So, considering this, why do I choose to live here? If you had asked me that back in the early '90's before I moved to Florida, I would have told you that the Sunshine State was a place I would never live. I thought it was too hot, too flat and too "Disney World" or manmade entertainment, but that soon changed. Why? Because I needed to take a career position in Florida when my company asked me to move and I loved my work and here I came, only first to Daytona and then later to Jacksonville before retiring to my current location which I consider part of Old Florida. And in the ensuing years I have discovered so many wondrous and beautiful spots that most tourists likely never see, and so I am hooked. The result is that I now find myself still in Florida after twenty-six years, although sometimes I feel like I moved here just yesterday. Remember, good times roll by quickly and that they have.
So, what made me change my mind and stay all these twenty-six years? Consider this. Have you ever lived on a beach which is also a city, yet the beachside of town, separated by the intracoastal waterway, is beachy in every way? I remember coming home from work in those first few years on Friday afternoon and not putting on anything but shorts or a bathing suit and perhaps a t-shirt and sandals (excepting a crisp summer shirt for Sunday church and perhaps some light weight trousers for the occasion). And then later and now on the farm where we are out in nature without another building seen from my property, my surroundings are anything but lonely. Just imagine my experiences with a beautiful sunrise through the pines and shining down on the pasture or a sunset so full of colors that it looks like a masterpiece painting and the sounds of the native animals around us bringing us close to nature. How about watching an adult male eagle teach his young eaglet to fly, gently prodding him off of the high branch to finally use his wings and watch how quickly he soars gracefully to keep up with his papa. Listen carefully, you might hear the bark of a gator or hear the yowl of a secretive Florida panther. These and so many things captured my imagination and heart in Florida and it is why I will end my days in the Sunshine State as well, peacefully ending life in a wondrous place.
And they allow me to deal with the hot, rainy season and realize that the wonderful fall and cooler, drier weather is not too terribly far off. Two more months should do it and I'll be ready for Florida autumn. And then comes winter, chilly but usually warm in the afternoons and excepting early morning, I can usually do my chores and run my errands still in shorts but perhaps with the addition of a light sweat shirt to take the edge off the chill. And at times like those I think back about the old days in Virginia, or maybe in Germany, how difficult it was to get started in the morning. Thoughts of the bitter cold keep me in Florida as well.
Just talking about those wonderful things that keep me here and make the current issues seem small makes me feel much better this morning and now I am ready to continue my slogging along in the mud and standing rainfall that will continue to plague us for a few more days. And I know that my favorite time of the year will before long be on the way. But please, Jack and Jill, please don't bring us anymore water. Oh, I appreciate your gesture, but we've truly had enough. Thanks, anyway. But before you leave, enjoy a few pictorial reasons of why I love Florida so much. It is exemplified by reason such as these.