Thursday, February 21, 2019 3:14 PM
Aboard Allegiant Flight 1600 from Punta Gorda to Grand Rapids
By Emma Palova
In Air- I am leaving Florida eight days later, just like I have arrived, with the rain. In between, the sun and the full moon graced the clear skies.
On the horizon, the turquoise sea touched the blue sky in a magnificent union.
But before the full moon on Feb. 18, a strong morning tide hit the Venice Beach washing ashore shells galore and wracks wrapped in seaweed.
The perfect morning cup inside a cockle shell was hiding the jewels from the sea; small olive and bubble shells, sturdy jewel boxes and translucent jingle shells.
I spent a magnificent week in “Paradise” where the hibiscus bloomed in shades of orange, the banana trees in white and the palms rendered orange ripe figs.
The front yards were tropical gardens with “Birds of Paradise” just opening up their orange beaks.
The sunsets were a splash from an artist’s palate of yellows, reds, oranges and browns.
It’s February- Soak it up, stir an argument
Yoga instructor Elin reminded us this morning to soak up the beach life in February.
“You walked here, laid in the sand, listened to the waves,” she said. “Soak it up. It’s February.”
On Wednesday, Elin held up a large red leaf and said something about mailing it as a postcard. Since, the wind carried Elin’s words into the sea, I missed the details. For some odd reason, I thought it had to be a mangrove leaf.
I picked up some reddish leaves yesterday thinking they were mangrove leaves on the dune banks by Sharky’s. Yellow veins branched into the ripe red leaf. It resembled large grape leaves.
My hosts in Venice were my parents Ella and Vaclav Konecny of Michigan. They made fun of me because I believed in the USPS red leaf postcard program. I asked my dad to take me to the post office, so I could mail the red leaf. My mom Ella was convinced my prized leaf wasn’t a mangrove, and that I shouldn’t pursue mailing it.
“Ask Siri,” my dad said.
When I asked Siri, and she knew nothing about the mangrove leaf USPS mailing program, doubts also entered my mind.
My dad came to the conclusion that it was an April Fool’s joke. In our homeland we used the following prank:
“It’s like going to the store to get mosquito fat,” he laughed. “I am not going inside the post office with you.”
“But, it’s not April Fool’s,” I refused to give up.
I found myself in the midst of an argument over the validity of the USPS leaf postcard mailing program.
“Leave your dad alone, he needs to get some rest,” mom snapped.
“Well, maybe we can wrap up some meat inside the leaf and make rolls,” I defended my grounds sarcastically.
My dad who never gives up suggested that I ask Elin. After my last morning yoga session on the beach on Thursday, I made my way through Elin’s fans to hear it from the horse’s mouth.
“You pick up some sea grape leaves,” Elin said pointing to the banks by the beach house and take it to the post office. The postal workers get a kick out of it. A lady from my class sent out five of them the other day. The postage is under a dollar. Send it out within five days or they dry out and crumble.”
According to Elin, the post office can even put a dried out leaf in a cellophane.
“I told you, it wasn’t a mangrove leaf,” my mom persisted.
“You know they wrap up meat in grape leaves in Greece, right?” I snapped back.
Back home at the writing studio Feb. 22, 2019
Lowell, MI -That was it. I was running out of time to go to the post office, since I was flying out of Florida in the afternoon.
I wrote my address on the sea grape leaf, mom provided the stamps, and dad disguised the leaf in a sac and took it to the mailbox. Dad was convinced that I made a fool out of him.
It remains unknown whether he put the sac with the sea grape leaf in the mail, or in the trash can.
In a bizarre way, we were all right; mom with her contention that it is not a mangrove leaf, me with the sea grape meat rolls and dad with the April Fool’s prank, that he had probably created by dropping the leaf in the trash.
I’ll find out soon.
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