And that will have to suffice to launch into this list of surprises.
1. I live in an over-55 manufactured home community. That's a fancy way to say trailer park, I guess. (Thank goodness my mother will never know. She would be horrified.) This was very much a practical move: Kayak Guy's parents retired here many years ago. When I met him, his father lived here; my lease was up soon after his father passed away in 2014, so I moved in. The following year, as we whittled our stuff down from His, Mine, and Dad's into a single Ours household, it made sense to consolidate here rather than adding a 4th household into the mix. We said we'd give it 2 years and see if we liked it here enough to stay.
We're still not 100% sure we'll be here forever. We still feel the alluring call of northern climes, and of life with acreage, and of waterfront property. Time will tell if we have another household on the horizon.
2. There's a lot to like here. I like living in a reasonably sized house that gives us quite a bit of privacy in the back, so we can sit on the porch in our bathrobes and enjoy a nice view onto an undeveloped 5 acre lot. I like that it's difficult to tell these aren't traditional houses. I like the many trees and the birds and critters that pass through the yard, to which we are adding more Florida native plants. I like the relative peace and quiet, balanced with the minor bustle of our historic little town that has a vibrant main street, a college campus, 3 engaging independent bookstores, a baseball team, a locally oriented business community, and a CSA farm. (That's our old courthouse, still used for government offices, in the top picture, and the view overhead in the back yard in the one below.) I like being close to the beach, to our friends, and to good places for our favorite outdoor pursuits. I like having a pool and a hot tub that someone else maintains, and a ready set of pickleball partners for Kayak Guy.
That said, there's a little too much bingo going on around here, if you know what I mean. Many of our neighbors are 20 years older than we are, and less active. And the self-segregation weighs on me once in a while.
2. There are 4 cats in this household. I'm not sure how that happened.
3. I have cognitive dissonance. I love baseball even though I do not love pesticides, fertilizer, and over-watering. And that's only one example of the complexity my brain works with every day.
4. I don't believe in acupuncture, but it works. Thank goodness I discovered our wonderful local community acupuncture clinic, where for $20 I can receive a treatment that makes my migraine go away. Instead of 3 days of agony, I get 60 minutes of resting in a darkened room with a few ultra-delicate needles inserted in key points, and voila. Despite my Western skepticism, all better now.