Saturday, November 11, 2017


It is peculiar how one becomes fixed upon an idea then transitions to a complete reversal.  That's sort of what we're now doing. I won't say that the realization (if I may dignify the change of heart as such) has been precipitous but there has certainly been an evolution towards its fruition.  After encountering repeated small obstacles to our usual agenda to settle upon a six-month southern rental for the upcoming year, we've suddenly awoken to the possibility that we needn't tie ourselves up in one place for any length of time. I accept this is an observation too patent for words! In defence we haven't any more than three years' experience in this nomadic vernacular and seemingly we have unwittingly become rooted in the routine parameter. There is something to be said for the stability of one place for six months, not having to pick up and move, learning where local merchants, suppliers, service providers and professionals are located, that sort of conditioning. On the other hand we've also discovered that it doesn't take long to habituate to almost any scene and feel comfortable.

The impetus to this alternative thinking is that we may have found a suitable place in Florida for 3½ months next year (our current landlord - if he deigns to advise us one way or the other - may wish to retire in the coming year and reside here instead of West Virginia). Although we certainly haven't exhausted all six-month rental possibilities in this area (only this morning for example an agent called to make an offer) the recent deliberations have prompted us to consider being wayfarers instead. We have acknowledged the allure of broader travel to California for example through Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada. The distance is approximately 2,500 miles which we figure could be leisurely accomplished in 7 days (about 350 miles per day).  If we linger along the way - because of fatigue, interest or the weather - the entire trip there and back might easily consume four weeks which puts quite a dent in the remainder of our hibernation. Likely this "Rite of Passage" to make the Great American Road Trip would never be repeated so that alone lends strength to indulging the time and expense in doing so. Balancing this knockabout enthusiasm is the ticklish reminder that living out of a suitcase has its disadvantages, not to mention having to eat almost every meal "out".  Having said that, we've practically reduced our eating to one main meal a day (aside from fruit and coffee for breakfast); our apparel is simple and repetitious; there are many residential-type hotels which offer laundry facilities;  and our computers, iPads and iPhones are portable (even our mini-sound systems are tiny and portable).  I expect we'd feed our appetite for regular exercise by swimming in pools along the way as we skirt the Gulf coast though normally one can rent bicycles at hotels as well. In the meantime - perhaps as early as December this year when we venture to Longboat Key - we could see about arranging another 2-month tenancy to close the circle. We're considering Jupiter Beach for example as we especially like the Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa where we have stayed on the beach several times.

In any event there are inevitably compromises for any decision one makes. It is fortuitous that neither of us has a hankering for more exotic travel to another continent. We've thus avoided that potential schism. And I am only too happy to cultivate my unvarying passion for driving an automobile!  Thankfully I don't feel the urge or necessity to buy something like a Ferrari to make the expedition. What more than anything placates us in this quandary is that we've repossessed our independence from others. My days of wringing my hands waiting to hear from others about what if anything they intend to do are long past. It is elemental to our general scheme of downsizing and mobility to preserve autarky.  While we do not disrespect the private absorptions of others, we have no intention of being subservient to them.

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