For the past four years, Mrs. T and I have been flying down to Florida’s Sanibel Island on New Year’s Eve, when the airports are less crowded with fellow travelers. We hole up at a modest, homey seaside spot where it’s possible for people who aren’t rich to rent small cottages that are within sight of the Gulf of Mexico, and we do as little as possible while we’re there.
Being a working man, I have no choice but to treat these trips as working holidays. Last year, for example, I spent most of our stay on Sanibel Island finishing Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington. No book this year, but I’ll be knocking out Wall Street Journal columns and flying up to New York midway through our stay to review three shows. Once I’m done, though, I’ll head back south as fast as I can manage it.
As I explained in this space a year ago:
So yes, I’ll be working like a man possessed–but at least I’ll be doing it in a tranquil and beautiful place where it isn’t cold. Longtime readers of this blog have watched me learn by installments how to take vacations. I also learned that even if you can’t take a full-fledged vacation, it’s almost as therapeutic to go somewhere nice to work. Coming to Sanibel for the first time drove home that lesson, and our annual visit is now an important part of my life….
The good news is that I won’t be nearly so busy this year as I was in January of 2013, when I had to spend several hours each day frenziedly working on Duke. Instead, I plan to spend as much time as I can sleeping late, walking on the beach, swimming in the ocean, watching the sun set every evening, and being with my beloved Mrs. T, who is the best company in the world.
As for the fast-approaching end of 2013, those of you who visit this space regularly know what I’ve been up to all year, so there’s no need to talk about it today. And while I also have some exciting prospects for the year to come, it’s not yet time to announce them. All I can tell you is to be patient–you’ll know soon enough. Since I spoke a couple of weeks ago of my infinite gratitude for the bounties and good fortunes of my life, I won’t repeat myself on that subject, either, save to say this: I don’t take any of it for granted, and never will.
We’ll be somewhere over the East Coast by the time that most of you read these words. For those who must keep on shivering up north, or wherever you may happen to be today, the two of us wish you the best New Year’s Eve ever.