One Year In Florida

ducks for blog

THE DUCKS THINK THIS BRIDGE WILL TAKE THEM ACROSS THE BORDER TO CANADA. 

As of Aug. 1, I’ve been a Florida resident for one full year! Driver’s license, car registration, voter registration, all accomplished within the first couple of months. Survived my first hurricane, too. Last week, I signed a lease renewal. Small rent increase, now will pay $699 a month. And my typical electric bill is around $46. Zero commuting time and distance.

Won’t try to write a full account of the year, but if I did, it wouldn’t be long. Compared with the first nine months of 2017, which included putting my financial house in order and removing myself from Maryland to Florida, the past 12 months have been a walk in the park.

I met the neighbors in the other three apartments on my floor. Three lone individuals, like me. I speak to one of them nearly every day. Big improvement over the $900 basement apartment in wealthy Montgomery County, where my neighbors were the storage room, the trash room, and the laundry room.

I soon discovered two excellent public libraries and one big bookstore with excellent discounts. And I tried a few churches. Like everyone else, I shop at Publix supermarket and Walmart. Four cheap restaurants are nearby. They meet my need for simple food and ambiance. But I eat in the apartment a lot. I know where to recycle newspapers and aluminum cans, but not plastic bottles.

Each apartment has its own air conditioner outside. My unit died in early July. No problem. Apartment management installed a window unit to tide me over two days while a new outside air conditioner was installed. It is powerful and efficient. Inside air temperature is NOT a problem, I can assure you! The outdoor temperature, humidity and rain in summer, that’s another story. Don’t even want to talk about it.

You have not seen lightning until you’ve lived in the Tampa Bay region.

Full disclosure requires me to report that I turned 70 in June. I’ve been aging at an alarming rate the past few years. Sleep too much. I accomplished the move to Florida on adrenaline fumes. Did it in the nick of time; not sure I’d be able to manage such a feat five years hence.

Truth is, I’m well on the way to becoming a cynical old man. Possibly I’ve already arrived. If a man isn’t cynical at this point, he just hasn’t been paying attention.

The move to Florida was necessary, and possibly life-saving. I escaped the nasty winter cold and the impoverishing Montgomery County cost of living. I haven’t had bronchitis since departing Maryland. Here on the Gulf Coast of Florida, I survive nicely and balance my budget. And that’s enough honesty for one blog post.

— John

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Snowzilla Blizzard Success: Car Dug Out, And No Heart Attack

It’s the simple pleasures!

It’s being grateful for the ordinary, everyday things we take for granted.

Such as living and breathing and your heart beating. Can’t get more ordinary than that. You’ve got to do it every day.My car 2My Honda Accord has been freed from the grip of Snowzilla. Took me two days  to accomplish. I consider it a grand success, anytime a male  over 60 digs a car out without a heart attack! And I do not brag. Some other folks were not so fortunate. There but for the grace of God go I. Heaven knows, it’s not because I’m so physically fit. Because, well, I’m not.

I’m delighted to report that here in Gaithersburg, MD, Snowzilla is in full retreat in above-freezing temperatures.

Thanks to all who shoveled, to all those who were prepared in advance with snowblowers, and thanks to the guys who drive those little mean, green machines.

— John Hayden

My Washing Machine

Well. This post explains nearly everything about our consumer economy. Plus nearly everything about the aggravation of daily life. It explains why buying more appliances doesn’t necessarily make daily life more simple. Appliances are just as likely to complicate life as to simplify it. The post would probably explain road rage, if it were possible to have road rage when operating or repairing a stackable washer and dryer. I’m usually tempted to throw it out rather than try to fix it. Thank you to Almost Iowa.

Almost Iowa

Machovka-Washing-machine-3Our washer quit again.

The little guy has his happy days and his sad days but too many of his days are spent sulking and refusing to work.

I wish I understood his moods better.

For much of this, I blame my wife (a common enough reflex for me) because she likes to fiddle with the settings.

After she has dialed the temperature to cold and the cycle to delicates, I come along with a dozen grease stained jeans and a pile of sweatshirts that smell more like my dog than my dog does – and when I push the START button, the washer gags and shrieks – then in a huff worthy of a petulant teenager, it quits and refuses to start again.

Normally when this happens, I simply unplug it.

In the world of appliances therapy, pulling the plug is the equivalent of electroshock.  It erasers the memory and reboots the attitude of wayward gadgets- but like any treatment, it has its…

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Good Intentions . . . In A Tiny Apartment

small kitchen sink piled with dirty dishes

I promised myself I wasn’t going to let this happen in the new apartment. Famous last words.

On the positive side, the sink is small — you might even say tiny, as kitchen sinks go — so it limits the number of dirty dishes that can pile up. Plus, I left most of the dishes at the old apartment. How many dishes does one bachelor need? Continue reading

Sue Dreamwalker is on a roll. Every one of her recent posts has been an inspiration to look at our lives and change. Simplicity, food, environmental awareness. — John

Dreamwalker's Sanctuary

The Planet is in our Hands

 

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Sustainable Living, All It Takes Is Work

Video

Couldn’t resist posting one more video. A most energetic and inspiring older couple. I guess local food and organic food is possible. All you need is dirt and work.