Moving Again, Taking a Time Out

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-32-52-amI began this blog with the hope of sharing my gardening experience, like so many normal people do.  But I am not normal.  Or should I say, my life is not normal.  By this time, I am probably a little off my rocker as well.

After closing on my new home just the other day, (it was delayed because of Hurricane Matthew, which didn’t surprise me a bit) I now have to face moving again.  I am not young.  There is a household of items to move, as well as a storage unit full.  It will be up to me and my two sons to do all the heavy lifting.  On the bright side, this keeps me fit.  I am stronger than the typical sixty-year old woman, for sure.

Recently I counted up the times I had moved in my life and came to the extraordinary number of 14.  I look forward to living in a nice home, and hopefully the last I will ever live in.  It’s not anything fabulous, but it will be comfortable.  Anyone who has moved to a new place knows that it takes time to get settled in, and I hate that I will have to waste more of my life doing that, one more time.

Many – no ALL – of my friends (or, past friends, I should say) are settled in life.  People my age own homes that are paid off.  They are not just now signing up for a 30-year mortgage!  They have fun.  Many of them spend time traveling and visiting their kids the grandkids.  They go to weddings, go out to dinner, have parties, take vacations, and share stories of their fantastic lives on their FaceBook pages.  They live.  They have normal lives.

They live the kind of life I always expected to have in my later years.  Why not expect that?  But, for me, it went the other way.  This is mainly why they are “past friends”.  I have nothing in common with my old friends these days.  And I can’t expect them to understand.  I only visit FaceBook because I have a Store Page there, for my business.  Yes, I will be working until I die.  No retirement and slowing down for me.

I accept my lot in life.  What else can I do?  My posts here have become depressing, even for me, so I apologize.  Soon, I hope to have some photos and info about building raised garden beds.  I plan to have a few on my new property.  That will make me feel more normal.  In the meantime, I will be packing.


Ending the Year With a Disaster

I’ve had a bad year. I’m not going further back than that, but these past months have been especially hard. After dealing with a drop in income and buying absolutely nothing extra for nearly three years, I was able to quickly sell my New Hampshire home and move back to Florida. I never wanted to come back here to live, but it’s more affordable. Also my older son is a firefighter here and my younger son is attending college here. It was my only option. Without money, there are few options in life.

There will be no basement storage in Florida

I had a big yard sale, gave items away, and called a local shop to pick up lots of my furniture before we packed up the Penske truck and took the three day drive from New England to Florida. All of that was a tremendous effort, not to mention the packing, showing the house, and my sadness at having to leave – move again.

Since June my younger son and I have been living with my older son in his rental house in east central Florida. I dislike the area and hate the heat. But I am sucking it up, and trying to make the best of it. I know it’s foolish of me to hope for a better future, but when that is all there is, it can’t be helped. We began looking for a house to buy together right away. We found one and began the buying process.


Yesterday we were scheduled to close on the house. Everyone has been watching the path of Hurricane Matthew and it seemed to be headed straight for the coast where my new home is located. I wondered at the wisdom of closing on a home the day before a major hurricane hits.

My worries were lessened when one hour before the closing I got a call from the Mortgage company saying there was a moratorium on closings! It had been delayed because of the storm’s approach.

Depending on the damage left behind by this storm, it may be a while before we can close and get ourselves moved in. The house is only a few miles from the beach, so it may get some damage – and then what? The nightmare goes on.

I say ending the year with a disaster, but really there are a few months to go. Time for even more fun to happen in my life.

Standing in line at Publix with everyone buying food before the Hurricane.

Time to Say Good-Bye to My Hydrangeas

hydrangea last summer
Blue Hydrangea Summer 2015

Before they even flower this year, I will have to say good-bye to my hydrangeas. I may be lucky enough to see the buds form, but I will be gone by July when the flowers open.

As is so predictable with my nomadic lifestyle, I am moving on after living in my house for five years. It’s a record really. Since I moved north in 2005, it’s the longest I’ve lived in of any of the places I’ve tentatively called “home”.

I’ve added a number of hydrangea plants to the small yard over the years, and they are all doing pretty well. Little green shoots are just beginning to appear, but once the weather warms up the plants will grow quickly. Not quickly enough for me to enjoy the big white-to-green flowers of the Limelight variety, or to see the Pinky Winky’s white blooms change to pink. And I wonder if the Endless Summer blue variety will have more flowers this year than last.

After the winter months of 2015, my perennials seemed to suffer. Some plants never came back, and the ones that did, seemed to be less wonderful than usual. But this winter was so mild, I am thinking that the hydrangeas will have lots of blooms. I especially hope that the blue flowers will be prolific.   Last year I had a few small flowers at the base of the bush (see the photo).  Of course, I will never know. I’ll be far away in the deep south, beginning a new garden in a new place.

I feel like Johnny Appleseed, except my name would be something else related to planting and moving on. I can’t think of a good name. Pam the traveling gardener, or maybe Root-less, is more appropriate.

dsc07551So the yard I’ve worked to make into a beautiful place will now be passed on to new home-owners.  I have no idea if they are gardeners, or if they will walk around enjoying the flowers that bloom in their new yard.  I hope so.

I doubt they will realize the work it took to create the beauty they will see, but I do hope they will enjoy it.  The peace and quiet I knew of sitting in the shade of the big oak out front, watching the clouds drift past the rooftop, while my cats explore in the grass nearby, is something I will miss greatly.

I’ve known some of the most peaceful times of my life just sitting alone in this yard, drinking a glass of wine, and appreciating what I have.  I always knew it wouldn’t last, because that is how it is.  Because I know that, I appreciate it all the more.

Soon this blog will be filled with the gardening adventures of my southern life.  I never grew many vegetables when I lived in Florida before, but this time I plan to figure it out.  And I am familiar with growing many tropical plants.  I can’t wait to have camellias, hibiscus, crepe myrtle and jasmine growing in my new place.  I may even try to grow hydrangeas!

So stay tuned.  Once the move is done…… I’ll be back.


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