March 12, 2007

Here's a copy of the email that went out to friends and family when I got the puters up and running:
g’morning all-----
Well, I do’ed it! I’m in lovely Clearwater Florida!
I lucked into an absolutely incredible home in a retirement community where I had already known a couple of people [the dad of a friend and his wife] and am meeting more. my hermit ways just may go by the wayside—that seems already to be happening.
in the mornings, I step outside and, if the temp is below 65, I feel cheated! :)
this is the life.
I’ve got to tell you about the various serendipities, fate and blind luck that got me here:
About a month ago, I’d had it—the house wasn’t selling and I wasn’t going to wait any longer. I had made arrangements with some friends [Christie and Michael] to move me down here, I called em and said, ‘I’m running away from home. When can you get away?’

They were planning a vacation in about 3 weeks to Mississippi—in fact had planned to start booking flights in a day or two. So, they moved their vacations up a week, I booked a truck instead, and we were in business! [btw—I’d had no idea of their planned trip when I phoned em. See what I mean by serendipity? Those kinds of coincidences just kept happening.]

I began packing frantically and the VERY NEXT person to look at the house fell in love with it!!! So, while packing, booking movers to help with the loading, etc., I was also dickering over the price, holding the inspection, arranging for 2 [only TWO!!] repairs, driving icy roads from 46th street to 135th [while telling myself ‘never again’] to sign the papers, etc.

The weather turned up and, two days before the move, I woke to find a river running down my street as the ice and snow all melted at once [AFTER shoveling my walk twice in prep for the move, of course].

As it happened, the clothes I had packed for the move and set aside were LOADED by the movers. So, I had a pair of men’s pajama bottoms, a thermal shirt and a pair of slippers to my name. My friends gave me bunches of shirts. Christie and I went shopping and outfitted me from the skin out. She even found shoes that would FIT me! [I wear a 12 wide—the result of wearing moccasins and homemades for so long].
I comforted myself with the idea that the mandatory crisis had happened and the rest would be smooth sailing—and it was. Other than having to replace my phone charger [also packed—still haven’t found it] the move went smooth as silk. Michael, a professional driver, knew the routes, what areas to avoid at what times of day, etc. He drove himself into the ground, but we only spent one night in a hotel!

After we got down here, Christie’s dad arranged for me to see a couple of houses in the community where he lives and I fell in love with one. So much for renting for a year or two. . . . I’m able to pay the full price without taking out a loan! I don’t own the land it’s sitting on [that’s how I could afford it—it would’ve cost about 5 times as much if I bought the land as well] so there will be land rent. :( But, it will take about 15 years before I will’ve paid as much as I would’ve for a much smaller and not-nearly-so-nice traditional home— and taxes would have been much higher --so I’m not complaining too loudly.
Also included in the land rent are: a book-and-videotape-library, a pool, game courts, a game room, a clubhouse, a laundromat, etc. etc. plus a ready-made community. A perfect arrangement for a hermit working toward shedding her reclusive ways.

I’m within a few blocks of Old Tampa Bay though I haven’t gotten down to the water yet—too busy. One of these days, I’ll no longer be living in the middle of a bomb-site. When that happens [IF!] I imagine I'll get back to daily posts -- but it's gonna be a while.Here's me with the house and Michael restoking the fires after his ordeal.

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