It is 40 degrees out this morning. Too cold for this Florida gal to ride into town to attend my neighborhood fitness and yoga class. I miss it.
But I also need to stay away because I was with friends on Saturday, February 5th, and they came down with cold symptoms a day or two later. They ended up testing positive for COVID19.
Yesterday I donned my N95 mask and went to Walgreens and bought myself a COVID test kit and stocked up on comfort food thinking I might be isolated for a while. Though the government is giving out COVID tests, I have yet to order mine. So I paid over $20 for a test packet.
When my siblings and I were young and had a day home from school sick with chicken pox or some fever, we would often get to drink 7-up and get treated with M&M's. I still turn to food for comfort when I am not feeling well (unless it is stomach upset). Yesterday I anticipated not feeling well.
This time, though, after reading the label on the ice cream and the 7-up, I returned them to the shelf and opted for almonds dusted in chocolate and peanut butter sweetened with a little bit of maple syrup... and Cheetos cheese puffs. Ha ha.
Back at camp I took the test. A clear negative. The instructions tell me to take the test again in 24 to 36 hours. In the meantime I am being more diligent about my mask and distancing. But the gym is calling to me! I do have some N95 masks which are what is used by healthcare workers when treating COVID19 patients.
Some of you will be horrified that I would go out at all, others of you will say I am being more cautious than you would be in the same situation.
The good news in all this is that my friends were vaccinated and boosted, reducing their symptoms. And they probably got the Omnicron variant which is sweeping the Nation (world?). This varient is milder but so much more contagious than the previous variants of the virus.
Besides feeling lousy for a couple days, they will be fine. And I am grateful for that. I don't want to lose them or have them living with long-COVID symptoms.
The Housing Experiment
This experiment of living in Lilac is teaching me some things. It has been a huge success.
One thing I learned is that I love living in Windermere. I love our clubhouse exercise classes. I love being able to walk out the door onto quiet streets and walk for miles. I love the people I run-into on the streets and the friends that live there. I love being able to walk down to the bridge between two lakes and watch the sun rise and the sun set. I love being able to plant things in the dirt... my own plot of land.
What I don't like is too much space. I don't like too much stuff to store, maintain, etc. I don't like the expensive insurance, and the worry during hurricane season. I hate it when something goes wrong with the house and I don't know who to call to come fix it. I was thinking those items would be knocked out of my life by living on wheels.
But I now realize that would be traded for the constant need to plan where I will park, the costs of parking. The RV life used to be that you drive until your are tired and then look for a place to camp, or you make a reservation two or three days before you arrive somewhere. But now you need to plan months in advance. As I look to make reservations in state parks for May, some of the parks are already fully booked. Some places in Florida they are booked 11 months in advance, as soon as they open up for reservations.
I didn't want to sell my big house and move to a smaller villa in Windermere because the price difference isn't much and probably won't cover the costs associated with moving and the agony of downsizing. But when I think of living the next 10-15 years in a place, a smaller home feels right. I realize now it isn't all about the money.
Another factor I was stressing over was that my current home has a discount on property taxes because it is homesteaded. I was afraid I would lose the discount and have to start over at the prices of houses now... and that is the case a bit. But I do get to keep a portion of the homestead exemption if I buy into a Villa within three years.
I started spreading the word I am looking for a villa which is only one story and has two bedrooms vs four bedrooms and two stories. But first I should sell my home and maybe float for a while in between homes. That will give me that experience. I like that idea.
Book Progress or Not
I think, ok, all this time in my little Weeroll, I will get back to working on Book III. But it hasn't happened yet. I feel the stirrings, but mostly they are ignored.
But the motivation is building each time I hear from someone that they enjoyed or are enjoying one of my books.
Linda is a woman in Oasis RV where I am parked. When she inquired about my books, I gifted her the first book, Alzheimer's Trippin' with George.
There are several residents that gather in a circle in her front yard each afternoon. When I joined them one day Linda told me she had finished the book.
"You were probably as glad it was over as we were to get home after that long trip," I said.
"No!" She exclaimed, "I want to know what happened next!"
Wow, that made my heart sing. I told her she could learn all about it in the second book, The Journey Continues, Alzheimer's Trippin' with George.
Then I thought of the people like her that have read the second book and still want to know what happened next. The next book... a work in progress, a life in progress.
Linda passed on her book to Carol. Carol told me yesterday that she is enjoying the book and has had a few good laughs. My ego is boosted.
The city of Inverness arranges free music in the park on Wednesdays. I was there with some friends and saw some neighbors. One neighbor told me they had gifted my book to a friend who was in the same position I was, caring for a spouse with dementia. She told me that the woman has told her the book is helping her a lot in dealing with situations.
Oh wow, to help caregivers and family members understand, be more patient, find strength; to hear that the books are doing that, well gosh, it is amazing. Thanks for telling me that.
The notes for book III are under my bed, starting to call to me again. We'll see.
For now, though, the temperature is above 50 degrees, the sun is shining, and my trike is out and ready to ride.