Leaving Sanibel

Memories to Savor All Year Round

Tonight will be our last night on Sanibel Island this winter. Tomorrow morning Darlene and I will begin a five-day drive home to Cambridge, Mass. We have spent more than four months in island rental homes with her sister Deb, who flew back to Omaha yesterday.

Here are some things I will miss:

• The tree we see from the lanai, across a pond at the Dunes golf course. We named it the Broccoli Tree. It’s a favorite sunning spot for two alligators.

• Half-hour swims in the Gulf of Mexico, when the ocean is calm. The water temperature is in the 70s, which makes a warm shower afterward feel great.

• Leisurely bike rides with Darlene and Deb, who rode a trike that had a royal motion to it. Sanibel’s bike paths take you under arches of trees and keep bikers safe distances from cars.

• Not locking doors to the house when we go for a walk or a bike ride.

• Ibis, heron, osprey, ducks, doves, crows, pelicans, and terns that fill the air with soaring and entertainment.

• Grilling steaks on the lanai while listening to a Clubhouse room on my Echo Frames.

• Chatty and funny video chats with family in New England from ages 5 to 94, via Zoom, FaceTime, Caribu, and Echo Show.

• Practicing guitar in the living room with our puppy Sophie listening on the carpet beside me.

• Hot dog and a malt at Schnapper’s Hots, fried chicken and Key lime pie at the Pecking Order.

• Listening to Charles LeBuff’s tales of catching alligators and hunting python.

• Watching “Schitt’s Creek” and “Bull” on Fire TV with Darlene and Deb.

• Waiting for the virtuoso traffic control officers to direct us through the intersections on Periwinkle Way. There is not a single traffic light on Sanibel, and the islanders very much like it that way.

• Admiring shells Deb and Darlene collected each day at the beach.

• Hanging out at the house writing songs, reading my Kindle, and exploring Clubhouse while Deb and Darlene collected shells at the beach.

• Interviewing Sanibelians for The Kindle Chronicles for conversations about the history of the island, cozy mysteries set on Sanibel, city management, and policing.

• Recording Morning Journal flash briefings on the lanai at sunrise.

• Writing this newsletter post in the Tesla at the free charger, so we can start off tomorrow with plenty of range. (Thank you RE/MAX of the Islands!)

That’s a good list for now. I need to drive back to the house for a good night’s sleep with Darlene and Sophie. We plan to be on the road tomorrow by 8:15 a.m., headed for Jacksonville and points North.

Thank you, Sanibel.

See you in December!