Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Who's saving who?

My dad retired to Florida. It made sense at the time as mom had medical conditions that cold temperatures made worse. She had five good years down there before she passed. Never came back north again as travel became too difficult for her.

Dad loves it where he's living. It's one of those double wide trailers in a fairly nice park. Living is easy. Not too much stuff to take care of. He's got friends. Dad's adjusted to the climate. In fact, he hates it when it's too cool to wear short pants. He never wore short pants in NH.

So we talked on the phone Tuesday. He's coming up to spend the month of August with my wife and I. We are really looking forward to it. Always enjoyed dad's company.

I'm watching the situation in the Gulf. Florida beaches have been hit by oil, not too near where dad lives . . . yet. A worse than normal hurricane season is predicted. In 2005 he lost part of his trailer's roof to a hurricane. After that, insurance rates went so high that he canceled all insurance on his property.

That's the background. I'm thinking he's living in a precarious situation. Toxic fumes from the Gulf, (he's not that far from the water) or one bad storm could make the place untenable. Unemployment is terrible in his county. Crime has gone up. He bought a new more powerful handgun last year. I've made it clear that he's welcome to stay at my house as long as he'd like.

Talking to him on the phone, he invited my wife and I to move in with him. As he sees it we could live really cheap down there, have few responsibilities and then have money to travel. Sure, I could sell my house in NH and have money to play with. Wouldn't have to live so close to the bone. Dad pointed out that I'm not getting any younger. Sheesh, I'm only 52. He thinks life is too hard here in NH. Winter can be tough. Moving to Florida looks good on the surface.

However, that's assuming that tomorrow will always be like yesterday. As we see what's going on the Gulf right now, those days are over. Not everyone's gotten the memo yet, but tomorrow will be different than today.

I like living in the middle of nowhere. Most of my family is in New England. Most of my relatives and many of my friends live within 25 miles. I could walk to see them if I had to. I've got some land, good water (free flowing spring), alternate energy, some garden space, some trees, and a house I can afford.

As I see it, my home is my refuge. It feels good to have mountains at my back. I really hope Florida keeps working out for dad. If it doesn't, we've got a room for him here. He'd have to get some long pants though.


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