Friday, February 17, 2006

The Epiphany of Retired Souls

Having sold one place last year in sunny, southern Florida, we thought that we were finally over our love affair with this state. Alas! It was not to be. When will we ever learn? Offering perfectly good money for a nasty 1971 double-wide was something that younger people should do. Yes, the sun shines on "trailers" the same as it does on proper homes, but the hurricanes seem to have a peculiar affinity for the flimsy. It really strikes the funny bone to think that trailers have hurricane shutters. Wouldn't you think that in the event of a Category 3 or thereabouts, the whole place will flit around the neighborhood, so what purpose do the shutters serve? I'm being too hard on this place, because if it is indeed a 1971 SunHome-- it has stood for 35 years without becoming a missile for the unfortunate. The latest info (since Charley and Wilma) is that they will not insure "trailers" against the full value. They will give only a small portion of the value, but they charge premiums consistent with mansions. We have replaced the sub flooring, floors, carpet, toilets, sinks, counters, bathroom walls. Italian kitchen tile, draperies, rods, all appliances and have all new furniture. Most rooms have been painted or lined with bead-board and wallpaper borders. Ugly cupboards have turned into buffets and bookcases. The 1971 has become a 2006 (curtsey of HGTV) and it looks like a brand new place, but all this cuts no ice with the insurance company. OLD is OLD! Makes me feel like I should turn in my driver's license, because I am old!
What I started out to say is that our friends who have been so instrumental in getting us to spend our retirement money on a home in Florida for the cold season, have forsaken us. They have been so successful at talking their families into moving and building here in the Ft. Myers area, that they have no time left for us!!! Ergo---what the heck are we doing here? We are spending money that we will need later in life (if we live as long as I'd like) and spreading ourselves a little thin. The two of us are sitting home nights and watching things like Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Skating with the Stars, Dancing with the Stars and, of course, The Olympics. January and the first part of February has been chilly --- don't you think we could watch T.V. in Ohio and avoid the negative spending to see blue skies and not be 1,200 miles from our children and grandchildren?
We watched "Oprah" on TV today and she said that the average American lives paycheck to paycheck and is living on credit. Since we are in our 70's (ugh--- I can't believe the whole thing) and have no debt at all, we have a tremendous credit rating --- but everything is tied up in condos, doublewides and stocks. We are rapidly becoming slaves to our perfect purchases and are faced with two options.
1.) Keep the Florida place for a couple of years and enjoy all the sunshine and loose joints --- but, watch our bank accounts dwindle down to perilous levels, or
2.) Sell this masterpiece of decoration and spend the winters in Ohio with snow up to our arses. I mean really --- we could watch the T.V. with the drapes pulled and who would be any the wiser? Our finances would be logical and we might even be able to do that trip to England and Ireland that I have always wanted. Someone smack me if I ever even hint at the possibility of doing another overhaul. Young people can do the necessary work without Ben Gay rubbed head to toe. When will we ever learn that chronological age means something. No matter what we look like---the spirit is weak and the flesh is downright flabby. I think we need to go home to Ohio, where our family is and move only if they decide to go to another state.
One of the worst problems is that I love all the new "stuff" I have purchased for this place and I want to keep it all. It has taken another half year from my already pitifully short life to furnish it and we are talking "another sale!"
My mind has short-circuited! WE have been here for 7 weeks and I have not been to the pool, have no suntan and my asthma medications are running low. Do you get the picture of a dog chasing it's own tail?