It is late in the day before I walk and I am out of the woods. Here, suddenly, is the white sand, the sun low in the clouds above the Gulf of Mexico. We have walked across the street from where we’re staying to this long beach along Longboat Key. Frank sits while I walk on the moist sand in bare feet near the cool water and the washed up shells. I throw my shoulders back, stretching, stretching out the kinks from the days of cold and the tumbles in snow that have stiffened my neck. It has become an annual ritual, this winter flight to a warmer climate. Before getting on the plane this morning, I asked myself to choose a book and my intuition said choose Claire Keegan, her book of short stories, you’ve read it twice, but read it again: “Walk the Blue Fields.” It is still a favorite. Strange, reading stories of Ireland on my way to Florida, but it’s perfect somehow. My youngest, and the dogs, drive me to the airport. I stand shivering terribly, waiting curbside in the line of all of us leaving the cold. When Frank and I met we both lived in Massachusetts, but he was from Florida and soon returned there. And then, as soon as he left, we knew we had fallen in love. And soon, I was on a plane to see him in the sun and tell him so. These are the two places we have lived our lives; our two homes, our first kiss: the Gulf of Mexico welcomes us back.