A Seductive Map


Anne Michael

It was one of those Sundays that started out with a lazy feel from the first moment a little beam of sunlight invaded my consciousness as it pried open my reluctant eyelid. Even, Beau, our small dog that usually sleeps curled up against the small of my back didn’t want to get up, and grumpily groaned urging me to stay where I was by snuggling closer and more deeply into the blanket. Despite my desire to go back to sleep, nature called and my brain switched into curiosity mode wondering what the day would bring. Reluctantly, I got up. 

I set the coffee pot going and the rich nutty fragrance filled the kitchen and my head. My favorite part of the day since childhood has been the wonderful and seemingly welcome smell of coffee in the air. I do so wish coffee tasted as good to me as it smells. The steamy gurgling of the pot filled me with a rich contentment and a wish to do nothing more than inhale this aroma and, since I had fulfilled my domestic obligation for the day, head back to bed. The dogs, however, had a different idea. They tend to start their days with far more enthusiasm than I do, and they wanted out. There was, after all, a yard to explore with new things to see and exciting things to smell and chase. Then too, as it is with us humans, they had to answer their own calls of nature.

The sun, so persistent and irritatingly cheerful, beckoned. This particular day, my mind and my body did not want to work and it did not want to play in the sun, but that sun flowed gently through the windows over my favorite wicker chair indicating the place I was meant to be. After pouring myself a mug of rich, hot coffee liberally laced with half and half, I settled into the chair content to observe the world through the windows. In a room full of shelves heavily laden with books it has hard to ignore the tentative “haloo’s” that seem to come from those burgeoning piles of bound paper and ink. I took the lazy way out and picked up the first book I could reach that did not require getting up from the chair. It was Tales from Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett. My daughter-in-law, Danielle, is hooked on his books. On her last visit she brought me this book from her collection.  

Snuggling deeper into the cushions while sipping my coffee, I slipped into a world of cowboys who want to go to sea, young men with dreams of tropical islands, bitten by the wanderlust and the fascinating women who love them against a backdrop of sun, saltwater, sailing vessels, hard drinking and easy living and the idea that life is too short and there is lots to see outside one’s hometown. I was hooked the moment Tully Mars showed again in the first chapter.

I’d first met him in late December, while on vacation, when I read A Salty Piece of Land, another of Buffett’s books. I happily sat over breakfast with him again. There were plenty of other intriguing characters such as sisters, Aurora and Bora Alice Porter, lovers each with their own dreams; Isabella and Slade and a few autobiographical tales of Mr. Buffett himself to come to know. I slipped softly into their worlds, not disturbing them, just watching, a voyeur of sorts, a kind of Peeping Tom in Jimmy Buffett’s mind. It was a vivid and delicious experience.

Several cups of coffee, a move to the couch (for maximum comfort) and a bowl of fruit loopies later I closed the book, sated. I was so very glad I’d gone to Margaritaville on the morning flight. This book was one that I wanted to go on a whole lot longer. I was there and back before the rest of the household awakened. The dogs and I fell soundly asleep on the couch, all of us resting from our morning and dreaming our own wonderful adventures.  

It was one of those absolutely perfect languid and lovely Sundays with nothing more important to do than what I wished to do. That, my friends, is truly where Margaritaville is, that place where you can do only what you wish. I hope you find yours very soon. Tales from Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett is a seductively agreeable map to get you there.

At age 10, Anne realized she was never going to get to be Miss America since reading a book was not an acceptable talent. So she went on to get a job and raise a family. Along the way, she fixed meals, picked up toys, helped with homework, and collected a drawer full of rejection slips for her “great American novel.” It was not all bad, however, since she ended up wallpapering a closet with them. She currently designs and creates greeting cards for her tiny company, The Frog Prints, LLC, and also works full-time as a Training Specialist. Anne is currently tethered to reality by a loving spouse, two dogs, one cat and the occasional hurricane that blows through Florida, although falling headlong and happily into a book is still her favorite “talent.” She can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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