So as some of you know, I have been in Florida for the past 4 months.
For those of you who did NOT know, I have been in Florida for the past 4 months. 🙂
When I was let go from my job back in March, I had little idea of what my next move would be. Since I was in debt from all the ER bills and other medical bills that had stacked up from my seizure episodes, I had little choice but to hold onto my money and revamp my resume to begin submitting immediately. Or so I thought…
My best friend at once told me I needed to come visit her, so naturally I figured I would do that while I had the time and some funds left over from working hard lately. I bought my plane ticket to head up to Washington to visit Kayleigh in Anacortes, WA. Kayleigh and her family would be soon opening the now open shop of geekery, AwesomeSomething, so I knew that I would be helping out with that while in town.
Next thing I knew, my great aunt in Port Charlotte, FL (just a 2 hour drive South of Tampa, FL), gave me a call and offered to give me room and board if I would fly out to stay in her home and help her with some tasks. She gave me the list of tasks and I informed her that I would have to think about it and should I choose to go, that I would leave post-Kayleigh visit trip. She agreed and I took a week to weigh my options.
My great aunt’s offer was as follows: I was to receive room and board including meals and use of the amenities and pool they had at the house should I assist her in sorting out her belongings and preparing for a yard sale or two and then setting up an office suite for her to have an art studio that she could paint in and do crafting and possibly to teach someday. To me her plans sounded fantastic, however, I was unemployed and had to think about my future and also the most recent medical bills I still had under my belt to pay off. Naturally my first urge was to apply to a few jobs that week so I did, but I also thought about the fact that I had immediately applied for unemployment insurance through the Employee Development Department so I would be receiving money that way for the next 6 months or so. Having thought about all of this, I figured it would give me a chance to do some writing and to get out of my house and away from my parents for a change (no offense Mom and Dad, but I am grown and I could use a little time in a different household even though I cannot yet support myself). My aunt also had told me that she wanted me to help her write about her life and meet a writer friend of hers to get some advice on my writing and on how to get published someday. It all sounded amazing as the week went along.
I gave my aunt a call once a week had passed and told her that I had purchased my plane ticket to fly out in a month once I had visited my best friend up in Washington state for her birthday. She agreed and promised she would reimburse me the funds for the plane ticket and was looking forward to my arrival.
The weeks flew by as I made my arrangements. I visited Kayleigh and in the process fell very ill with a horrible earache and infection, which I also passed on to Kayleigh before leaving Washington. Altogether it was a terrific trip and we had fun just chilling at home and she showed me her new shop that was to open later in the summer with her mother’s help and brother. When I got home I quickly made sure that all of my things were taken care of before I left on my trip to Florida. I was off before I knew it! Frightened to leave my family for so long, but excited as hell! The longest I’d ever been away from home was just a few short weeks. I was in for some shocking stuff that was for sure.
I arrived at the airport in Fort Myers and ended up having to wait over an hour for my aunt and her housemate to come and get me. They ran late and some other stuff, but there they were! My great aunt Carol and her housemate Helenjane (ONE WORD!), who everyone calls Hj. These wonderful ladies decided to take me to Golden Corral for dinner before taking me home since I hadn’t eaten a real meal since very early that morning before my flight. We ate and returned to the house where Hj gave me the grand tour while my aunt went back to my room, the guest bedroom, where she was still clearing away some things she had been storing inside. Before I knew it I was passed out from exhaustion and happy to be in my temporary home for the next few weeks.
My great aunt has a cat that is 19 years old named Purr (Mr. Purrfect) and Hj has a small black poodle who is 15 years old named Charl-le (Charlie). These pets seemed to be their little kids that they took care of as these two had never had children of their own. They also have a small RV that they have parked up in a side driveway next to the house because they go out with a group called the Florida RVing Women. It was clear to me that they had spent many of their retired years in this RVing group and I had heard that they had had several RVs as well over the years. I also found many golf clubs around the house and golf trophies as this was another sport they participated in. Hj had grown up in Long Island New York just up the street from a place called Rockaway Beach. She attended school and grew to love sports. When she went off to college she yearned to teach physical education, and that she did! She ended up teaching physical education at Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia. My great aunt Carol also went to college and moved around much with her family when she was young and became a physical education instructor as well at the University of Wisconsin in OshKosh. The two of them ended up meeting by chance when my great aunt Carol was attending some courses at a later age and the two retired around the same time and moved down South to Port Charlotte, Florida to retire and have been housemates for the past 15 years.
Getting to know these two and caring for them just completely took over my life this summer, and I will tell you all about that in the next post I make.