As cat, Tigger loves smoked fish and growing impatient with just using fish oil!

Thanks for participating in my jaunts around Florida. May your 2021 be filled with family and friends, a warm and caring soul, perfect health and much success. Allow 2020’s challenges quickly become a dimmed memories. I’ll be in touch as I skid the Florida Straits and interstates – one if by land and two if by sea! This pirate king will buy a round Down at the Lah De Dah!

The Village Idiot