Moving in together – across country. Really?

The Golden Gate

To move in or not to move in: that is the question

Sherry (admits to “over 50”) and Claude (62) met online. They exchanged four e-mails, enjoyed two lengthy phone calls, and on the first date, both were very carefully falling in love. They both like Woody Allen, Mountain Winery concerts, old San Francisco, traveling to Santa Fe for the opera, Carmel, Wagner, and visiting National Parks.

She likes fiction. He likes nonfiction.  He loves butter, cream, and eggs.  She’s more of an advocate for quinoa, vegetables, and exploring the aisles of Whole Foods. They were the same age, had been through painful divorces, had launched their kids, were finishing up careers and both were seriously thinking about retirement.

He has a condo in San Francisco on Nob Hill, a doorman, spectacular views of both bridges; rarely drives – walks everywhere, and knows San Francisco like the back of his hand She lives in a tiny cottage in Redwood City- with a charming garden, a hot tub – there is no lawn to mow, no big home to maintain, just sunny weather, parking galore, and she has privacy, solitude, and a huge deck for entertaining –which she does with great frequency. She belongs to a book club, a Pilates class, and volunteers at film festivals and the Museum – he says she has ‘a Rolodex full of girlfriends.’

She works from home for three very demanding clients.

A Moving Experience On their one-year anniversary, they drove north on Highway 101 to the Victorian village of Ferndale and explored the area and the beautiful redwood parks.  Over crab cocktails in Eureka he suggested she move into his spacious condo in San Francisco.  He had a second bedroom that could easily be made into her office or study.  He listed the many positive aspects of living in San Francisco – such an exciting location and – more importantly- of living together.

She was thinking of the whipping winds and fog rolling in, parking challenges, the din of the neighborhood, the claustrophobic feeling of being so close to your neighbors, no garden…her mental list of “cons” grew incrementally. She was very happy with their arrangement. They were together all weekend and one or two nights a week.

Two of her 50-ish friends had ‘living situations’ with beaus – they kept separate residences and saw one another frequently. The couples said they embraced their privacy and alone time and claimed they were very happy with the arrangements. She pondered.  Moving in together and moving away?  Then his boss offered him a position in Florida as VP of his department.  The assignment would be for 18 months with the caveat that he would return to San Francisco six times a year for meetings. The offer was a promotion with great benefits – and would most likely be his last position with the company. Thrilled at the prospect, he called and invited her to join him on this new adventure. She had been to Miami several times and  loved the exciting city.

As she started thinking about crowds, summers, the weather, and the distance from her family and her friends her mood changed.

Her best friend said, “Go for it! It’s only for a year or so and you’ll come back here every few months. Just do it. Candace, her neighbor – an Eileen Fisher model, 65, tango dancer with a shock of silver hair said, “Men? I go dancing once a week.  I just want to be in the arms of a man for one hour –and then go home to my cats and I’m happy.”  Another cat woman? She was dizzy with input from her myriad friends and her love for this man – who was kinder, more thoughtful and generous than anyone she had ever met. She looked forward to their weekends together and suffered withdrawal when he left her on Sunday evenings…

Things fall into place Her best friend from Del Mar  took an artist in residence gig at the Oakland Museum and needed a place to stay – voila: the perfect house sitter.  She told her clients of her plans. No one batted an eye. She had a family and best friends meeting and affirmed the news…

She spoke to her accountant, primary physician, and her hairdresser and – all systems were “go.” After one exhausting visit to South Florida – looking- locating and deciding on their new address – and much preparation- packing, planning, organizing -combined with several Going-Away-for-Awhile-Parties- the couple  was off.

Bon Voyage!

Let the adventure begin. Would you be as brave?

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$51,000 floral coat by Dolce & Gabanna?

Melly – we call her Melly- shocked and rocked. 

After dressing  like an Italian Widow for the Pope

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She showed up wearing a flashy $51,000 coat with flowers…

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Humility is the true key to success. Successful people lose their way at times. They often embrace and overindulge from the fruits of success. Humility halts this arrogance and self-indulging trap.

Humble people share the credit and wealth, remaining focused and hungry to continue the journey of success.

Rick Pitino

Impression

Be-FORE and after

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To Prieve: prieve (third-person singular simple present prieves, present participle prieving, simple past and past participle prieved) (obsolete or Scotland) To prove.

NO  Reprieve

Famous last words

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Psst! Five things they don’t tell you about So Florida

Spooky, scary, nightmares in The Sunshine State?

Myammy! Moving in together at 50...

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Yeah, yeah, yeah, so it is called the Sunshine State, there’s the orange juice, fabulous beaches, warm water, miles of white sand, 1300 golf courses and all that postcard stuff.

But the day-to-day reality- the ugly underbelly- is never disclosed in a brochure or a blog. Believe me.

Let me tell you – top five things no one warns you about in South Florida

1) Fraud

Upon arrival, you will frequently hear the words fraud, fraudulent, rip-off, scams, and swindles, scam-artists, illegals, and references to all shades of mafia, everywhere you go. You will realize the words fraud and Florida are often times linked together.

People in your yoga class, your church group, your book club, and  he checkout people at Publix will all mention the words fraud, rip-offs and stings and scams with great frequency. Angies’s List and Craigslist are not to be trusted. The checkout clerk at Ross may…

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Don’t think twice…

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Visitors to Florida are usually keen to see an alligator.

There are myraid opportunities to visit Gator farms, Alligator museums and infamous  Gator displays.

Then, there is the unexpected shock of walking near a lake, lagoon, or a pond only to see a “sleeping” gator sunning herself…ready to strike when a pair of white legs walk by.

If ever there was a time to exercise caution – it is near one of those bodies of water which look so appealling for a quick swim.

Who know what lurks beneath those dark and murky waters?  Best Advice? Skip the temptation.

“Don’t taunt the alligator until after you’ve crossed the creek.”

Dan Rather
Qualm

Living in FL: Lizards, geckos, and bugs, oh no!

photo_3231_20070906 We now live in the lush, green, warm tropics.

In the backyard, we have a dozen palm trees and a Star Fruit tree, which on a windy day, drops yellow blobs of fruits at an alarming rate.

Yuck

There are some pointy, succulent, cactusy things in one corner, an orange Hibiscus and thorny, purple, Bougainvillea in the other and there is a smattering of mangy bushes.

 

As a rule, Northern Californians are pretty clueless when it comes to palm trees. Redwood trees are our thing.  Joyce Kilmer certainly wasn’t writing about palm trees.

Who knew that a palm tree would give off these huge, dead pods that look like something out of  “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers?”   Often you wake in the morning and discover, sometime in the quiet of night, another corpse has appeared on your lawn.

Every once in a while you might see a Black Snake. Today, there was a three-foot black snake sunning itself on the steps.

However, the most egregious creatures are the slippery, slimy, ones. They dart and dash and scurry and scamper all over the doorstep and on the patio. Lizards and reptile cousins slither up and down the trees, all over the fence, in and out of bushes.

And, they are on top of your garbage can.  Some of them reside in your garbage can.

I have the unseemly job of taking the garbage can to the driveway and putting it out for the pickup on Monday morning.

My stomach churns, my skin crawls and my mouth is dry, as I open the door to go outside to Lizard Land.  They must know I’m coming.  Can they smell my fear?

Once a week, I put on my perfect-for-Yosemite hiking boots and step into their world.  As fast as I can,  I grab that green receptacle and race to the curb and back into the safety of the house. Door slammed and locked. Good-bye, suckers.

Safe for another week.

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Flirting – 3 times a day? Double dare you

Romance is in the Air….

Suddenly Single in Marin

photo_1186_20060227Flirting is the gentle art of making two people happy

with a wink,  a smile, a nod or a kiss…

Spring is in the air – get your FLIRT on

Charlie Kisses a lot…he buys bags of Hershey kisses and says he drops one or two off on tables of  ‘ interesting  women’ at the library, Peet’s or cafes when he is strolling through. Charlie is famous  ( and very popular)  for giving away free kisses and smiles.

Parking Karma Katie always has a pocket of quarters and when she sees the army of parking meter mavens in attack mode, she kindly puts a couple of quarters in each expired meter. Sweet!

Before breakfast, my pal Denis  always buys two San Francisco Chronicles. He reads one and offers a second copy to an attractive single woman in one of the three cafés he frequents each week. He’s…

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