Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Great Winter Escape

~Well...we're here in sunny Florida. I must admit that having the doors and windows open in January suits me just fine. I think that's what I hate the most about winter back home. Having everything closed up feels claustrophobic. Gray skies and short days seem gloomy to me. I start fantacizing about summer and life on the porch. I imagine the tanned, smiling faces of our grandchildren coming back from a day at the beach and evenings sitting around the firepit, telling stories and singing songs.
~Our ability to spend our winters in Florida stems from a long range plan that began over thirty years ago when we purchased a small townhouse condo near the beach just south of the Kennedy Space center. There wasn't much here then. It wasn't spiffy or upscale. But it was on the barrier island and there were miles and miles of beach with little parking areas every five miles or so. You could just pull off the road, grab your beach towel and flop down in the sand. We used the condo as an investment property for most of those years. We redecorated a couple of times and as we did, we watched the area grow. We started to see restaurants, and grocery markets crop up in commercial spaces that had been deserted during the downturn of the 70s. Beautiful condos were constructed along the beach. Due to height restrictions in the area, none of the buildings took over the clear blue skies...and you can still pull off the road every half mile or so with free parking to access the beach. Carefully planned commercial development brought jobs to the area. New hospitals located over the river on the mainland. That development opened up new prospects for pharmacies and medical practices on the island. A burst of energy was thrust into just about every facet of life here.
~Now that we are retired and get to enjoy our little condo and all the things this area offers, we are grateful for the chance to escape the New England winters. Snow was a welcome sight when we were young and we took our four children skiing. But once you give up a snow hobby, the wet, white stuff just means work. And cold work, at that.
~This winter up north sounds especially bad. No just wet, but bitter cold. Not a day goes by down here that I don't thank the big Guy up there for leading us in the right direction way back when we fell upon this cozy little southern abode. Funny how life works out.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A New Year

~A New Year....Is it really something special when it happens? Or is it just the same old...same old? I must confess that around here it has become just another year. But deep down, I know it is something special. It's a rebirth for many folks; a chance to look at life with new aspirations. If you're overweight, you swear yourself on a diet. If you are a shopaholic, you cut up your credit cards. If you are a bit lazy, you join a gym. But what happens to those best laid plans?
Usually, by mid January, you are back to your old habits, completely forgetting about having resolved to do this or that. Yet, every once in a while, someone, somewhere sticks to his or her resolution and life changes in a good way.
~I've known people who resolved to do something about their weight on New Year's Eve and then really did something about their weight. And it stuck!
I guess the good thing about making a New Year's resolution is that it shows how humanity always holds out hope. No matter how many times you break a heartfelt resolution, you usually make another one the next year. Hope usually comes with a strong sense of passion. It feels good to hope.
~Hubby and I are just about ready to head south. Except there is snow looming in the forecast on the day we want to leave. It will be hard to wait, even a day or two. In my old age, I've become completely intolerant to cold. Hubby says my
circulator doesn't work. The cold starts in my feet and spreads to my calves and soon overtakes my whole body. When we were young, we could hardly wait for snow so we could ski. That's what winter sports do for you. Make you wish for snow. But these days the cold means inactivity which leads to being...well... cold. Now that the hustle bustle of the holidays is over, I can't wait to get into warm sunshine, balmy breezes and sun, sun, sun. I can take my daily walk without freezing; fiddle around in the patio without a down jacket, drive to the store without warming up the car first. Lovely, simple thoughts that make me very happy. Florida, here we come.
~Be sure to check out our online store to see more aprons like the one granddaughter Emily is modeling at:
~I'll be adding lots of new items soon.