I didn’t realize how long it had been since I last wrote. I spent 2 of those weeks in Florida. First I drove to Fort White and took a car load of books. We think we may be over our weight limit when we move in June (if we are, we have to pay the difference to the military after they move us), so since I was going down, I figured I’d take some of the extra weight with me. When we go down for spring break, we’ll probably take some more.
Our renters moved out of our Milton house in December, and it was time for a new coat of paint inside, a few repairs, and new carpet. My mil vounteered to help me, so after a couple of days tooling around Gainesville, we hopped in the car and headed west. I found this automatic paint roller at Lowe’s that allows you to paint without the mess of a tray. A tube feeds the paint directly from the can to the roller with the push of a button. It was so cool that I painted a 1900 sq foot house in one day. As much fun as it was, I don’t plan on doing that again any time soon – I thought my arm was going to fall off the next morning.
While in West Florida, I found out a few reasons why I miss where I grew up. My mil and I probably visited Lowe’s a total of 3 times in the 4 days we were there, but it only took one visit to make an impression (the bright blue Florida gator shirts we were wearing that first visit probably helped). After that, we were greeted by the same employees who had helped us the first visit. It felt welcoming each time I walked in the door. One night I took my mil out to the beach to one of my favorite restaurants, Flounders, and had the best nachos in the world. They make a seafood nacho appetizer that is big enough to share as a meal with 4 or more people. Needless to say, we had to have a doggie bag to take most of it with us. I also got to see a high school friend I haven’t seen in over 10 years. She has since been married and just had her second son. It was so great to see her, but it was crazy to think about someone my age with a newborn. My baby will be 12 next month, and there are times I miss being able to cuddle with one of the kids on my lap or read Go, Dog, Go! “one more time.” But then, I don’t miss diaper changes or potty training or late night feedings.
On our return to Ft. White, I began thinking of our options of living arrangements when we arrive in late June. Since we haven’t quite finished the details of our house plans, and it may be best to wait on beginning constrution when we are present to watch the progress, we have looked at local house rentals and sales. We are finding that most houses are too small for us or too expensive for a temporary residence and after we’ve thought about it, we’d like to live, even temporarily, close to where we are going to build. We have been blessed by a giving family and have 2 tracts of land on the family farm. So the plan right now is to build on one, and temporarily live on the other. My mil and I drove around looking at manufactured homes for the remainder of my trip. I have not ever considered living in one until I stepped into the first one on a lot in Lake City. I would never have known it was a trailer, I mean manufactured home, from the inside. They have changed so much…they look like normal houses with large modern kitchens, huge master suites with closets big enough to be bedrooms, fireplaces, walk-in pantries, etc. And the price is good for a temporary home that we could sell or rent out after we finish building our house.
I have mentioned that we got a Wii for Christmas, something I have been telling my family for over a year that we coud not live without. Okay, we could, but they just looked so cool, and I knew it would be a great family activity. My mil was with us for Christmas and got to play with us for a few days as well. When I arrived in Florida, she was waiting on the delivery of not only her Wii but a Wii Fit as well. It arrived within a day, so I got to test it out and reported back to my family that there was yet one more thing that we could not live without. I think my bil’s family found this out as well once my mil’s Wii arrived. While I was there, around 4:00 each day (after school got out), my mil would get a call on her cell phone. One of my nephews would ask how she was doing and if she was home. It was fun to have them around to play with. And I’m sure there will be lots more playing when we arrive in June; we’ll live next door to them for a bit in our temporary house.
So you’ll never guess what was waiting for me when I returned home to Virginia last weekend…