Thursday, October 31, 2013

florida life

my husband and i were both born and raised in pennsylvania.  he taught at the same school we attended.  both of our boys had him as one of their teachers.  most of our families live there.  our world was a small world in so many ways. so it is quite amazing to me that we are now living in florida.

if you had ever told me that i would move to florida, even as little as 5 years ago,  i would have laughed, thinking surely you were mistaken.  but lo and behold, here i am, living proof that god works in mysterious ways.

in june of this year my husband officially retired ( a bit early) from school teaching.  we listed our house in pennsylvania and it was sold in 6 weeks.  we closed almost immediately and had only a week to clear it out.  it happened so quickly, and as i look back, in some respects that was good, because i didn't have time to "think" about things.  i just had too much to get done in such a short period of time.

my whole life was in that house, and while i did really well over all, i will confess i had literally an hour where i cried.  i did have overwhelming feelings hit me, mostly in the"letting go of stuff" that i had in storage.  my husband and his two friends were loading up the dumpster and just wanted me to make decisions faster then what i could process.

my husband was positive we didn't need a u-haul and that we could fit 30 years of our life into the back of our ford escape.  i trusted him and i thought if he thinks we can do it then we probably can. as i write that i ask myself, really?  what were you thinking woman?!  little did i know that the sentimental side of me would want to bring so much more then actually would fit into the back of that car.

we packed the truck (beverly hillbilly's style), attended the closing and headed out on our journey to florida.  we made it in 2 days time, much to the chagrin of my husband.  he had more of a 3 or 4 day trip in his mind.  the first day we stopped in virginia at our friend's house and spent the night.  the next day we drove from there to our house in florida.  it was a long, grueling day, but i knew we'd be so happy to wake up the next morning in our own bed.  we were.

so here we are.  enjoying our new life as floridians.  i love the sunshine, the warmth, and the ability to be outside nearly every day.  i'm making new friends and learning to be independent in so many ways.  it's all been a really terrific experience.  i am truly blessed.

since the move, i've been asked many times, by so many people, to share photos of my home in florida.  we've been busy working on it since my husband retired, and while there are things i'd still like to do to it, i'm not sure i've convinced him it should be done, so i will continue to work on fine tuning my "wearing-him-down skills".

in the meantime, consider this blog post the first installment of photos to show you the little slice of paradise i live in and the place i now call home.
here we are at the front of my house.  i love the little white picket fence because it feels so quaint and charming.  that is jasmine growing on it and when it is blooming it smells divine.  here are some of the other beautiful flowers i get to see and smell by that little white fence:
a deep peach hibiscus

a brilliant fuschia daisy

a fragrant yellowish pink rose

in the first photo, if you notice the burgundy awning,  that is something new we did to the house this summer.  we decided that when we enclosed the front lanai we would put it up to help with the heat of the sun.  it's been a most welcomed addition.  not to mention, it also adds character to the front of the house.
i hand painted this sign a few years ago when we first bought the house.  it was so bright and colorful initially, and despite the multitude of coats of varnish i put on it, the florida sun has managed to strip the color.  one of these days i will get around to repainting it.  so for the moment, you'll have to imagine the sign in bright shades of yellow, pink, teal and blue with red hearts.

i hope you'll be intrigued to come back and see what is behind that little white picket fence.  there is so much more to see at nicholas place.


  1. Love the "tease" and can't wait to see, Roc!!! May you and Todd enjoy many long, happy years together in your lovely, little nest! ♥

  2. That's one pretty little house!....lovely

  3. Why did I think you lived in The Villages? That's certainly not a cookie-cutter Villages house. Love your sweet cottage and can't wait to see more!

  4. Great update Roc and wonderful to see the first glimpses of your new home!!

  5. You are a tease - keep them coming back for more. Great Job - makes e want to see what you show and say next!

  6. Great post and wonderful photos Roc, and that's nice to read that your are happy with the move and your new life in Florida ! Your new home looks fab !! Best wishes for the weeks and months to come.. Enjoy ! Coco x

  7. Oh Roc, what a big looks gorgeous can't wait to see more pictures.

  8. Adorable home... filled with love! xo

  9. Loved your story and what a pretty area you live in!

  10. Don't try putting a plastic pink flamingo in the yard. It will be white in about a month! Welcome to the "neighborhood!" Hope you and hubby make many happy memories here.

  11. Thanks for sharing, Roc. I hope you have many happy years in your Florida home. Just where in Florida is it located?

  12. That's the way to do it! Fast. I wish I could get my husband to take the leap back into the sunshine!! Enjoy it.

  13. what an adorable house Roc :) LOVE your sweet sign and thanks for the tour!

  14. Wow Roc that's definitely the way to move, though I agree with your 'what were you thinking of woman' sentiment. Your home looks beautiful, and I do envy you the sunshine (maybe not July and August)but definitely the outdoor living. Here's to a very long and happy retirement xx