Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Day in the Life: Snowbirding


Welcome to the second annual A Day in the Life event hosted by Trish at Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity. I didn't participate last year because I thought my day would be too boring and even though my life still isn't terribly exciting, I've decided to play along this year.

As most of you know, we have been in Florida since January trying out the snowbird lifestyle... and trying to make some decisions about whether/when/where retirement fits into our plan. My siblings often ask what we do all day down here and, in fact, I often wonder myself. Time seems to pass so quickly and we're often amazed to find the days over so soon.

This post chronicles Friday, March 18, which turned out to be an atypical day. Though I suppose we're still trying to work out what exactly constitutes a typical day.


6:45 AM || Just before dawn... throw on shorts and a t-shirt, turn on the coffee, and take Zelda out for a quick walk

7:00AM || Back home. Feed the dog, pour my coffee, head out to the lanai with my laptop to check email, news, etc.
- The house is still quiet. Everyone is sleeping in today... my husband, the twins, and Twin A's boyfriend.
- Another cup of coffee, read and comment on blogs, listen to the birds, enjoy the tropical breeze..
- Wash two loads of laundry
- Need to head out for a walk before it gets too hot


9:10 AM || Walk on the beach - 4 miles today. Sometimes my husband or daughter will go with me, but I'm alone today and listening to Be Frank With Me. Such a good book!

10:20 AM ||  Back home for breakfast - yogurt with grape nuts.
- I'll read a few blogs while I eat, then hop in the shower.
- Slight delay... discussion of "life issues" and upcoming NYC living situation with Twin A. Parenting isn't as physically demanding these days (no more college move-ins), but the emotional/mental aspect can be every bit as exhausting.

11:15 AM || Shower... at last!

11:50 AM ||  I'm finally ready to go, BUT hubby gets a call from the office.
This might take a while...
{At this point, we're running so late that I wonder about just staying home to watch March Madness - SU vs Dayton}

12:20 PM || Now we're really leaving...


12:30 PM || Arrive at the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village... beautifully preserved, it documents the history of old Sanibel "from the Calusa and Spanish eras to the early pioneer families who settled on the island in the 1800s." Very well done.

On to the marina and Gramma Dot's for lunch. Ugh... a long wait! We'll try The Lazy Flamingo, an old favorite, instead. They have the best peel-and-eat shrimp on the island!

2:05 PM ||  Here we are at the Flamingo and guess what?  I can follow the final 5 minutes of the Syracuse game on their patio TV. What luck!!  Since it's Friday and  March Madness, we order a pitcher of beer to go with our shrimp and watch the rest of the game. SU wins over #7 seed, Dayton. Here we come round 2!


The pitcher of beer (and our earlier discussion with Twin A) leads to us ponder life's big questions over lunch - when to retire, where to live, etc... No final decision, but we seem to be getting closer to an agreement.

4:00 PM ||  Home again. Received an email that I was approved for a review copy of Anna Quindlen's new novel, Miller's Valley. This is turning out to be a good day! I post a photo on Litsy, but today is boycott Instagram day.


4:20 PM ||  Reading time!  Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg ... I decide to head over to the pool.... where I may or may not have fallen asleep for a few minutes.

6:30 PM || Zelda loves beach as much as I do... we head out for another walk.


7:15  PM || We are on a late schedule today! It's time to think about dinner, but we're not all that hungry after such a late lunch. Decide to grill boneless chicken breasts. Steamed green beans and a salad sound good, too.

8:00 PM || The five of us sit down to dinner.

9:20 PM ||  Dinner over, kitchen clean. I call Daughter #1 to get a report on her first week of the new job. She sounds so happy.... and, of course, that makes me happy, too!

10:00 PM ||  Relax on lanai, read a little, talk over the day with my husband. Seems like a lot of "life stuff" for everyone right now...

10:45 PM || Read in bed

11:11 PM || Lights off, but I want to listen to a few more minutes of my audiobook. I put in an earbud and set the sleep timer for 8 minutes, but don't last quite that long. Zzzzzz...


That's our day of snow birding, or at least last Friday's version of it. I could get used to this...

Find links to more A Day in the Life posts here.



84 comments:

  1. I sure wish I were "snowbirding"! LOL. We did go to Sanibel though, but only for a few days, and I found NOTHING, not one shell worth bringing back! ...it was probably the wrong season to be there....

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    1. Jill - I would have thought it impossible NOT to find shells here. What time of year did you visit?

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  2. Lovely to follow you through your day - and I am always here for pictures of Zelda!

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    1. Lisa - I cannot believe how happy Zelda is here! She really hates winter...

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  3. You guys are totally doing this right! And Zelda looks super happy, too. We're turning over adding a retired Greyhound to our family, so I love seeing her!

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    1. Shannon - Greyhounds make THE BEST pets! Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

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  4. Not boring at all, JoAnn... sounds delightful (with a little family drama for good measure).

    We are in the same phase of life... making all kinds of next chapter decisions...

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    1. Molly - Oh, the drama... I'd forgotten how hard it is to be twenty-something. Good luck with your next chapter decisions. It somehow feels like we have more control than we did over the last chapter.

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  5. That sounds heavenly! Now that Carl's retired we wonder how in the world he ever had time to work. We don't get people who are bored in their retirement.

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    1. Kathy - The word bored is not part of our vocabulary, lol!

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  6. JoAnn, you could have just put those two pictures of sunrise and sunset and called it a day! LOL

    Seriously, this was so nice to hear about. Walking on the beach sounds wonderful. I love the sound of the waves - it's meditative for me. And we are talking about the next few years too and retirement. Not sure how that will play out for us, but we've got some time to decide. Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Kay - Being near water has always been so soothing, and almost essential for me. I know I have been spoiled. We're slowly working through these decisions... my FIL giving us the place down here has accelerated the process. My husband is not ready to retire just yet, but I care for Twin B no matter where we are and FL is much nicer this time of year.

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  7. What a great post! Beautiful on Sanibel, isn't it? Was only there once since I lived further up the coast but I do love the beach and we tend to move to the coast where we go.

    Your dog is adorable, like my little Italian Greyhound "on steroids", lol. And I miss walking on the beach-- it's the best thing in the world to clear your head of distractions.

    Hope you and husband come to some decision about your "life issues" soon and then relax while they happen. Good luck and thank you for a pleasurable post!

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    1. Rita - Walking the beach is amazingly therapeutic! I will never tire of it! Laughing about the Italian Greyhound on steroids... Zelda is so happy down here, too. Greyhounds are so thin-skinned and just can't tolerate the cold. We'll get those decision made eventually, but I think hubby really wants to work another 2 or 3 years. We'll see.

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  8. LOVE. Your day sounds great. Isn't Be Frank With Me pretty awesome?

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    1. Ti - Be Frank With Me is great!!! Hoping to finish tonight or tomorrow morning.

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  9. What a great post, JoAnn! I am so glad you shared a day in your life with us. This is something I only dream about right now. :-)

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    1. Wendy - I know... and your post brought back a lot of memories for me. It all goes so fast!

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  10. All that reading time while listening to the waves lap the shore sounds really good. I certainly think I could handle being a snowbird, particularly at Sanibel, for the winter months, but I understand it gets pretty hot and sultry there in the summertime, not to mention the bugs. Maybe the best of all worlds is to have a place to run off to for cooling off when the summer heat moves in. ☺️

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    1. JudyMac - I can't think of anything better than Sanibel in the winter, but not sure this is a place I could handle all summer long. This week we have been invaded by no-see-ums (sandflies) and my ankles look like I have chicken pox! If we ever decide to sell our house up north, we'll still need a place to go in the summer...

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  11. I have a teen and two littles and they both present challenges, but in different ways. Sunday night it was "talk about life stuff" with teen until almost midnight. I didn't mind... if she wants to talk we'll talk. I love your sunny day and I'm now craving peel and eat shrimp.

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    1. Amanda - It must be so jarring to go from teen issues to day-to-day caring for little ones, but when my teens wanted to talk I always listened, too... no matter the time! I think I could live on peel and eat shrimp ;-)

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  12. Oh, I loved your day! Now I want to go somewhere beachy to hang out...is it my time to drive the two hours to our Central Coast, my favorite beaches?

    Thanks for sharing...and I loved how much interesting activity can fit into a normal day.

    I think I'll post one of these this Friday...I've never done it before.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I never seem to get tired of the beach! Hope you decide to post a Day in the Life, too :)

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  13. What a delightful day, and what fun to catch a glimpse of what your life is like in the winter and early spring. I love outdoor pools--yours looks very relaxing. Lovely photos!

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    1. Judith - I have been pinching myself all winter wondering if this is really my life! So lucky to be here right now..

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  14. Love, Love, Love your day! This is so much fun! We don't get people who are 'bored' with retirement either. We're like "two more years" YES!

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    1. Debbie - I think it will probably be two or three years for us, too! Don't think bored will ever be in our vocabulary.

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  15. How nice this all sounds...and like there's a peaceful setting for all those life issues. Hope so!

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    1. Audrey - Funny how all the girls seem to have 'life issues' at the same time... makes for emotionally drained parents ;-)

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  16. I think the part of Florida you are in right now is an AMAZING place to retire in. At least, based on your posts. It is so beautiful there and looks like there is a lot of outdoors fun to have over there. But I understand how stuff happens, etc so I hope you come to a decision soon - one that you will love.

    Loved reading about your day. I loved how the pitcher of beer (and other things) triggered a talk about life. :-)

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    1. Athira - This is absolute paradise for most of the year, but I'm not sure about the summer and hurricane season, lol! I know we'll figure it all out eventually.

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  17. Loved reading about your day! I would love to walk 4 miles on the beach! Sounds heavenly! And it sounds like you are coming up on some big life decisions. No matter where you choose to retire, though, you are going to love it!

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    1. Robin - The beach walk is my favorite part of the day! I read your post this morning and am in awe... you definitely did it right.

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  18. Your day sounds so wonderful...that pool...

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    1. Amanda - Nothing like a winter in Florida... need to figure out if I can handle the summer though ;-)

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  19. What a great way to spend the day!

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    1. Vicki - This is a pretty great place to spend the winter :)

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  20. I could get used to that as well! My parents snowbird in Ft Lauderdale and they comment on how quickly their days go as well. Doesn't sound like a bad way to spend the days!

    Hope all works itself out for the life issues. Such is life! We were just discussing some of this with my brother (19) yesterday in conjunction with some of my own decisions that my mom didn't love (living with Scott before we were married...once before we were even dating!). Life. :) Thanks for playing along JoAnn!

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    1. Trish - I'm sure it will all sort itself out, but it can be a little tough on the nerves in the meantime. Such is life...

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  21. Oh that sounds like a lovely day! I love all the beach time and the reading. Good luck getting Twin A's situation all sorted out. We still have some college move ins to do but it's the decisions that are the challenging parts! I love your pictures and the museum looks really interesting.

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    1. Katherine - At this point it's looking like Twin A and Daughter #1 will share an apartment for one year, then we'll re-evaluate. Lucky we can figure it all out in such a nice setting!

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  22. I love every bit of this from walks on the beach to peel and eat shrimp to Zelda and audiobooks in bed. Great stuff!

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    1. Andi - Never thought I would end up here twenty years ago... life is funny that way.

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  23. What a nice post! Isn't it funny how the more time you have, the faster it seems to go? I feel like that every vacation! Amd when you're hanging out in Florida it goes fast too!

    Walking on the beach is the best! And I like your lunch- shrimp and a beer at a favorite place. Not bad. :)

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    1. Greg - I could get used to shrimp and beer for lunch every day, but I think that would be dangerous! ;-)

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  24. Can I step into your life?! Sounds fantastic! And what is a lanai?? I must know - it sounds like something I need in my life!

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    1. Sarah - A lanai is a glorified screened in porch... a must with the all the bugs down here!

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  25. I don't know. Sounds like a pretty interesting day to me.

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    1. Midlife Roadtripper - I think I could get used to this! ;-)

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  26. That snow birding life sure looks life a life I'd enjoy!

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    1. Lisa - I'm already thinking we need to do this again next year!

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  27. Your day looks incredible! I love Zelda. She's just gorgeous. I think it's interesting that parenting is exhausting and rewarding at every stage. I'm at the very beginning and am physically drained, but I know the mental/emotional exhausting comes later!

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    1. Melissa - Those early days are incredibly exhausting and so physically draining... definitely not for those of us over 50!! It's been interesting to see how the demands of parenting change over the years. My oldest daughter just turned 26 (how is that even possible?) and the relationship has certainly changed, but I enjoy her more with each passing year. You and Sydney have so much to look forward to!!

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  28. Enjoyed your day. I love to walk and listen to books. I also garden while listening. I too wonder where we will retire. We live on the east coast in Va. My youngest daughter lives 10min. away and is expecting her first child so being here works for now. I retired 5 years ago at 55. My husband is only 57 so we have a few years to decide. We like living near the water. My other daughter and grandgirls are 5 hours away. I like reading your thoughts about where to retire. Florida does look nice but being near grandchildreN has it perks, too.

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    1. Lorraine - Grandchildren might change the equation for us, but none are on the horizon yet. I'm not sure how I would (if I could?) manage the heat and humidity of a Florida summer... discussions continue.

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  29. This sounds like the good - life for sure. I'd love walking the beach so often.

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    1. Diane - The morning beach walk is definitely a highlight of my day!

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  30. What a lovely day. No wonder there are so many Canadian snowbirds. :)

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    1. Arti - There aren't quite as many Canadians here as in years past... probably due to the exchange rate? It's good to escape the Great White North for a while :)

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  31. These discussions about where to be are all over our life, too. Your day sounded lovely! Relaxed and fun. We think we can't own our big house here and leave it for Florida even for a month! We talk and talk and talk about this...two smaller houses...one house somewhere else that's easier to leave...we have no solution yet!

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    1. Patty - That is a huge concern for us, too. Plus now that we are down to three (Twin B will be with us for the foreseeable future) it may not make as much sense to own such a big house and pay the ridiculous NY taxes. Right now two smaller houses has the edge. No solution or decision for us either.

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  32. Sounds like a lovely day - I particularly like the sound of peel-and-eat shrimp and a pitcher of beer! Far too cold here for any of that yet!

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    1. Jessicabookworm - Peel-and-eat shrimp are the best! I keep experimenting, but haven't hit on just the right spice blend yet. Guess I'll have to keep trying ;-)

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  33. I have fallen in love with Pensacola Beach, so if we ever snow bird, that is where it will be! I am so jealous of your walks on the beach! Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your life.

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    1. Stacie - I haven't seen any of the Florida panhandle yet, but have a feeling I would love the seashore there. We plan to take a detour and see it on our drive home!

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  34. Can't wait to get down to FL and take my morning walks on the beach. You day sounds just lovely.

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    1. Nise' - There is something so soothing about the sounds of the waves, isn't there? Hope you enjoy your trip here.

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  35. It sounds like such a full, yet relaxing day. I agree that the emotional labor for a parent of teens and young adults is very heavy. The diapering years seem easy compared to this.

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    1. Patience-Crabstick - It is emotionally draining right now but, so much more preferable to those diapering years... at least for me. Thought I would lose my mind when I had 3 kids under 4, but have enjoyed them more and more every year since.

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  36. Early morning walks on the beach with the promise of coffee at the end sounds like a great start to a lovely day. I don't know Florida at all but I spent the 90s in North Carolina and LOVED spending time at the beach. Hubs and I are soon-to-be empty nesters so maybe it's time for a return visit..

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    1. Trish - We stopped in NC at the outer banks on our drive home last year and it's very beautiful there, too. I just love the beach!!

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  37. Thank you for sharing this. I loved those pictures. :)

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    1. Deepika Ramesh - Thank you for visiting :)

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  38. Texas is a great spot for snow birds, too. Just saying!

    Thanks for a day in your life!

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    1. Deb - You know, I have never been to Texas! My husband and I were just talking about that the other day...

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  39. You had me at "throw on shorts and a t-shirt!" :)

    I understand about the "life issues" and being a parent of a "young adult." Mine is 32 and the "parenting" aspect is pretty much behind us, but we still worry and probably will as long as we're alive! And, yes. When they're happy, we're happy, right?

    Like you guys, retirement is a big topic of conversation around here. We've finally got a date (which my husband reminds me of every.single.day) and a location (OREGON!), but there's so much to plan for. We're actually going to take a class to help us navigate the Medicare maze. Signing up here, then moving to Oregon will make it more complicated. I'm a decade behind my husband, so I'll have to get private health insurance, since I don't plan on working. Unless the stock market tanks. This is why I don't sleep very well anymore. ;)

    Ah, a pool and the beach. You are livin' the life! Can I just say I'm just a tiny bit envious? Loved this post and I'm glad I waited to enjoy it while relaxing with a glass of wine rather than in a rush on my lunch break at work.

    Happy Easter!

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    1. Les - And if you ask our mothers, they probably still worry about us just as much! Parenting is a life-long project. If you have a retirement date, you are one step ahead of us! When is it?? My husband is 61 and in solo practice, so coming up with a firm date is tough... maybe 2 or 3 years. I'm fine with that as long as can spend my winters in FL in the meantime.

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    2. Ah, yes. I know my mom still worries about all of her kids even though the youngest is in his 50s. ;) Yep, we have a retirement date. My hubby turns 65 in 2017, so he's set to retire shortly after his bday. I'll keep working until we sell our house and then... we're moving to Oregon. Can.Not.Wait! Of course, I'll have to get private insurance since I'm no where near 65. I'm trying not to stress about that right now. Too many other things on my list to worry/deal with.

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    3. Les - That's so exciting!

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  40. Despite all the 'life stuff' it sounds like a pretty nice day. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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    1. SuziQoregon - Yes, lots of life stuff, but every day in FL has been pretty wonderful!

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  41. Ahhh your snowbirding sounds good. Although it hasn't been a tough winter this year up North. Strange but true. When do you plan to head back?

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    1. Susan - It has been a fairly mild winter... barely half our normal snowfall and not very cold either. Still, I prefer to be here... at least until it starts getting too hot, which could be any time now. We plan to head back at the end of the month.

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