Friday, December 31, 2010

If it's Friday, This Must be Florida

We arrived here from Pittsburgh on 9th December, 2009, and our new life, such that it is, began.  There were many adjustments to be made.  This is their story.  Only the names have been changed to protect the idiots.
We moved from Pittsburgh, a place Linda called home for thirty-five years.  I was there for five.  We left a lot behind, in the way of friendships, habits, routines, and stuff.  It was hardest for Linda.  We both attach memories to things, but I guess it’s just more difficult, even it is a necessity, for a woman to decide which memories she wants to pack and bring with her, and which ones she will leave behind.  I’d spent the five years prior to meeting and marrying Linda living in two countries, five states,  and seven cities.  It was much easier to move from the sixth state and eighth city to the seventh and ninth, respectively.  Getting here was a challenge, given that we arrived to discover that the well-meaning folks who helped us packed seemed to think that what we needed most when moving to Florida was Tupperware, that what we brought with us ended randomly divided between the garage and a storage unit, and all of my clothing except the first box to be put on the truck – my suits and dress pants, dress shirts, neckties, and one of my three pair of Dockers – mysteriously disappeared somewhere between Pittsburgh and here.  I put the other things on the truck personally, but somehow they never arrived.  We drove from Pittsburgh to Virginia, and flew from Virginia to Florida.  Other than that box, the only clothing of mine that arrived safely to New Port Richey was in my suitcase.  The driver of the rental truck denies any knowledge of the location of the missing bags of clothing.
We arrived to find Linda’s Mother in what can only be described as a ‘fog’.  I’m happy to say that a year later, even with the beginning signs of dementia, she’s doing much better.  Her sugar has stabilized to the degree that her Doc reduced both her morning and evening doses of insulin and discontinued a number of her other meds.  With the sugar stabilized, she is no longer taking anti-anxiety meds three times a night, and no longer using narcotics for pain.  In fact, she only seldom requires pain meds, and even then, a single Tylenol Arthritis tablet generally does the trick.
There are some repetitive memory issues, but Linda does an wonderful job with her Mom in those areas.
We spent our first New Year’s Day here (1st January, 2010) with me sick as a dog from something only I could smell, and had a couple other odd health issues pop up (I had the same allergic reaction to the Ace-inhibitor I was taking for my BP, and to the med I was given when I had a second round of Shingles), but a week’s worth of Prednisone cleared up both problems, and I don’t take the ace-inhibitor any more.  BP is still in check.
Emmy, Linda’s elderly cat, died, but we now have Jazzy, another of our favorite breed of pet – rescue cat – who keeps us all on our toes.
After several months of trying to find a church that fit our demands – as opposed to our needs - i.e., Faith Community Church-Lakeside back in Pittsburgh, we finally caught on to the fact that God want something different for us.  Within 24 hours of coming to that realization and praying that way instead of for a cookie cutter image of where we had been, we found a wonderful church!  Victory Worship Church isn’t like anything either of us has experienced before, but the Pastor is a man of the Word and a Man of God, the people are great, and we’re both able to be active there and not bench warmers, which frankly, given my health issues, would have been my choice.  We love it!  I can’t tell you how many times when I was struggling with something in the last year, God used two different preachers, a thousand miles apart, to give me the same response in the same Sunday’s message; one live, and one in a file I was editing.  There is no way that’s a coincidence.  That’s God saying “do I have your attention now?”
Circumstances made it possible Linda’s brother to finally be able to move to be with his daughter.  It’s been a tough transition for both of them, but it’s working out splendidly for him and for his daughter.
You know the funny thing about all of this is that 35 years ago, when I left South Florida to go to college, I made it perfectly clear to God that under no circumstances would I ever make a permanent move back to the Sunshine State.  Makes me kind of wonder how long He chuckled over that one.
With the typing of this sentence, a new year will begin in just over nine hours and thirty-two minutes, GMT-5, or Eastern Standard Time.  I had my doubts a year ago.  I am looking forward to what God has in store for us in 2011.
I’ll end this with the prayer that whoever might be reading this will find the peace of God in the next year in ways they never imagined possible, and the blessed comfort of knowing Him in a personal way.
I’ll go back to writing my usual tongue in cheek bit next time.
As Walter Cronkite used to say, "And that's the way it was, Friday 31st December, 2010".
Happy and Blessed New Year, and
Oh yeah…
Happy Trails!

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