1. I learned that it doesn’t matter if you move cross-country under cover with the Poet’s Protection Program, Tweetspeak Poetry will dare to track you down.
2. I learned that I can survive and even thrive in a small space without a lot of stuff.
3. I learned that breaking and binding sometimes go together. For the first time in almost 30 years, our immediate family has been separated by more than a few miles. Yet we’ve come to understand and appreciate how close we are in heart.
4. I learned that it really is possible sometimes to blitz out an article/essay in a couple hours and find out it’s publishable with only minor edits.
5. I learned that if you ask God for a lake, He sometimes gives you a whole ocean–at least for a season.
6. I learned that alligators have the ability to produce male or female offspring at will through something called “temperature dependent sex determination. Depending on if mama places her nest in sun or shade, she can hatch out the gender needed for a particular area. I learned that young alligators have yellow stripes on their tails and that adults have dark stripes. Alligators can go through 2000-3000 teeth in a lifetime, and an adult may need to eat only six times a year. (I hope any of my close encounters are with ones who are toothless and have recently eaten.)
7. I learned that I might see wild parrots or parakeets here in South Florida. In fact, I think I saw and heard a flock of the latter. I’m on a mission for photos. (I also learned a group of parrots is also called a pandemonium.)
8. I learned how to grip a golf club so I might not always be the caboose on the miniature score card.
9. I learned that Siri is my best friend.
10. And I learned about the Curse of the Billy Goat. According to Wikipedia, Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis called it down on the Chicago Cubs franchise in 1945 because the odor of his pet goat, Murphy, was supposedly bothering other fans. “Sianis was asked to leave Wrigley Field, the Cubs’ home ballpark, during game four of the 1945 World Series. Outraged, Sianis allegedly declared, “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more,” which has been interpreted to mean that either the Cubs would never win another National League pennant or that they would never again win a World Series.”
I also learned that the Cubs lost the 1945 World Series to “my” Detroit Tigers and have not won a World Series Championship since they beat the Tigers in 1908–which is the year in which my so-called, once-started-writing novel
takes place would take place.