This is where you’ll find her. She’ll be launching her houseboat on the Apalachicola River in northwestern Florida. Her houseboat is very small, just big enough for one, possibly two people. And a dog.
The houseboat has a miniature kitchen with miniature appliances. There’s a tiny bathroom with an envirolet toilet and a solar shower. See that long cushioned bench up front? It unfolds into a double bed. When she goes to bed she’ll read as late as she wants, until sleep overtakes her.
On clear nights, and most nights are clear, you’ll find her on the little aft deck, sitting on the rope-suspended swing. This is where she’ll gaze out and up at the stars, thousands of them. She’ll count the shooting stars until she loses count, and then she’ll find the Big Dipper, and the North Star, and the Milky Way, and Orion. She’ll look for the Seven Sisters, that faint constellation like a sprinkling of freckles on the dark night sky, that her star-knowledgeable traveling companion taught her to see.
During the day she’ll putter along the River, River with a capital R because it is a river from before time. Just under the sepia surface of this old water, hundred-year-old alligators will keep pace with her houseboat. Skeletons of wild hogs and ancient turtles will line the riverbanks.
She’ll pass camps with names like Smith Creek Hunt and Fish Camp, and the KeepOut Camp, and she’ll wave to the old Airstreams and broken-down campers that are the homes of the inhabitants, knowing that they are inside, invisible, and watching her.
No mail down here. No cell phone signal. No landline, no internet, no nothing. Yes, this is where you’ll find her. Or not.