Last week at about this time, I was packing for a three-day excursion to see a good friend in Florida. On Monday morning in a driving rain, my brother saw me off at the airport for three sun-filled days in the sunshine state. Boy was I ready to go!
In October, one of my dearest friends and her husband decided to make a move back to their Orlando condominium they purchased twenty years ago, and as you might imagine, a lot of things have changed. Needless to say, they weren’t ready for the extreme growth of the area. The two-lane roads have morphed themselves into five lanes. Towns have sprawled, and the theme parks have doubled in size. Because of so many more residents and an abundance of tourists, you witness very creative lane changes on the highways which keep even good drivers on their toes.
All of this change for a person in her sixties has been rough on my friend. After I arrived, she told me my visit was as much for her mental health as mine, but like all solid relationships we picked up where we left off and enjoyed being together. She had a lovely bedroom for me to stay in and pampered me like a queen. I got the rest I needed, and she had a buddy to laugh with.
As the days progressed, I got my quota of sun, sand, and tropical foliage, and was ready to go home when Friday rolled around. It was nice not to have the responsibility of a caregiver for a few days, but I missed Ken and Ernie a lot and knew it was time for me to go home. It was comforting to Ken was fine at home with the help I arranged, so the next time I need a few days away, I can go without being alarmed about his welfare.
It’s also good to realize my dream of having a palm tree grow in my front yard is just that–a dream. The ninety degree weather was too hot for me, and my poor northern skin rebelled even with a sunscreen of 70! My true happiness is right at my front door, and I’m not seeking anything else at this point in my life.
I can travel to see the wonderful places this world offers, but I choose to be where I am. There’s no way to replicate my friends and family who make me who I am, and I would never want to be the same place where Kay is right now, starting a new life in her sixties.
Eventually she will make friends in her new space, but forming new reciprocal relationships takes years. I hope she’s up to the challenge.