Deep Blue Happiness

Today I’m happy to bring you a guest post by my long-time friend, Katy Piotrowski, written after a blast of a weekend together just recently. Enjoy!

This site’s author and I first crossed paths in seventh grade language class in Salisbury, Maryland. True to teenage girl form, we stifled giggles at some of the foreign word pronunciations, especially the region in France called Languedoc. “Long-a-duck!” we’d shriek, laughing hysterically on the way to our next classes. It was the start of a beautiful friendship.



Fast forward to May 2016, almost exactly 40 years later. Marybeth now lives on the Atlantic coast of Florida, just minutes from her beloved beach, and I live 2,000 miles north west in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Despite our closeness as friends, we’re opposites in many ways: she’s petite and blonde, I’m tall and brunette. She blooms in heat and sand, I thrive in cool and shade. She shuns carbs, and I’m all about cookies. Even our signature colors diverge: I’m Katy Red, she’s Mary Blue. Still, like yin and yang, we blend.




So when work had me traveling within a few hours of her beach house, I shot her a text to see if we could spend a few days together. I’d spent a delightful weekend with Marybeth and her charming hubby not long after they’d moved in a few years earlier, and was thrilled when she said, “C’mon over!”

The first day of our long weekend, I drove through a torrential downpour and arrived looking like a drowned rat. She, however, opened the door looking sleek and lovely in a Mary Blue sundress. It was miserable outside, yet their 1,100 sq. ft. 1962 ranch glowed with warmth and welcome. I was graciously assigned the Pool Room (named not for balls and cues, but for its proximity to their backyard haven), and after drying off, we headed to the Grills Riverside to feast on Lionfish. The skies had cleared to a beautiful (Mary) blue.


My pool bedroom:




plumeria-bowlPlumeria blooms on my nightstand, picked from the back yard


Saturday morning, we dove in on an epic event we’d started working on two months’ earlier: to recreate a photo of ourselves taken in 1979 on a beach in Ocean City, Maryland. For weeks we’d been extra careful watching calories and toning abs—depriving favorite indulgences to look our best in swimsuits—and were eager to snap the shot ASAP so that we could catch up on forfeited foodstuffs. Marybeth’s husband Robert served as our precise and patient photographer. “Katy, tilt your leg three inches to the left. Marybeth, twist your torso more this way,” gesturing toward the ocean.




Photo finished (we were thrilled with the result) we fêted on a filling lunch at The Jungle, took more snapshots at the Shark Wall in Melbourne (thighs covered), and then sunk into their backyard paradise. Floating in the azure waters of their cooling pool, we spent nearly all afternoon reliving highlights of our 40 years of friendship, wetting our whistles with ales and vino.


shark wall day


By Sunday, I’d fallen fully into the lure of their nirvana. Would they mind if I moved in permanently? I’d do my best to take up minimal space, including bathing in their newly-added and oh-so-roomy outdoor shower. And I would even help with yard work (in shaded areas only, of course) and cook to earn my keep.


pool view deckThe outdoor shower is enclosed in “old boat wood” that Marybeth and Robert created, read more here


pink flamingo

Yet as tempting as it sounded, my family, business, and mountains were calling me home, so I tore myself away from the pool and loaded my rental car to head back to the airport. But before I left, I gave my lifelong friend a lingering hug, so tickled pink for her and her hubby and the lovely life they live in the deep blue of their beach house happiness.





Katy Piotrowski, besides being a great writer, supportive cheerleader tons-of-fun long-time friend and one of the best moms I know, hangs out here Career Solutions Group.



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