View from the Pines: Excited to be getting back to life


By JIM COLEMAN, Special to The Paper

This is so strange.   It’s 5:30 a.m. on Saturday.   It’s dark and chilly outside.  I’m a little nervous because I’m about to embark on an adventure this morning that I haven’t experienced in two and a half years,  V A C A T I O N.  

That’s right.   I’m about to get in the car, eat at Waffle House, drive seven hours to Florida, check into a hotel, eat the free breakfast and then stand in line to board a floating petri dish with 3,000 people from God knows where that I’ve never laid eyes on (yes, the ones I have affectionately referred to in the past as the “Jaycee’s from Dothan”), only to prepare to float around in the ocean for six days … and I’m excited.  I’m starting to understand how the Israelites felt right after the locusts and the angel of death.  (I’m just praying that God doesn’t open the ocean up on this trip).

I packed yesterday.  I found colorful silk shirts, suitable for a tropical vacation, still in the dry cleaning bags from 2019.   I found a bathing suit that I really like but the liner on the inside is dry rotted.  I had to actually try on my own clothes to see if they still fit.  Most of them did, but I had to deal with the realization that the combination of the COVID 15 pounds with slightly out-of-style garments and the three extra years, should make me blend in with the aforementioned crowd seamlessly.  I do, however, have a rhetorical question.  Is it tacky to wear a T-shirt on vacation from a place that’s more glamorous than the place you are going?

In addition to the COVID 15 pounds, I also quit smoking cold turkey about 8 weeks ago.  Everybody congratulates me and tells me how much better I’m going to feel.  I’m still waiting!  I will give them this, food tastes much better, which is why I eat everything in sight.  My brain is not telling me to start smoking again, it’s telling me that the perfect addition to my diet last week would be an entire box of Girl Scout Thin Mints.  I’m at the age now where either smoking or obesity is going to get me so, what the hell?  I haven’t started back to gym in Newnan yet for fear of COVID so I’m waiting to see what excuse my brain comes up with for not walking upstairs on a floating city to get some exercise.

I think the hardest thing is to realize that I have become one of those people I used to make fun of.  So, I’m off in a few minutes with my wrinkled shorts that are too tight, my shirt untucked to cover up my belly, a suitcase that is half as tall as I am, packed with too many things that I believe will make me stand out as slightly more attractive than others, a straw hat, sunglasses, spray sunscreen and 3 books … not a pretty picture.  Still, I can’t express how excited I am to be getting back to life and getting out of this house and I recommend it for everyone.

I still can’t decide.  Does one wear a “Maui” T-shirt in Nassau?

Jim Coleman is twice retired as a financial advisor and flight attendant. A theatre geek, musician, arts administrator and preservationist, he lived a relatively obscure life until he crossed paths with Corby Winters. Jim chose Newnan as his new forever home five years ago and is dedicated to making our community the best it can be. 

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