A Day of Challenges–Won!


I don’t know where to start. This began as a “normal” day for me in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Got up, Reiki, shampoo/shower, eat, check email/FB. Then, I decided to take the plunge and find Aldi’s in Clearwater.  This would involve driving off the island, over the causeway, and into the much larger city of Clearwater. I’ve been there, but not driving alone.

Let’s back up. I’ve been driving to Florida from Rochester for about 20 years—alone, by myself. Not only that, I’ve driven to places in PA, MA, VA by myself, too—when I was in my 80s (once driving home at night from Ohio in a snowstorm.) Never a problem. However, in the last couple years, my sense of direction, never 100%, has faltered even more. So, my kids requested that I not take long drives alone—have another driver with me. I appreciate very much their concern, and have agreed to do that, maybe even with some relief. However, not without consequences.

As I feel their concern, I also feel a lack of confidence—not just theirs, but my own. So, it took me a few days to venture by car around the tiny island of Clearwater Beach. (Frankly, that’s a no-brainer!) But, I took on that mini-challenge and conquered it.

But today!!! Today, I have mastered stuff. Let me count the ways.

  • On my computer, I searched for the nearest Aldi’s. (Publix prices are horrendous. $.65/lb. for bananas, for instance.) Easy route there—I jotted down on my grocery list the to and from. (I always have this for back-up.)
  • I also entered Aldi’s address on my phone and followed the narrator’s (a woman) directions. (Paul always said I’d feel much better following directions from a woman 😊 )
  • Got there just fine, bought my groceries—lots of them—for only $30.
  • Meandered around that area looking for a place to eat lunch. Found Subway.
  • Ordered a 6” sub (smallest there) and a DIET COKE!!! (I haven’t had a coke since mid-January because I thought it was causing my stomach upsets. I’ve since discovered my arthritis med causes heartburn and ulcers, plus….)
  • Since my driving around the Aldi’s area for a restaurant put me in a different address from my hand-written directions, I called on Bertha to tell me the way home. And she did. Rather convoluted, which doesn’t surprise me, but she got me home.
  • And then!!! Part of that convolution took me a few miles along Gulf Blvd. in Clearwater. It’s a beautiful drive there—gorgeous homes and then the high rises on both sides of the road. Some of those high rises were rather opulent-looking, but so many crowding the beach became oppressive. (I felt sorry for the lovely 2- and 3-story-also elegant-homes across the road, from which the owners could no longer see the gulf.)
  • Got home—no problem. Hardly used any gas, according to my gauge. And I had some Coke left to enjoy while I write this. Ahhhhhh.

Now, the plan is to walk to the mail box—a few streets away—to mail a letter and come back to sit at the table in back, in the sun, and read. The only downside is that I’d really like another Diet Coke!

Ah. What fools we mortals be!

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