Monday, October 23, 2006

Why Live in Florida

Today has been one of the days that makes living in Florida seem reasonable. It was warm but not hot; and the humidity that is the curse of our weather was gone. After a late breakfast we sat out by the pool with a drink just enjoying the world. We even had a ham bone for the dog. There are things we need to do; things we planned to do today but they will be done another day and I am glad of it.

Tonight in the early evening I was outside reading when I heard a commotion; a man yelling. It turns out that some of our neighbors was having a "domestic disturbance". After a few minutes a police car arrived. Then the woman put some things into her car and drove off. The police left shortly thereafter. No one was injured; no one arrested but it was disturbing. Marital problems happen, of course. I guess it just reminded me of the fragility of our happiness.

Though I am not a believer, the Compline service says it very nicely:

The Lord Almighty grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end. Amen.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Almost back to normal

We are almost back to normal here in Tampa Bay Land. Put out 6 bags of grass clippings last week from the back yard alone. It was just a little tall! That's what I get for making the back yard too tight for professional yard equipment; I can't hire anyone to cut it while we are gone. What the heck. I need the exercise!

We are working on our long term plan to leave the area; it's starting to look like the process will take a year & a half or so. We have SO much house maintenance that hasn't been done for starters. Then we have to shave our belongings down to some reasonable amount for moving. Finally, it's sell (which may take some time, certainly) and go. Like the rest of the country the Florida housing market has slowed quite a lot. Besides, we have a house that really cries out to be sold either in the early spring or the late fall. When you enter the house, if it can be open to the outside, it sells itself. You have 2000 sq ft of house that connects almost seamlessly to 1500 sq ft of pool deck as your living area. It's great and looks even better. When it is too hot to have the house open (in the summer) you have only the relatively small house to show. It's a nice enough house but in this market you need the extra zing of the outside. Spouse and I have both worked as project managers so you KNOW we'll have list upon list upon list covering THIS project.

In the middle of that 'leaving' plan we need to develop and explore places for the 'where the hell are we going' plan! We really have almost no idea of where we want to move. It could be Northern Florida, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico or even somewhere we haven't considered yet. It's odd to be able to move anywhere we would like. We've always moved for and by our work until we moved here & we moved here to be near our mothers. Now that they are gone, we are free to fly. It will be interesting to see what we eventually do. We plan on doing more traveling to visit possible home bases during the months that the house will be on the market. Should be fun!

Have a great weekend everyone. And don't get stuck on Friday, the 13th!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Home Again, Naturally

We got home last Sunday evening and here it is nearly a week later before I manage to get to the blog. Well, let's face it; I'm lazy! Plus there were a few things to handle. Like on any trip you decide not to do laundry until you get home - we had a zillion loads. We had someone cut our front grass but not the back since they can't use their equipment in the back. It was at least a foot high! The house had somehow gotten really dirty in spite of the fact that we weren't here to make it so. Funny, but it really did need cleaning. The mail was impressive; about 3% was actually something we'd care about. But we are making it more like a home again.

The trip was excellent. Drove almost 5,000 miles towing the trailer 3,600 of them. (8,000 km total; 5,800 km towing if I'm to believe the web.) It's a long way for under a month and including all the stuff we did. I was able to meet and talk with relatives that I didn't know I had; actual cousins. We got to visit effigy Mounds National Monument; it is a place the ancient people of North America buried their dead and communed with their gods. It was very quiet, lovely and somehow touching. We got to eat wonderful catfish in Missouri and wonderful pork ribs and pulled pork in Georgia. Had a great time visiting the USS Alabama in Mobile. It brought back some of the hardships that men endured during World War II. Along the way we met some nice people; some weird people and some that I certainly don't want to meet again! We were in Sikesville, Missouri in the wind and the rain with tornados north of us and tornados south of us. The next day was dry when we woke but by the time we wanted to leave we were wading in 3 inches (7.5cm) of water with more landing on us every second.

We love to travel but getting home is pretty great too. I'm reading all the usual blogs; it just takes time to catch up. Have a good weekend all!