Sunny & Warm

Today felt like late spring, sunny and warm.  Finally.  It got up to 73 before the wind shifted in the evening to come from over the bay, then it dropped to 61.  Last week 61 would have been balmy, today 61 was chilly.  I think it's safe to say that I'm seldom satisfied with the weather for long.  Today was perfect.  For a while.

TWA and ARA stopped over on their errand round for a mask for TWA.  He was tired of wearing the stark white commercially made one.  I had a brown one, much better.  It was good to see them for a few minutes to catch up on their news.  When they left I changed into raggedy clothes and mowed the lawn for the first time this year.  I forget how hilly the yard is from one mowing season to the next.

I love it when a squirrel hangs by its back feet from a feeder.  I find myself wishing that I could hang from something, straighten out my spine.  This one hung there for quite a time, selecting one peanut after another, and dropping the shells on the grass.

Bluejays come for the peanuts too.

I spent the rest of the afternoon working on this manuscript.  I feel like I'm not making much headway and think I'm going to have to print out the whole danged thing and arrange the pages manually.  It's too hard to move things around like I want to on the screen.

15 May--Barbara Malcolm, Tropical Obsession. 

When Manning drove up to Jack’s villa in Belnem, the upper middle-class waterfront neighborhood just south of the airport to have lunch, he was ready for anything. He made sure to take a shower right before he left home so that he had the look of just getting out of the water when he got there. Naturally blonde made even blonder by hours spent on dive boats and driving Baca di Amor water taxi and tanned to a warm caramel color, he looked like the quintessential golden boy adventurer. His icy blue eyes were made even bluer set deep in his tanned face behind his polarized sunglasses and his gaze intensified by his habit of squinting as if he were looking into the glaring sun. He checked in the rearview mirror to make certain that his Spanish doubloon was right side up and visible under his shirt. He did not find the doubloon on a shipwreck; he bought it solely to fool prospective investors he hoped to sucker into financing his fictitious treasure hunt. He thought that Jack was a prime candidate for his first investor. A guy like Jack, with a lot of money and who thinks he is a big shot, was the perfect target for a get rich quick scheme where he did not have to do any of the work. He could walk around all cocky telling people that he was a treasure hunter, pretend that he was someone like Mel Fisher who found a Spanish galleon off the Florida Keys, wear a doubloon on a gold chain, and generally be unbearably, insufferably egotistical about the whole thing. 

Manning had spent years working the angles, ferreting out the people who could do him the most good for the least effort on his part, and knowing when it was time to pull up his anchor and sail away. Manning made it a point not to drink too much so that he was always in control of his tongue. It would not do him any good to get half in the bag and run off at the mouth about some scheme and have the listener warn the pigeon or worse yet be the pigeon. He looked at his hair, messed it up a bit and went to knock on the door. A pretty island girl opened it and greeted him by name. “Mister Manning, Mister Spencer is on the patio. Come this way.”  He followed the enticing sway of her hips across the house to the wide, shaded patio that stretched across the whole oceanfront side of the villa. As she stepped onto the patio the young woman said, “Mister Spencer, sir, Mister Manning.”  She sketched a little bow and went back to the kitchen.

Manning strode across to Jack with his hand extended. “Thanks for the lunch invitation.  I am glad to be able to talk to you without all those other ears.” 

Jack’s face lit up at those words.  He had spent the morning in a stew of indecision and fear that one of the other eager listeners from the night before had moved before he could and bought the last shares.  His strong and overly enthusiastic handshake told Manning all he needed to know about how today’s lunch meeting would end.  Jack motioned to a glass pitcher resting on a towel on the patio table.  

“Drink?”  When Manning hesitated, he said, “It’s tea with some sort of fruit juice in it.  Yana makes it and I like it during the day.  If you would rather have a beer, I’ll get you one.”

Manning shook his head.  “No, thanks, I will wait until later for a beer.  After last night tea will be fine.” 

The two men sat in the shade drinking tea and watching the ocean. 

With a little prodding Jack encouraged Manning to tell more tales of finding shipwrecks and the treasures they hold.  Manning was glad he had done his homework.  He had read every book on treasure ships and their routes, pirates and hurricanes he could find on the island.  He studied which nation’s ships sailed in the waters anywhere near Bonaire and which, if any, of the wrecks had been salvaged.  The Internet was a great help in his learning the ins and outs of treasure hunting under water.  He read accounts of the years of searching Mel Fisher and his Treasure Salvors divers did, the accidents and the triumphs that led to their finding the Atocha and part of its Aladdin’s cave of treasure.

The orioles came back to the feeder today but I didn't see a hummingbird.  I tried to scan in my plant order but the scan function evidently isn't downloaded so I had to write out the order in an email and send it off.  Tomorrow I'll get some nitrogen fertilizer on the bales and water it in so I'm ready to plant next week when the plants are ready for pickup.

And now I'm ready for bed.  Goodnight,