When J & I first considered living in Florida for four months out of the year I was a little concerned. We had spent two or three weeks here every January for many years, and sometimes we got on each other’s nerves – too much togetherness. Would we be happy away from family and friends and all that sustains us up north? Sun, warmth, green, flowers, and open windows usually trump cold, grey, snow, grey, cold, shoveling, driving on ice, dressing in layers, and freezing my tush off (another way of saying cold). I experience so much less pain in the warmth of Floridawinters so it was something I needed to do, but I worried.
Today I am leaving to go about 60 miles north to spend a few days with my book club friends (The Bookies) from up north at a condo owned by one of them. If I had $10 for every time J has said he is going to miss me, I would be able to buy myself a new camera lens. I am going to miss him, too. I am going to miss his quiet company, the semi-routine we have that fills our days.
Our life has evolved as we needed it to. We bought a small condo that has just enough projects to keep J busy. He has more energy than I do and loves to putter. We have met people and go down to the pool if we need companionship. J is more of an extrovert so once a day he grabs his hat and disappears. I know he is at the pool or is walking around looking for someone to talk with. He comes back with some tidbit of condo news or the name of a new restaurant to try. While he is gone I enjoy the solitude – or sometimes join him for a swim and some chit-chat.
We have found a church that is very different from the one up north – important in our lives in a different way. We have found a few favorite restaurants and have thousands yet to try. J enjoys being able to go for almost-daily bike rides and I enjoy always having someplace to go to take a photo or two or a hundred. We are no longer on vacation – we have found a second home.
I’m going to miss you, honey, but will see you on Sunday. I’m also really happy that you miss me – that we still enjoy each other after all these years. Say hi to our friends at the pool for me while I’m gone and remember to use those blueberries on your Cherrios.