Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sentimental Thoughts, Stiffened Resolve, and Still No Buyer

I took the afternoon off on Friday, and we went to see “Hoot” at the theatre.  The kids and I read it for the hs book group, and we had really enjoyed it.  Ed was just pleased that it wasn’t animated.

The movie, necessarily, cut a lot that made the book interesting.  They also made some changes that I thought were iffy, and had the main character’s family living in a house located on a large lot directly on the ocean.  I found the idea of the cost of that house distracting. There were strong hints from the movie’s beginning about the solution to the problem of saving the owls, but, even in the book, I hadn’t needed any hints.  When I read the book, I knew right away that the answer would be a lack of the proper permits.  My dad is a marine biologist, and during most of my childhood, he worked for the government.  One of the things he did was inspect land that developers wanted to clear and build.  Florida being the way it is, his work and recommendations were often set aside or overruled, but he did his best.  When I was a kid and people asked me what my dad did, I sometimes explained, in my geeky way, that he spoke for the trees (like the Lorax).  I was, and am, extremely proud of him.  

The movie was fine (not as good as the book), but it did have a lot of lovely Florida scenery (as well as some gorgeous Montana scenery!).  Carl Hiassen’s books always make me feel sentimentally attached to my state, and this movie, with its scenes of little motor boats cruising among the mangroves, and barefoot kids on dirt roads under huge live oaks, had the same effect.  Eager as I am to sell this house and see a slightly different part of the world, I wonder if I will always feel uprooted.  Most of the time, my thinking about my town involves disgust at the rampant growth and hideous sameness of all the new developments.  The other side of it, though, is that I’ve lived here for about thirty-two years. (We moved here from Boca Raton when I was in third grade, and there from Coral Gables, where I was born.  I have been moving north, just at a glacial pace.)  When I go out, chances are fairly good that I will run into someone I recognize, and, occasionally, someone I went to school with.  Then aren’t many that I would miss much, but it gives me a feeling of “rootedness” to know people.  There were scenes in the movie that reminded me of things I love about Florida, and some of the good memories I have of places here.  I remember lying in bed and listening to the wind blowing softly through the live oaks at night, and happy days spent out on the river (really a lagoon) in various little boats, with my dad.  The smells of jasmine, and of orange blossoms make me serenely happy.  I remember riding my horse through undeveloped pine flatwoods, and cantering through orange groves that seemed to go on forever.  All those places I used to ride, though, are now housing developments, and my parents have moved to Maine, and I expect they have some sweet smelling vines up in other states, too.  Perhaps, what I need now is a good “disaster” movie, something about hurricanes, to remind me of how miserable it is to be struck in a 50 mile traffic jam, trying to get my kids out of danger from an oncoming storm, or to spend a couple weeks without power in sweltering weather, listening to the roar of the neighbor’s generators and the little pitter patter of mold spores moving in.  Yup, that did it! Enough nostalgic wallowing.   Didn’t even need the visuals, and I’m ready to uproot and move on!


Dy said...

It's bittersweet, isn't it? A lovely post, though.

Something I realized when I did the "Where I'm From" poem is that a lot of where I'm from is the people, the customs, and the sayings that have shaped me and built me. Sure, there will always be a soft spot in my heart for the mountains of Arizona, but I also found that there were many other landscapes that could speak gently to my heart, as well.

I hope you find a landscape that welcomes you and gives you new roots so you don't feel uprooted when it's time to go.


Jules said...

are the fires in Florida anywhere near you? I saw it on the news and was thinking about you. Maybe another good reason to relocate? ;)

Thanks for the review of Hoot. Believe it or not, I had never heard of this book until the movie came out and they said "95 weeks on the best seller list" or something like that. It made me wonder where I've been the last couple of years!

Melora said...

Right now, I think there are fires about 50 miles north of us, and more about 50 miles south. So far, we are okay, but no rain.

I had a vague idea that Carl Hiassen had written a couple of children's books, but I hadn't looked at them until we saw a preview for Hoot in the theatre a while back. I think it has been Travis's favorite book that we've read in the homeschool group.

Cherrypie said...

That post was worthy of a Hiassen chapter, Melora. You had the same depth of feeling for your home.

I hope you do move soon, I hope you find the perfect buyer for your house and the perfect property for you, Ed, T. & K. to move into; but most of all, I hope you feel that bond with your new home, obviously not immediately, but within 10 happy years from now x