02 April, 2015

And the Time is Winding Down

Whew! Well, nothing like some folks getting ready to head on their long journey back north to the land of snow and ice, and fast food and fast living, and big box stores, and stuff. What I mean is, life here kind of proceeds at a steady pace, especially for those of us fortunate enough to be able to stay here full-time.

I think there’s a big, very subtle difference between people who live here year-round, who may go back up north now and then to visit the grand-kids or whatever, and those who actually live up north and, essentially vacation down here for three, four, or six months.

It always lurks in the back of their minds that they’ve got to return north, probably to actually work. To the place where they have to think and worry about, property taxes (far and away more than similar taxes down here), co-pays for health care, other insurance costs, fighting traffic on highways and city streets, real rush-hours, and on and on. In short, all the reasons everyone wants to come down here.

Anyway, we spent the past four months hanging out with Denis and Vivien. Doing the pool thing most afternoons, going out to eat at our favorite joints, gossiping about other folks (nobody really does that here, I’m just sayin’), talking about how everything breaks or falls apart here, and not just because the Chinese make a lot of cheap crap, which they do, but because the environment here is intrinsically hard on everything.
Vivien Denis and Molly 02-Apr-15 6-55-27 AM
Vivien, Denis, and Molly - Ready to Go
And life gets into a daily pattern that is very comfortable, kinda like that old pair of Levi’s you wore up north that were soft and beginning to become holy (not in the Biblical sense). It lulls you into a feeling of complacency and well being. A feeling that this is how life should be lived. But then as the time advances, your chain get jerked, just slightly, as your neighbors realize they’ve been thinking about work again. And that creeps into the conversation, along with bits and pieces of tales of some of the things I mentioned above.
Vivien and Molly On Board 02-Apr-15 6-56-57 AM
Vivien and Molly On Board
As the time becomes shorter, you sense their concentration is becoming more focused on the return, and things they have to do to prepare to make that journey. There’s work to be done on the house, that can’t easily slip for another day because their days are becoming more compressed, and the list of to-dos is not getting much shorter.

Once in a while, emails and FaceBook intrude from up north, people begin looking forward to your return, so you might be able to take a shift or two for them, or can they assign a new task to you, or what do you want to do about this problem (that you didn’t even know existed, but by their question, you realize it’s going to hit you right between the eyes as soon as you step off the plane).
Denis Riding Shotgun 02-Apr-15 6-57-27 AM
Denis Riding Shotgun
So, Snowbirds (if you didn’t realize it before, you are one) not only get hit with concerns and worry that they themselves generate here in anticipation of their pending departure, but friends, relatives, and work relationships also start intruding down here, well before your return. The stress begins to build.

And we, who stay here year-round become aware of the change in the cadence of the daily life. Not so much for us, as it pretty much stays the same, but for our friends who are destined to make the long treks back north.

It begins so subtly. Sometimes, you’re not even aware of it, till one day, it clicks in your brain, Oh, that’s why they mentioned thus and so. They’re beginning to think about heading back north.Here they are, about as stressed as you wanna be. Leaving the idillic life behind for the Great North.
And They're Off 02-Apr-15 6-58-11 AM
And, They're Off!
They’re off on their journey back north, till next November. Fair winds, folks. We’ll be here, waiting, keeping the pool warm and the Belikins cold.

COMMENTS - Posted here as part of the message because I can't figure out how to transfer comments from InMotion back to Blogger.

Very well said. Hit the nail on the head.
First blog post that made me cry


Hi Vivien,
I’m glad you liked the post. I didn’t mean to make you cry, but I’m glad it got an emotional response all the same.
It just ain’t the same with you guys gone.

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