Friends always ask, “What do you do during the day?” assuming that retirement brings with it idle days and listless nights reminiscing about time spent with the kids, who rarely have time to call these days. And when they do, they’re surprised at the compromised hearing loss or other ailments of their stricken parents, and vow secretly, not to call so often, for fear of being reminded that this could be their fate in the future.

For some seniors, as we’ve come to be called, there is a vain attempt to keep up with the arm-chair aerobic classes at the gym, euphemistically disguised as the “Silver Sneakers” program or “Pilates for the 55 and over”, but we must remember to be kind to those joints or we’ll be paying dearly with frequent visits to doctors and therapists for replacement hips and knees with the accompanying rehabilitation.

I’ve found several activities in Florida that cater to more sublime tastes in music, food and art. Florida is after all, a melange of various cultures from Latinos and Caribbeans in the south, Canadians in the North, Europeans and Middle Easterners to the East of us and Asians to the West.

So you’ll understand when I say that I love being here for the various fresh tropical vegetables and fruit I can have at my table, reminiscent of my West Indian heritage, while still having apples and grapes from more temperate climates. I don’t have to travel far to sample middle eastern foods or to know how to prepare them, since I’ve made friends with the owners of a wonderful middle eastern grocery in Hollywood, where I buy their delicacies. There are several Cuban, Jewish,Thai, Irish and Italian restaurants surrounding our town, so there’s no shortage of ethnic flavors to satisfy our mixed heritage and taste buds.

My orchids are in bloom and are making their presence felt everywhere. I’m including a sample of the beautiful blooms I’ve had in the last two weeks. Enjoy them as you think of spring!







  1. Gemma…this is J Gavin…I notice your writing in 1st person is very good. We will talk.
    Tip…best coffee in the world can be found at any Viet restaurant. Stay away from Thai food unless your taste buds are use to spice in the nth degree…


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