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Fear of Florida Fortified


English: A Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Win...

English: A Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Winter Springs, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Florida is a lovely state boasting a laid back lifestyle, year round guarantee of no snow, no heavy coat, no heat costs.  If you like warm weather and a longer growing season its the place to be.

That being said, I am not a fan of Florida or any other state that is not New York.  If you give me ten good reasons why Florida is great I will counter with twenty why New York has it beat.

As the years have advanced many friends and neighbors made their way to that southern oasis.  Some like it very much, quite a few wish they were still up North.  I have never had a desire to pull up stakes for any permanent move to the sunshine state.  A visit perhaps, but never anything more than two weeks.  It is almost a fear, a relinquishing of who and what I am, to change my lifestyle so drastically.

Recently, I read an editorial in the NYPD Retired Transit Police Magazine which justified my fears.  Following is a reprint.  Read it, enjoy it, and take heed.

Retired in Florida

Fifteen years ago my wife and I moved into a retirement development on Florida’s southeast coast.  We are living in the Delray/Boca/Boynton Golf, Spa, Bath and Tennis Club on Lake Fake-a-Ache.  There are 3000 Lakes in Florida, only three are real.  Our biggest retirement concern was time management.  What were we going  to do all day?  Let me assure you, passing the time is not a problem.  Your days will be eaten up by simple daily activities.  Just getting out of your car takes 15 minutes.  Trying to find where you parked takes 20 minutes.  It takes 1/2 hour on the checkout line in Wal-Mart and 1 hour to return the item the next day.

Let me take you through a typical day.  We get up at 5:00 AM, have a quick breakfast and join the early morning Walk and Talk club.  There are about 30 of us, and rain or shine we walk around the streets, all talking at once.  Every development has some late risers who stay in bed until 6 AM.  After a nimble walk avoiding irate drivers out to make us road kill, we go back home, shower and change for the next activity.  My wife goes directly to the pool for her under water Pilate’s class, followed by gasping for breath and CPR.  I put on my “Ask me about my Grandchildren” T-shirt, my plaid mid-calf shorts, my black socks and sandals and go to the club house lobby for a nice nap.

Before you know it, its time for lunch.  We go to Costco to partake of the many tasty samples dispensed by ladies in white hair nets.  All free!  After a filling lunch, if we don’t have any doctor appointments,, we might go to the flea market to see if any new white belts have come in or buy a Rolex watch for $2.00.  We’re usually back home by 2 PM to get ready for dinner.  People start lining up for the early bird about 3 PM, but we get there by 3:45 because we’re late eaters.  The dinners are very popular because of the large portions they serve.  You can take home enough food for the next day’s lunch and dinner, including extra bread, crackers, packets of mustard, relish, ketchup and Sweet and Low along with mints.

At 5:30 we’re home ready to watch the 6 o’clock news.  By 6:30 we’re fast asleep.  Then we get up and make 5 or 6 trips to the bathroom during the night and it’s time to get up and start a new day all over again.

Doctor related activities eat up most of your retirement time.  I enjoy reading old magazines in sub-zero temperatures in the waiting room, so I don’t mind.  Calling for test results also helps the days fly by.  It takes at least half an hour just getting through the doctor’s phone menu.  Then there’s the hold time until you’re connected to the right party.  Sometimes they forget you’re holding, and the whole office goes off to lunch.

Should you find you still have time on your hands, volunteering provides a rewarding opportunity to the less fortunate.  Florida has the largest concentration of seniors under five feet and they need our help.  I myself am a volunteer for the “Vertically Challenged over 80”.  I coach their basketball team, “The Arthritic Avengers”.  The hoop is only 4 1/2 feet from the floor.  You should see the look of confidence on their faces when they make a slam dunk.

Food shopping is a problem for short seniors or “bottom feeders” as we call them because they can’t reach the items on the upper shelves.  There are many foods they’ve never tasted.  After shopping, most seniors can’t remember where they parked their cars and wander the parking lot for hours while their food defrost.

Lastly, its important to choose a development with an impressive name.  Italian names are very popular in Florida.  They convey world traveler, uppity sophistication and wealth.  Where would you rather live?  Murray’s Condos or the Lakes of Venice?  There is no difference.  They’re both owned by Murray who happens to be a cheap bastard.

I hope this material has been of help to you future retirees.  If I can be of any further assistance, please look me up when you’re in Florida.  I live in The Leaning Condos of Pisa in Boynton Beach.

Author Unknown

REPRINTED FROM RETIRED TRANSIT POLICE OFFICER’S ASSOCIATION

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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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An Unmade Bed


Hurricane Sandy Redecoration

Hurricane Sandy Redecoration (Photo credit: dakine kane)

The term ‘An Unmade Bed’  can mean so many things.  It can refer to a state of mind, the inside of a purse, one’s appearance, the condition of a room or house, a real bed on which the blankets and sheets have not been smoothed, and the pillows not in the proper place at the head of the mattress.  An ‘unmade bed’ is something and someone in disarray.  We are rarely completely at ease in the presence of that ‘unmade bad’.  Its doable though.  We lie down, burrow in the coziness of the familiar and drift off thinking we will fix it tomorrow.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy my beloved New York and her sister states, New Jersey, and Connecticut, have been left much like an unmade bed.  This is not a bed that despite the rumpled sheets you can still straighten it out a minimal amount, lie down, rest your body and mind; still get a good nights sleep.  No, this disorder does not allow one to rest.  It settles in your heart and brands you with sadness.  Nothing can be left until tomorrow.

We prepared for this hurricane, having been giving much warning by the meteorologists on television, radio, and internet.  Many of us didn’t take it as seriously as we should have.  Afterall this is not New Orleans, Mississippi, or even Florida.  We don’t have life changing storms here.  Yes, we did have Irene, but in week to ten days time life went back to normal for all but a few.

New Yorkers and Jerseyans don’t ask for help, we give help to those towns and neighborhoods that flood, burn, or experience tornadoes.   Our national guard, redcross and volunteers go to places like Haiti to assist them with their tragedies and on and on.  Benefit concerts are not staged for us.  This time we are on the wrong side of the giving and receiving.

After we grieve and mourn the lives lost, the pets wrenched from us.  After we get angry and rail against the fate that brought mother nature’s unrelenting power down upon our ears.  After we shed those tears and view the devastation of Manhattan, Staten Island, Long Island and the Jersey Shore.  After all that, we open our arms and hearts to those, our neighbors, for we are all family.  Whether we live near or far.

Many of us were blessed with little or no damage.  However, for so many, too many, their lives will never be the same.  We will all come together.  Do what we are able, whether that is to donate clothing, time, food, money, opening your home, or praying.

Together we will take the four corners of the sheet and remake this unmade bed so that it is even more beautiful and comfortable than before.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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