Someone Help Me

Most of you know that Jean and I are spending the winter in Florida. We came the long way, by way of Baton Rouge, after stopping in Nashville to see Jean’s brother and sister-in-law. We got here last Monday, about mid-day, and spent the rest of the day unpacking and buying a few groceries ($124.88 and we didn’t have much). Up North, many of you keep Jean’s time occupied with women on weights, pickle ball, and her favorite exercise, holding the phone next to her ear for hours at a time.

Down here, she’s put me on a training schedule that I’m not sure I can sustain. Tuesday it was a 5.3 mile walk. Wednesday it was a bike ride in and out of every street in Highlands Ridge (15.67 miles). Thursday she let me get away with a 4 mile walk. Friday, another 15.67 mile bike ride, followed by pickle ball practice for half an hour. On Saturday she forced me to play pickle ball for two hours. Yesterday she made me walk 4 miles in 45 degree, windy weather before church. Robert came over last night (his birthday was Saturday), so she has him down at the pickle ball courts and I get a day’s relief, so I’m doing laundry.

I need someone to come down and keep her occupied or I’m going to, under some protest, be back in shape. I’ve kind of enjoyed this year of laziness, blaming everything on my knee. After all that walking, all that biking, and a couple of bouts of pickle ball, my knee feels fine. No more excuses. On the plus side, we’ve met lots of people, and partied a little more than we’re used to, so the weight isn’t melting off, and I won’t be able to run for a while yet.

I’ve been trying to eat well and, for the most part, have succeeded. On the way down, when we stopped for breakfast or lunch, I tried to eat healthy choices. It isn’t always easy. We stopped somewhere in Southern Mississippi for lunch and gas (gasoline), and went into the smallest McDonalds I’ve ever seen. It had two cash registers, but the whole counter couldn’t have been more than 5 feet long. A young girl came up and asked for our orders. Jean got a broiled chicken sandwich and a fruit smoothie. I wanted a salad. They had a southwest salad with fried or broiled chicken, a spicy ranch salad, also with fried or broiled chicken, and Caesar salad with fried or broiled chicken.

I said, “I’ll have the Southwest Salad with broiled chicken”. She asked, “So you want chicken with that?” to which I responded, “Yes, broiled.” So then she asked, “What kind of dressing would you like?” Of course I said, “What kind of dressing do you have?” She said, “Well, we have Caesar, spicy ranch, and southwest”. I said, “I guess I’ll have the southwest”. She responded, “O.K. Your wife wants the broiled chicken sandwich and a fruit smoothie, and you would like a southwest chicken salad with broiled chicken and southwest dressing?” I said yes, turned around, and rolled my eyes to Jean.

Jean went over and got napkins, straws, and picked out a table. I watched the girl making Jean’s fruit smoothie. It’s made in a machine, and she seemed to have an awful time getting the plastic container under the mechanism and settled into it’s spot. The machine started to drop the smoothie into the container and, before it was done, she picked it up and shook it around. Apparently there’s a weight sensor where the container sits so that when nothing is there, it won’t drop the smoothie onto the base and make a mess. That stopped the machine with only a half a smoothie made. The supervisor looked at her, shook her head, and said “Now you’re going to have to start all over again”, walking away in disgust. So kids, PLEASE STAY IN SCHOOL!!!

So now Jean has volunteered us to play golf in a couples golf outing this Friday. She keeps saying, “Jack’s a good golfer”. I think she’s setting me up for failure. I’m not a good golfer, I’ve never been better than a 15 handicap in my best days, and I haven’t played golf for a year and a half. Then, I played 54 holes, and that was after not playing for a year before that. I’m guessing the people will catch on after a hole or two, and won’t ask us again, which is fine with me.

I’m discovering what I forgot to bring down here. We had been invited to a dinner at the south golf course clubhouse last Wednesday, and I was getting ready. After my shower, I went into the walk-in closet and realized I hadn’t brought any golf shirts. I had one button down dress shirt, and the rest were triathlon race t-shirts. I did have one New Orleans Margaritaville t-shirt, so I wore that. Thursday I went to Belks and bought three new golf shirts. This forgetfulness is getting expensive.

Just (Please Help Me, Come Down, And Share This Burden) Jack

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