Confesson: I've always thought that I would like to be one of those retirees who moves to Florida for the winter. I just love the sun, the ocean, and the quart of sun screen I put on with a paint roller to maintain my day-glo complexion. The last time we were in Punta Gorda and traipsing around Sanibel Island, the thought nagged at me: I should live here. Housing seemed like it would be a no-brainer; plenty of "for sale" signs. Maybe too many...but no matter! Florida might work for me.
But then, I flip. I start dwelling on the negative aspects...
Florida sure has the bugs. Not to say that we don't have bugs in my home state. In fact, I have weird ones that I can't identify right in my yard. But the last time I was in Florida it really seemed to have cornered the market on tiny, annoying gnat-like bugs. And there were fire ants; take one guess at how I know about fire ants? Sandals doubling as ant condos, that's how. Yoweee! What a unique form of pain; fire ants are aptly named.
And what about those sinkholes? What is going on down there, Florida (if you email me a geological explanation of a sinkhole, I will scream, just so you know)? My point is that it seems like they appear in clusters and I can easily imagine hauling my old carcass to Florida, investing in my dream real estate (at a rock bottom price), and discovering the whole kit and kaboodle is at the bottom of sinkhole. Visualize Hubzam and I peering down into said sinkhole, glazed over, waiting to see which one of us falls in on top of our retirement kaboodle and twisted lawn ornamentation. I'd have at least one plastic flamingo in that hole.
The Wile E. Coyote Insurance Company would then inform me that my particular kind of retirement-dream-killing sinkhole-sucking-real-estate-damage was not covered under any circumstances. Bet on it.
Next, let's talk about 'gators. No, not the sports teams. I'm talking about the feral reptilian pre-handbag critters that roam the glades...and golf courses. The giant lawn-o-saurs that would gladly eat my poodle or chomp a cat. I ask you: where does that fit in to my retirement? The thought of it would put me on creep factor disability, and I don't want to roll like that.
Dream squashed; I have to retire just a little farther north.
Last week, the news reported that a thousand pound alligator was caught in the Alabama River. Forget about fire ants, these giant lizards are coming North to meet me. Somehow, they got wind of my aversion to their pesky ways.
If I'm left with nowhere to retire but north of the Mason-Dixon, I'll just keep working.