It’s the end of July. Normally around this time, I’d be panicked thinking about going back to work. My living room would be filled with piles of composition books, spiral notebooks, folders, crayons, glue sticks, scissors, pencils, and all the other back-to-school paraphernalia.
This year is different. Since school ended in June, I’ve been working seven days a week on my new full-time career. And loving every minute of it. I don’t mind hard work when I believe in what I do and have the freedom to do it in the way it should be done. Teaching hasn’t been that way for a long time.
Last school year was spectacularly bad, and more than half the staff of my school has found other positions. A few, like me, have found new careers. Since that’s the case and we’ve all gone our separate ways, I’m making it my mission to see that we all stay in touch, and to that end, my bestie Mo and I started a group on Facebook. We call it a ‘book club’, a tongue-in-cheek nod to the code word we used last year when we needed to share ‘ears only’ information (told you it was a bad year), and it’s by invitation only. The main purpose is to have a communication platform–we’re planning to get together for lunch once a month to stay in contact, keep up with everyone, and encourage each other in our new endeavors.
Yesterday was our second meeting, and we had a blast. We’ve decided that ‘our place’ is an outdoor bar on the Jupiter Inlet called Square Grouper. The vibe is island casual, with sand for the floor and palm fronds for the ceiling, with a view of the Jupiter lighthouse across the inlet. Oh, and did I mention that I’ve made it a setting in my new book, due out in September? It’s a place to go when you need to decompress. There’s nothing like the lull of the water and the gentle ocean breeze that lets you sit back and relax.
Which is exactly what we did. Before we left yesterday, we made plans for our August meeting. I offered to change up the venue, but everyone wanted to come back to this little slice of paradise where it’s always 5:00.
And that brings me to tonight’s serenade, It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere. It’s a great summer song. It also happened to be shot here, at Square Grouper. The video is old–the place has put in a few upgrades, but they’ve maintained the tranquil, island-time essence that brings everyone back.
Tonight, I’m grateful for good friends, cold drinks, a gentle summer breeze, and life in general. I hope you’re well and enjoying your summer. Be sure to hug those you love. Happy Saturday night!