Photo: my walking path
Last week David and I moved from Arlington, Virginia, to Sarasota, Florida. This blog post is mainly for my family and friends rather than for my regular blog readers. I’ll get back to my “scholarly” blogging soon, and I’ll probably start a new blog for reports from our new home and city. But for now, here’s a quick report.
Photo: Our new home
We are renting a home with a pool/lanai. It’s so quiet here! And so clean… I have a two-mile walking path through the community, and, I swear, in a week I haven’t seen a single piece of trash on the ground –not a cigarette butt or a gum wrapper, nothing, nada.
The landscape is so lush – hard for me to believe that Florida is in a drought. The homes are so beautiful (no McMansions in this neighborhood, no tear-downs, no construction…).
Photo: David on the lanai
I wake up to a mockingbird singing outside the lanai. On my two-mile morning walk I see ducks and cormorants and herons (large and small) and egrets. Squirrels. Crows. No sparrows as yet…. I’ve seen plenty of “Caution, alligators” signs around the ponds, but no ‘gators so far. Lots of little lizards – they are very efficient carnivores, because I see no insects here. I have yet to see even a housefly. I’ve been outside one or two hours day and haven’t been bitten by anything.
Photo: Seen on my morning walk today
Everyone we’ve met is so NICE. Helpful. Our neighbors across the street are from Boston, our neighbors next door are from Brooklyn. Rod (from Colorado) at Ace Hardware, around the corner, is a fount of information. I found the Sunday New York Times at the 7-11 a mile away.
At the 7-11, I was introduced to two new friends by means of my bumper stickers. When I came out of the store, a couple were standing by my car. They asked, “Is this your car?” Yes. “We love your bumper stickers!” They are: WPFW-FM – DC’s “jazz and justice” community radio station; “War is not the answer” (Friends Committee), “Media buy the people,” “I support compassion over killing” (advocacy for vegetarianism), “No big media,” “All of the planets, all of the time” (NASA’s planetary protection program). Turns out these people – B and H – live not only in my neighborhood but also on my street. B works for the Sarasota Democrats. H asked if I work for NASA (yes). He’s an astronomer. Both are left-leaning Democrats. I said I lean so far left I almost fall over. B said she’s already fallen….
Photo: Our dining set, ca. 1975
We’ve shopped at Habitat for Humanity Restore (where everyone is so NICE, and helpful)– bought a beautiful dining set, made in 1975, perfect condition. Yay!
We have a fitness center down the street. Water aerobics, stretching and toning, balance work – no excuses! I’m joining today.
What do I miss about Arlington? My friends.
Do I miss the constant roar of aircraft taking off from National Airport, every day from 6 am to 11 pm? No.
Do I miss the constant din of digging up neighborhood streets, felling and chipping beautiful old trees, leaf-blowers in chorus? No.
Do I miss rude drivers and hideous traffic? No.
Do I miss rude people, people in a hurry, pushy people in lines? No. Do I miss standing in line? No. (Haven’t encountered one here yet.)
Do I miss overpriced everything? No.
All I miss – and will continue to miss – are my friends. And to my dear friends, I want to say that when you’re tired of shoveling snow and fighting traffic, come on down!
Photo: This house, a mile from our place, is for sale at $499,000. What do you get? Four bedrooms, three baths, three-car garage, pool/lanai, a one-acre lot. (Come on down!)