If you were to walk through the Gate, youâ€™d see that it is where we â€œswim,â€ drink a few cocktails, eat too damned much, play horseshoes, talk about virtually everything under the sun, listen to music on the outdoor speakers, argue about the music (its volume or lack thereof, the choice of music, the name of the artist â€“ itâ€™s a regular argue-fest), tease one another unmercifully, laugh constantly, and happily raise hell.
Sometimes, on those, thankfully, rare occasions, when one or more of the Usuals is dealt a bad hand in Lifeâ€™s Card Game, inside the Gate ceases being a party place and becomes a wellspring of compassion, understanding and genuine empathy.
Obviously, the magic of the place is not the heated pool, the makeshift bar, the horseshoe pits or the Key Westish atmosphere. Itâ€™s certainly not what one would call luxurious â€“ not by a long shot.
No, the charm of the place is the peeps. Itâ€™s really that simple.
If I could wish you all something beyond good health for yourselves and those you care about, I would wish you an open Gate with good friends on the other side.