Home Sweet Home

Yesterday we rolled into our winter neighbourhood. This is our third year in Florida as snowbirds. But our first year in this home. Our usual place, an investment property for the owners, was sold due to covid; lost incomes and zero tourism made it impossible for them to carry. We knew this in July. They were so apologetic as we had paid a deposit; they not only helped us find another place they also refunded our money. We left a box of this game behind such as a printer, frying pan, beach towels etc and they promised to keep it and meet up with us. Very decent right to the end. Luckily one of their referrals was another home in the same neighborhood.

It was a comforting feeling of familiarity when we turned into the subdivision. It has a boulevard entrance which is beautifully maintained. This time of year they plant copious poinsettias at the front “gates” and light up the palm trees. When I glanced down at my dashboard the temperature outside was 27C. Hot. Love it.

The new house is set much further back from Hwy 27 which makes Rudy very happy. The highway noise never really bothered me before but was an annoyance to Rudy. So much so that last year we started looking at other properties. We pulled into the double drive and I searched for the email from the owner outlining the entry procedure. I get out of the car and step into the coarse grass that is prevalent around here if you water religiously. Most homes here have gardeners who maintain the lawns and sprinkler systems to keep everything lush and green. Our last house the owners kept the yard themselves and told us there was a strict rule about yard maintenance or else you face fines. It’s a pleasure to walk the area and see how nice the curb appeals are. And right now they are decked out for Christmas!

The interlocking walkway leading to the covered front door is tidy and a nice wooden bench sits in front of the entry under the stoop. I unlock the door excitedly. As I enter the home I am blown away! The owners (who bought in June 2020) have beautifully updated the entire place! As you enter there is an open living room and dining area and the master suite is on the left. Beyond the dining area is the kitchen and family room with walkouts to the pool. Beyond the kitchen are two delightful bedrooms with twin beds and a full bath. At the very back of the house is another master suite with an en suite and walk out to the pool. The colour palette is a soothing pale yellow in the walls and the furnishings are new and fitting. But it’s the accents that make it all flow. The owners have chosen colourful art and pillows to highlight pops of colour. And the lamps and other accessories pull the look together. It’s what you see in magazines or flyers for Kirklands.

I was practically squealing in delight. And Rudy began the unloading. It’s the worst part of the process. Pack, stuff into car, unload, sort … luckily we do it twice in the cycle; when we were boaters we did it weekly! It’s draining and tedious. In the heat it’s exhausting. But it’s done. As quickly as Rudy brings boxes in I’m unpacking into closets and cupboards.

By the time we are done molly is ready for her afternoon walk. We tour the neighbourhood and meet some friendly neighbours. The sun is bright and warm. I’m wearing flip flops and shorts. That’s why we are here. Skip the miserable cold.

I leave Rudy and molly while I head to the store for provisions. Coming to the same area means we are familiar with the services nearby. I head to the local Aldi store and pick up staples. When I return Rudy has enjoyed a few beers and he and Molly are chilling. Under the ceiling fan. We prepare our first dinner together and toast the new winter digs. As I look around I think how easy it will be to enjoy a few months here. It’s lovely in every way. Molly eats her meal with us and we settle in the family room for a Christmas movie.

Dolly Partons new musical is just the right choice to entertain me while Rudy and molly snooze. I call my parents to give and receive the daily update. It’s icy at home and I wish they were with us. It’s the only thing from making Florida perfect.

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