I’m lounging on the sofa watching holiday movies. The cheesy hallmark kind. My favourites. One of the characters just said something that made me think: it’s not just about cookies and presents, it’s a time to reflect back on the year. I took a few seconds to do that and I’m a bit taken aback at how quickly time flies by and how much happened in 2019. It then occurred to me that we are about to enter an entirely new decade not just a New Year.

We started 2019 in Florida and will end this decade there as well. I like the ability to sit outdoors and ring in the New Year even if we don’t last until midnight. It’s the thought that counts. I also went way back in time and remembered the first New Years Rudy and I spent together. Just so happens we were in Cuba in the warm weather. It was a wonderful holiday and it was the beginning of our love affair. Now it’s so many years later and we are enjoying the warmth again. We are very fortunate.

The first quarter of 2019 transpired in Florida and we developed a nice flow and routine that included the outdoors, Molly adventures and a new hobby called Pickleball. Along with Pickleball came new friends. It was bittersweet to say so long in March; leaving the gorgeous weather and familiarities. But also nice to get “home” and gather family (including Otto) together again.

One of the things we weren’t too keen on reconvening was the townhouse lifestyle. We discussed the pros and cons of lock and leave habitat but privacy and more space prevailed. We started the search in earnest (we stuttered to start in the fall of 2018 but didn’t really commit). Just before we returned to Canada the agents sent us a listing to consider. That got the ball rolling and we moved July 23. It was a brilliant decision for us and we slipped into our new address as though we’d lived there for years. It’s perfect in every way and ticked all the boxes. I’d forgotten how much I really missed our hot tub! Bonus: Otto is the happiest cat and spends most of the time outdoors.

Our new neighbours are superb. And one of them has engaged us in civic matters. We’d forgotten how much we enjoyed involvement in our community. We attend regular meetings and have met very interesting and diverse people. It’s quite possible that some of them will visit us in the south.

Rudy renewed his passion for golf. He joined a local club and played a lot. His game improved throughout the season and he finished the season on a definite high note late in October. The season was prolonged thanks to the weather which cooperated fully! He met some new golfers through the club member programs and got reacquainted with a few old friends too. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

We joined a CSA (community share agriculture) which provided us with delicious produce and eggs all summer and into fall. I’m still working on the bumper crop of butternut squash. The lovely food tastes even better al fresco and our new home features a wonderful deck with an eating area. There’s nothing like farm fresh eggs. We did, however , get a bit too much Swiss chard for our liking. Overall it was great. And it was a pleasure to drive out to the farm and see the alpacas and chickens.

Since moving in July 23 we had a steady flow of visitors. It was so delightful to host so many good friends. Luckily for us a lot a super handy. Guys that travel with their tools are always welcome at Casa Florio! One of Rudy’s pals even tackled the ikea trundle bed. Now that’s a beautiful thing. Rudy likes to remind me that ikea is a four letter word!

In all 2019 has been good. More fond memories for the history books. And a view to making more as we go.

Reflections, after all, are what we see in the mirror. From our own lens things are as we we view them. Rose coloured glasses are a good thing.

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