Saturday, March 25, 2006
Since the time is drawing near for my return to Massachusetts I have been thinking about the different experiences I have had over the years here in Florida.

As soon as my husband retired we became snow birds. I could write a book about that first season, some bad experiences and some good. Right now I'll just tell you about some of the good things that happened.

We were very fortunate to meet a very nice couple who in turn introduced us to their friends. It's not easy to come into a new place and find people who have the same interests and include you into their established group. We kibbitzed by the pool, went to dances, played cards, went to dinners and shows with a great group of people.

Aaron and I took all kinds of classes at the clubhouse, you name it we did it. Aaron even took Flower Arranging and Mah Jongg one year. As a matter of fact when I needed a Mah Jongg player he introduced me to a lady that filled in for us.

Then there was the year we had to cut our time in Florida short, Aaron's sister took ill and since she was a single lady we had to be with her.

Then there was the year that Aaron needed emergency surgery while we were wintering in Florida. He had the surgery in December and it took the whole season for him to feel like his old self. That was the time that I started to drive in Florida, up until them he did all the driving. When you have to, you do it.

A few years after that my best friend and help-mate passed away. Six months later my sister-in-law passed away. I stayed up north that winter. When the time came to decide about going south by myself, gave it a great deal of thought and many sleepless nights, decided to go. If it did not work out I could always leave and go bach up north.

Being in Florida by myself for the first time was not easy. Those of you who are widows or widowers know that when you are a single person you are usually not included. I had to find other people who were in a similar situation. It took me a few years to find people that I could relate to. I started to build friendships

Then there was the winter that I needed surgery! What to do, go back to Boston in the freezing cold weather or have the surgery in Florida? Fortunalty I had a doctor that I had confidence in, he recommend a surgeon. I went ahead with the surgery and my recoverery went smoothly.

By this time I had made many friends and had a great deal of support. Steve and Carol came down and gave me lots of physical and moral support. And it wasn't bad sitting out on the patio suning myself. That winter Boston had huge snowstorms and it was bitter cold. I made the right choice!!

These past winters have been good but I've slowed down, I have to be selective how I spend my time, it takes me longer to do things, grocery shopping is a chore, I choose not to go to the mall because there is too much walking, haven't even gone to the most popular flea market, it's just too big.

When my husband was alive we did a lot of sightseeing, he aways found some interesting places to go. I still drive, but limit myself to places that are nearby. Some of my friends never drove, some do not like to drive in Florida, and some do not drive at night!

I'm sitting here trying to figure out why I remember so much so vividly about the times I have spent in Florida, after all it's only four months out of the year. Maybe it's because I have not moved many times in my life. I was born in Chelsea, Mass, lived there until I got married, lived in a house for forty years and now live in a condo for the past nine years.

Maybe it's because I have the opportunity to live a different lifestyle, meet new people and have experiences that I would never have had. Whatever the reason, I am glad that I have had the opportunity to experience these different seasons.

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