coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Change is hard

In March 2014, we left New York State and started the long drive to Central Florida. Had things gone as planned, it would have been incredible. There are people for whom things go as planned, but T and I are not of that ilk.

We spent the winter downsizing, organizing, packing, and getting the NYS house in shape to sell. We went to Florida twice to find a house to buy. We put an offer down and it was accepted.  We were simply waiting for the closing, originally scheduled for late February. We put the NYS house on the market and it sold within a week.

We booked movers for March 24, before the snow melted. Over the years, we had created one beloved perennial bed after another on that quiet property, bordered by state lands. That was the hardest part for me, leaving the land. I thought it would be best to leave while the flowers were dormant and the beds were covered by snow.

Had we closed as planned, it would have been a fun move. Unfortunately, we were buying a foreclosed short sale from Fannie Mae. At the end of February they ominously postponed the closing for a month. 

Towards the end of March, two days before the movers were to arrive, we got a tearful call from our Florida realtor. Fannie Mae "just" discovered they did not have clear title to the property and they were CANCELING the sale.

We had already sold our house, all our belongings were boxed up, and we were set to get out of town before the snow melted. At THAT point we were still excited and ready to rock and roll. We decided to leave as planned (minus a clear destination) and rent a cat friendly place while we started the house search again from scratch.

We spent one week in what my husband fondly refers to as the crack motel, then moved into an old travel trailer in a RV resort. All our belongings were in storage. We stayed in that cramped little space for 3 months. W
e nearly lost our minds before we finally bought our house.

Here it is, three years later. I found my mind.

I will always miss the land and the endless variety of colorful flowers that grow up North. However, Central Florida has a different kind of beauty; subtle, primal, and wild. We have alligators, for crying out loud! It feels like home.



Some of our garden beds in Central New York

The quiet, natural beauty of a state park in Central Florida

23 comments:

  1. Ahhhh gorgeous. The road home is not always an easy one but definitely worth the effort to get to the place we belong.

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    1. Nice thought! I'm going to hang on to that.

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  2. Your new home is lovely. I chuckled with appreciation when you said you found your mind. You have a marvelous sense of humor.

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    1. Thanks Emma, if I made you chuckle, then it has been a good day.

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  3. Wow! That move is quite a story. The land and gardens you left are so beautiful. And so is the quiet natural beauty of Florida. It does look serene, well except for the possibility of ALLIGATORS!!

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    1. Yes, they are lurking even there, in that picture. I'm almost sure of it.

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  4. Yes I remember your fun times....oh the good old days!!! So glad we made it here too!!! Our road was a little bumpy but certainly nothing like you and Tom had at the beginning....but for all of it, it just made us stronger old broads than we were in NY. Love ya Co-Mom.

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    1. Thanks, Sharon. Love you, too. In fact, I think your moving experience was worse because it involved a health issue for Johnny. You pretty much mustered all your strength and made it happen against all odds. And yes, it made us stronger.

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  5. for some reason, my previous comment was cancelled....I wonder if this will be accepted?

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  6. You must smile every time you hear of a Nor'easter hitting NYS hard. Last year's 30"+ of snow had to make you ecstatic about your move. Florida is lovely and warm and has such beautiful tropical flowers all year long.

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    1. We're not really tropical in Central Florida. But yes, it is lovely and warm.

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  7. What a tale. So pleased it all worked out. Both landscapes are gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks. It was quite an adventure.

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  8. Well that wasn't easy in so many ways. But look what you ended up with. Lovely. And both gardens are excellently occupying and challenging it seems.

    We used to be determined to relocate when we retire just for the heck of it, like six months here and six months there until we find THE spot. How innocent we were.
    But we may end up with the kids eventually. Or they with us.

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    1. Ending up with the kids is not a bad gig. Being near our daughter has been wonderful. The second picture (the Florida one) is a state park near us. We had to give up the kind of gardening we did up north. We live in a subdivision with a little yard, and although we have done a some landscaping, it is not "gardening" as I know it. Those days are over for us. On the one hand it is sad, on the other hand it is a relief. We still have cannas and hibiscus and bougainvillea, tho! I planted agapanthus as per your suggestion a while back, but it is yet to flower. Maybe this year?

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  9. Florida does take some getting used to! We moved here 16 yrs ago to be close to my in-laws as they were getting on in years. We arrived in July and I thought i was going to die from the heat! But now, when I go away, I love coming back to warm, humid air that feels like a welcoming hug...Julys are still a challenge though!

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    1. Yes, July and August are rough. However, I would still rather suffer through the heat than have to drive in the snow. If only it would snow down here around Christmas, though!

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  10. Wow, I really need you to come back north for a garden consult. Your garden was stunning! What a lucky buyer to inherit that!

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    1. Thanks! It was our pride and joy, I actually ache for those daylilies some days. They are like old friends. The new buyer bought the place in March, covered with snow. I made a poster board of flower photos (with names), and a detailed map of the one and a half acres showing where each perennial bed was and where they should mow. I hope they realized exactly what they were getting in to. Lots of weeding and dividing and mulching.

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  11. As Spring is very slowly coming to us in your former domain, I bet you are missing it a tad. But as my old bones rebel at the need to weed, mulch, and prune the garden, I envy you and T's small estate. Living among the ruins can be downright depressing.

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    1. Spring is definitely the time I miss NYS the most. It was so exciting to see life return to the earth. I also miss July because that was the month that most of the daylilies bloomed. I have one pot of Stella D'Ora day lilies down here. I wish you could see them. I tried growing them in the ground but they were dying - too much sand and too much water in the summer. I (desperate for a daylily) put them in a pot and now they live, but they do not thrive. As per maintenance, take it easy! Hey, I think you might have some of our flowers in your beds!

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  12. That was some beautiful garden you left behind!

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So, whadayathink?