Wow! Life is a trip.
I am feeling younger and stronger.
How? You may ask.
I took my trike to the shop in Inverness.
I was slowing down and I thought it was me. My bike buddies were trying to talk me into getting an electric motor for my trike. I resisted.
I wanted an annual check up and lube job on my trike before I left on my travels north.
I left the trike there for them to work on. Shortly after, the mechanic called me. It turns out that my trike chain was a mess.
There is a little guide wheel under the seat of my trike. There is a little bar that keeps the chain from jumping off the wheel when I shift or hit a bump.
Some how the chain had gotten on the wrong side of that guide bar. The mechanic said that the chain had sawed half way through that bar, the sawing had ruined the chain and my back cog and more.
It took a few days for them to get all the parts and fix it. Boy, did it ride nice when I got it back!
Now when I ride with the group, I can keep up. It isn't a big struggle to ride.
In fact, on Easter Sunday I rode to Brooksville, via the Withlacoochee Trail and the Good Neighbor Trail, by myself. It must be 54 miles round trip. And it felt like nothing, no pain, no panting, no struggle. In fact when I got a text from Cindy saying she just saw me bike by her house I turned around to go back and chat with her adding a mile onto my trip. There was no way I would have done that when I was struggling to ride.
I am celebrating the life renewing effects of a smooth running bicycle.
When I wrote you last I announced I had a buyer for my home and I would be moving out.
You may or may not be curious about all that. But before I get to that, I feel bad about not telling you about two significant things that occurred earlier this season.
Two VERY important things.
Two Important Items
January Family Time!
My nephew Tom and his wife Sarah contacted me to let me know they were going to be in Tampa for a few days. They invited me to meet up. This is really significant. It isn't like we were super close when they were growing up. But now that they are grown, every time I see them we have a fun time. I was sooo honored to be invited and included in their visit to Florida. I know how it is when you are working and you only get a week or maybe two to enjoy being away. So I felt really lucky to be a part of their time off from work.
It turned out I would spend two days with them. One when they traveled up to Crystal River near me to see the Manatee and me, yes visiting me!. Then I drove to Tampa one day when my other nephew, Jack and his husband Mike were going to be there too. Jack and Mike only live less than two hours from me, but we usually see each other elsewhere. Because life is happening when we are home. You know, work and play and busy-ness. It is always a delight to be with the four of them.
Thank you for welcoming me, Tom and Sarah, Jack and Michael.
Only, the week they were here at the end of January, 2022, was blasted windy and COLD. In fact it was the time when it got down to 29 degrees and stayed there for a few hours at night. What a bummer for them. They had wanted to spend the day at the beach and outdoors, but we ended up taking a trolly around until the sun was almost down, then got off the trolly at the beach and watched the sunset while jumping around trying to keep warm.
We ended up having dinner at 9 pm. My energizer bunny was low on power, so instead of driving back over an hour to my Weeroll, I called around and found a motel room. It worked out well for me because I spent that very cold night in a comfortable, warm motel room in Tampa.
Introducing Serenity Sam
The second fun thing I wanted to tell you about was my introduction to my travel companion. Yes, I met a guy and he is going to be traveling with me.
While I was approaching the mailboxes in Windermere on my trike I stopped to chat with Peggy and Ron who live nearby. Peggy handed me a golden monkey. He is about six to eight inches tall, painted gold, and sitting in the lotus position. Peggy said she had been given several and didn't have places for them all.
I immediately thought that I would give it to my friends Keith and Jean. They have a golden frog sitting in a lotus position on their patio. But when I took it there, I couldn't let it go. What if I took Serenity Sam with me? He could silently sit in the seat next to me like George did during the last years of his life.
What if when something goes wrong I can take a picture of Serenity Sam reminding me to keep calm? He could be like the Flat Sam that school children send around the world teaching them geography and history.
I think he might be the ideal man for me. He will be a great travel companion.
A Nomad Needs A Legal Address
I closed on my house on Thursday, April 14, 2022. There are lots of stories to tell about the journey from signed contract to closing. And I will get to some of them here later. But first let's talk about my new address.
A big part of any move is changing your address. But if you are going to be house-less, you have to make arrangements to have a place as the address for your driver's license and for voting.
You can't be homeless and have a driver's license and vote. You have to have a legal address. I could use an address of a friend in Florida, but then if they aren't there and something is accidentally delivered there...
I am now getting my mail at my new address in Green Cove Springs. St. Brendan's Isle is a mail service. They cater to people who live on their boats.
For the mail, I had to notify insurances and utilities of my new address, and give the Post Office my forwarding address. St. Brendan's Isle (SBI) provides a "Domicile Declaration" form and guides their clients through how to fill it out. This is provided to them and they get a copy to the Post Office (I guess).
I get an email each day from St. Brendan's Isle telling me how many pieces of mail I received that day. I go up on-line and I can see a picture of the envelope and I can direct the mail service to: Hold, Toss, Forward or Scan.
It is taking a little getting used to, but I am liking it. Of course one of the first pieces of mail was the US Post Office confirming my address change. They have my new address a bit wrong. I have added to my to-do list is to get that corrected.
I haven't visited the DMV yet. Green Cove Springs is a small town SW of Jacksonville, FL. When I leave Inverness, (April 24, 2022, that is just a week away!) my first stop is a campground not far from Green Cove Springs. I will visit their DMV and register to vote. Maybe I will take Serenity Sam to the marina there which is the address that will be on my driver's license.
I will be allowed to vote in the State and Federal elections, but the county and city elections I won't be allowed to vote because I don't live there.
The mail house has all the information I needed to guide me through this transition and the few times I have called them with questions, they have been very polite and helpful.
Some people have asked me why I have my address so far from where I will be spending my time. (In and around Inverness in the winters). I said because another full-time RV woman told me about this service and the website made the step by step process clear and simple. Besides, there is no mail service like that here in Citrus County that I know about.
One Person and Two Tons of Stuff
I had cleared and purged stuff before I rented my home to Frankie and Dennis this winter. So when they left on April 2nd and I went in to start packing and moving boxes to storage, I was so surprised at how much stuff I still have!
Such spoiled Americans, we have no idea how much stuff we accumulate, and still we want more.
I am often reminded of reading someone's will from the early 1900's or the late 1800's.
Or, something like that.
We bought our table and chairs in the 70's a couple years after we got married. In 2008 we had it painted for our new life in sunny Florida. We had family dinners, played games, and hosted dinner parties with friends at this table. We held meetings at this table.
When George's business, Rentapen, started cutting metal shims as one of its first manufactured products, we spent hours sanding the burs off of the shims, counting them, and putting them into little bags at this table.