Category: Life in Florida (page 1 of 6)

A New Year, A New Life

Today the world celebrates the beginning of another year, 2010.  Our new year, though, began three months ago today on October 1, 2009.  If it wasn’t a new year, it was definitely the beginning of a new life.  On that day Bill and I left Tallahassee for Bill’s new job and our new life in Arizona, waving good-bye to Kat and Munchkin and David.  Our experience of three generations living together was at an end and we were embarking on a journey of rediscovering life as a couple.

2009 was certainly an eventful year.  I celebrated my fiftieth birthday in April.  Bill and I celebrated our thirtieth wedding anniversary in July.  We went through several months of Bill being home full-time while hunting for another contract or new job.  We contemplated life in such diverse places as Albuquerque, Kansas City, Nashville, Austin, Atlanta and all of Florida as Bill considered different job possibilities.  We traveled across Florida more than once and also up to Atlanta for job interviews.  And, when a job offer came, we found ourselves moved 1800 miles to a location we had never considered moving to in our wildest dreams, Arizona.

And here we are, in Sierra Vista, Arizona, feeling more than a little like Alice in Wonderland.  This is about as far removed from the tropical beach feeling that we so enjoyed; yes, we have sand and some palm trees and a lot of sunshine, but that’s where the similarity ends.  There’s no lush green, unless it’s irrigated or Astroturf.  There’s no sound of the Gulf waves crashing ashore.  And I don’t remember any snow-covered mountain peaks outside my window in Tallahassee!

While we don’t know how long we will be here, we are determined to enjoy our stay here.  We’ve taken some day trips to get familiar with the lay of the land and I will be posting some of those pictures here over the next few days.  It’s a beautifully scenic area, even if it is a stark beauty so different from that which we are accustomed to on the East Coast.

For me, though, the biggest adjustment is learning to live my life without children around 24/7.  For the first time in over 24 years I no longer have a child living in the house.  I remember when Kat moved out the first time in 2003, it took me a year to adjust to her absence, so I suspect I have quite some time yet in which to learn how to deal with their absence.  And I am sure that will be a recurring topic here at Musings, Mischief and Mayhem in the coming weeks and months.  I have even contemplated changing the name of my blog because there certainly does not seem to be much mischief and mayhem occurring here lately.  Either that or I need to do something to cause some mischief and mayhem on my own!

No More Rain, Please

The forecast shows 30% chance of showers Friday and Saturday. While we’ve been dry, we really do not need more rain right now. Many areas are still flooded from last week’s rain that fell in Georgia (21 inches in some areas of Georgia) and is still racing its way south through Florida. The Suwannee, Withlacoochee and Alapaha rivers are all experiencing dangerous flooding. Some of Bill’s coworkers have not been able to get to work at all this week.

One major east – west road in North Florida, U.S. Highway 90, is closed at the Madison/Suwannee county line where the Suwannee River bridge is being threatened by floodwaters. Many other Big Bend roads are closed. And Interstate 10 may possibly be closed due to the Suwannee river flooding.

We are learning that it is not tornadoes we need to be concerned with here in the Big Bend area. It is water!

Pictures of local flooding from the Tallahassee Democrat

Pictures of south Georgia and north Florida flooding from the Tallahassee Democrat

Early Voting in Tallahassee

I had my first experience both with early voting and with voting in a large metropolitan area yesterday afternoon. Early voting was not an option in Alabama and the concept at first seems just a little odd. But hearing reports from locals that they normally wait in the voting line for several hours on Election Day (for a Presidential election) led me to seriously consider the idea. Since I didn’t know if Miss Munchkin would be home or not by Election Day, I opted to vote early and not take the chance of standing in line for hours with a toddler. In true unschooling fashion, with work and school schedules to consider, we all decided to do early voting and made it a family affair.

You would think that early voting would mean no waiting. After all, we’ve been able to early vote since October 20th. But on Wednesday (the 29th) it was announced that early voting hours and dates were being extended, since so many were turning out. So we were not surprised by the line outside the courthouse; at least, most of us were not surprised. We got in line about 2:35 p.m. and got done voting shortly before 4:00 p.m., so we were in line just a little over an hour.

All my life I have voted in rural areas where a turnout of 500 for a day’s voting was high. I easily remember election days that I voted at 1 in the afternoon and was number 50 for that day. So waiting in line for over an hour was a novel experience for us. It was a beautiful warm sunny Florida fall afternoon, though, so the wait was not unpleasant and certainly went more quickly because we all went together. The actual voting process was quite smooth, more efficient than any voting we did in north Alabama. And David got a shout out from the polling volunteers as a first time ever voter.

Funny, once I voted I almost expected that the campaign advertising on television should cease! Yeah, like that will happen! We did have an interesting conversation (while waiting in line) about the campaigning that was going on outside the courthouse. It was legal as they were outside the perimeter prescribed by law. One of the kids wondered if, in the event they received one of those robo-calls on their cell phone within the perimeter, if they could prosecute!

I have been voting in Presidential elections since 1980 and this is the first one in which there was not a Bush or Clinton on the ticket! Isn’t that weird?

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