On or about July 13th we will be leaving Florida and relocating to Maine. I wrote about this transition in my last blog. Since that blog, more boxes have been packed, decisions as what to keep or toss made and we’ve had workmen in the Maine house seeing to upgrades and repairs.
The process has been exhausting. Writing has been nonexistent even though I’m in the editing phase, which uses far different muscles than putting words on the page. Every spare minute has been devoted to the exodus. The end result is we are about 99% finished with everything we can do for ourselves. There are still the little surprises of forgotten items, but the worst is over. Or is it?
This is the second time we have left Florida behind. In many ways, I grew up here. The state has been a part of my life since 1957. Holidays and most summers meant visiting cousins who lived in Miami. In 1970 I attended the University of Miami and graduated in 1974. After a brief foray to Virginia and New Jersey, I moved here full-time in 1979. When we left in 2005, we wondered if we would ever return.
The longing to maintain a connection to Florida led me to set my books there. Both of my existing series are set in Miami and/or the Keys. My newest series is set in the Keys. I know that there will be visits, and research trips, but the desire to live here again full-time – that ship has sailed.
The excitement of the move is bittersweet. I’m making a conscious effort to catalogue a few of my favorite things. The graceful sway of a palm tree in the breeze. The way the sky turns angry before a thunderstorm. The endless color of winter blossoms. The rabbit that has visited us every spring since we moved in. I’m sure it’s not the same rabbit, but I would like to believe it’s a descendant of that first bunny who showed up on Easter Sunday. The gopher tortoises who can move with amazing speed when startled. The frog that appears in our tiki hut at odd times. The blazing sunrises and the cotton candy pink clouds at sunset.
Each of these items speaks to me of the Florida I am leaving behind. I’ll hold them in my heart on the trip to Maine and during the long nights of winter. But I know it’s time, and I’m looking forward to new adventures in an entirely new landscape.
Have you balanced the ebb and flow of a much desired move? Would you go back?