Tag Archives: Living In Florida

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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Wanna move to Florida? Read this first!

IMG_0604Dear Myammy,

You have a good sense of humor. A pal sent me this about Life in Florida

(Written for people  60+ and others with a sense of humor.)

A few years ago, my wife and I moved into a retirement development on Florida ‘s southeast coast.  

Jerry Seinfield once said, “There is a law in New York that people over sixty must move to Florida.” It is intended to keep us seniors from becoming “Midtown Roadkill.”

We are living in the “Delray/ Boca/Boynton Golf, Spa, Bath and Tennis Club on Lake Fake-a-Hachee”.

Who knew? There are 3,000 lakes in Florida- only three are real.

blue-199261__180-2….gradual loss of…

Our biggest retirement concern was time management. What were we going to do all day?

Let me assure you, passing the time is not a problem.

Our days are eaten up by simple, daily activities. Just getting out of our car takes 15 minutes. Trying to find where we parked takes 20 minutes. It takes a half-hour in the check-out line in Wal-Mart, and a mere hour  to return said item the next day.

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Here a typical day: We get up at 5:00 am, have a quick breakfast of free coffee and pastries at the corner bank and join the early morning Walk-and-Fart Club.

There are about 30 of us, and rain or shine, we walk around the streets, all talking at once. Every development has some “late risers” who stay in bed until 6:00 am.Go figure!  After a nimble walk, avoiding irate drivers out to make us road kill, we go back home, shower and change for the next activity.

My wife goes directly to the pool for her underwater Pilates class, followed by gasping for breath and CPR.

I put on my uniform:Ask Me About My GrandKids’ T-shirt, my plaid mid-calf shorts, my white belt, my white socks and sandals and go to the clubhouse lobby for a nice nap.

Before we know it, it’s time for lunch.

Costco! Here we come!

We go to Costco to partake of the many tasty samples dispensed by ladies in white hair nets. All free! For the more sophisticated, planning a trip to Costco does take some effort to make sure all the demonstrators are visited starting with appetizers and ending with desserts.

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Medical Care:We don’t need psychiatrists in Florida, pouring our life stories out to the Costco demonstrators an acceptable alternative. After a filling lunch, if we don’t have any doctor appointments, we might go to the flea market to see if any new white belts have come in or to buy a Rolex watch for $2.00.

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We’re usually back home by 2:00 pm to get ready for dinner. People start lining up for the early bird at the hometown buffet about 3:00 pm, but we get there by 3:45 because we’re late eaters.

Free at last! The dinners are very popular because of the large portions they serve. We can take home enough food for the next day’s lunch and dinner, including extra bread, crackers, packets of mustard, relish, ketchup and Splenda, along with mints.

Bingo! It’s 5:30 pm we’re home, ready to watch the 6 o’clock news. By 6:30 pm we’re fast asleep. Then we get up and make five or six trips to the bathroom during the night, and it’s time to get up and start a new day all over again.swimtream_

Doctor-related activities eat up most of our retirement time. I enjoy reading old magazines in sub-zero temperatures in the waiting room, so I don’t mind.photo_21418_20120211

Calling for test results also helps the days fly by. It takes at least a half-hour just getting through the doctor’s phone menu. Then there’s the hold time until we’re connected to the right party. FACT:Sometimes they forget we’re holding, and the whole office goes off to lunch.

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Food shopping is a problem for short seniors, or ‘bottom feeders’ as we call them, because they can’t reach the items on the upper shelves. There are many foods they’ve never tasted. After shopping, most seniors can’t remember where they parked their cars and wander the parking lot for hours while their food defrosts.

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Caught lifting Too Many “Free Samples”

Remember to choose a Senior Living development with an impressive name. Italian names are very popular in Florida. They convey world travelers, uppity sophistication and wealth. Where would you rather live: Murray’s Condos or the Grand Emerald Lakes of Venice? There’s no difference — they’re both owned by Murray, who happens to be a cheap bastard.

I certainly hope this material has been of help to you Future Retirees. Hey! if I can be of any further assistance-  look me up when you’re in Florida. I live in the Far Leaning Condos of Pisa in Palm Coast

Remember:

INSIDE EVERY OLDER PERSON IS A YOUNGER PERSON WONDERING,

“WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?”

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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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