Dec 312022

So what do you do when you are 70 years old, own your house in Florida free and clear, and have almost no debt? If you are myself and Terry, you buy another home in Alabama and move there!

I’ll be honest with you, when we bought our place here on the Intracoastal Waterway, we had no expectations of ever leaving. But one thing you can always depend on in life is that things change. For quite some time now we have been disillusioned with living here in Florida, from state and local politics to the constant development that wants to turn every square foot of green space into a condo or a big box store, rising prices and taxes for everything, and the no-see-ums that eat me alive every time I step out the door.

As I mentioned before, our son Travis and his wife Geli bought a home on 9 acres about half an hour west of Tuscaloosa. Terry and I have been up there several times and we really like the area, so when I spotted a place that looked interesting to us, I had the kids go check it out. They were impressed and sent us lots of videos of their walkthrough, and then a few weeks ago, Terry and I went up and toured the property. It didn’t take us long to fall in love with it, and we made an offer. We close on it Tuesday.

It’s a three-bedroom, 2½  bath house with a large garage, a pole barn, and a large barn on almost 8 acres surrounded by forest. And it’s only 15 minutes from Travis and Geli. As we get older, being around family is becoming more important to us.

The place is out in the country on a road that’s not more than two miles long and has about ten houses on it. Half of our property is open pasture, and the rest is woods, with several trails going through it, and it is surrounded on three sides by hundreds of acres of forest.



Here are some aerial shots of the property taken by a drone.


We really like the wide front porch, and we can see ourselves spending a lot of time sitting out here relaxing.

The living room is huge, 30 x 23 feet, and the master bedroom is also very large at 21 x 15 feet, not counting two walk-in closets and an 8 x 7 foot window nook.


There is a very nice kitchen for Terry to work her magic in, and this back room looking out on the pasture is all glass on three sides.

I think Terry and I will share this room, one end being my office, and she will have a couple of her looms on the other end. In our 18+ years of fulltime RVing, we were always very close together doing our own thing. But in our current house, her loom room is on one side, and my office is on the other, and we miss that togetherness. You can see more pictures on the property listing at this link.

Terry is looking forward to having lots of room to do whatever she wants, including growing a garden with the help of son Travis, we are both looking forward to going on walks through the wooded lanes on the property, and because it’s out in the country, I can walk out my back door and do all the target shooting I want to my heart’s content. It will be nice to have my own personal shooting range.

The last couple of weeks have been very hectic, between getting my new book Big Lake Drunk out, dealing with all of the loan details and inspections and such, and everything else that goes into a major move like this. Wednesday, we bought a 14-foot cargo trailer, which we have spent the last couple of days stuffing full of things.


We will leave here tomorrow, pulling the trailer with the pickup, and get everything unloaded and handle all the closing details the first part of the week. Then we will come back on Thursday or Friday and spend the next week packing boxes and getting ready for the biggest part of the move. We have a 26-foot U-Haul truck reserved for Friday, the  13th, and I will be towing my Mustang up on a car hauler behind it while Terry drives the Ram pulling the trailer with whatever else we need to take with us. It’s amazing how much stuff we have crammed into this place in just six years!

Even if we don’t get everything moved all at once, we have plenty of time because we’re not going to list this place for sale until it’s cleaned out. So if we need to make a few trips back and forth, we can do that.

So that’s our big news. Terry and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary on January 16th, and we feel like this is a pretty darn good anniversary gift to give each other. What do you think?

Thought For The Day – Life begins at the end of our comfort zone.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  69 Responses to “Making A Big Change”

  1. It’s beautiful! Way too large for me but I suspect you will really like it. I like the idea of you and Terry setting up at opposite ends of the same room. Like you, we got used to sharing space when we were RVing and still prefer that.

    56 years ago, when we were newlyweds, we spent Jan-May at Ft Rucker. In May, by 10 am it was too hot to do anything indoors so I hope you have A/C.

  2. We did the same thing last year. Moved out of Florida for the same reasons. Moved closer to family for the same reasons. Congratulations! Enjoy!

  3. We just moved out of Florida last year for the same reasons. Moved closer to family for the same reasons. Congratulations and enjoy!!

  4. Congrats Nick! I am glad you are moving from the coast and the administration there. I am 70 and we are looking for any place we can move at a lower altitude and reasonable taxes but nowhere in the South, on a coast, or anywhere inside the wildfires and drought zones, both of which we are in now. Other countries are out as the first world ones like Canada, and New Zealand have socialized medicine we have not paid into and being too old and not even self-employed in 15 years, I need 2 million dollars cash to invest in a Canadian/New Zealand company because we are too old and I have not held a “job” since I retired at 45 – just four years as an independent contractor. Like when you moved to Florida we thought we would never move again. We are fortunate to have no debt of any kind including house and cars too. While we have family in Louisiana no way I move back to that political swampland. There’s good moderate folks in all who are stuck, or are home. I won’t afford my home state of Connecticut taxes and cost of living. For those considering a move here are two interactive maps that show the likely wildfire areas and the current drought areas in the US:
    And Wildfire risk here:

    Good luck Nick, it’s a good move if the South suits ya!

  5. Robert Wang here and a Nam combat vet as well as disabled(100%).

    I too bought a box trailer 3 month before selling and took my time loading it before we left in March of 2021. I had just had a 3rd cancer diagnosis and the energy level was at an all time low so the trailer worked out well and still use it on occasion. Of course couldn’t get out of Cape Coral without a couple of citations for the trailer in the driveway, but the guy who wrote them said don’t bother, you will be gone before they are able to enforce.

    The commentary on Fl politics was spot on and it was hard to be one of the few that actually cared about facts vs extremest idiocy that prevails as a majority there.

    We moved back to In to family and friends from our work years and we could not be happier with that call. We lasted 9 years in Cape Coral which were fun and definitely had some great times, but could not see staying, the hurricane just cemented the call was the right decision.

    I had a bit of an inkling a move of this order was in the works, great move you will never regret being near family and they are blessed to have you near them.

    Be well and Semper Fi
    Bud Wand

  6. Congrats!!! It looks awesome :0) enjoy!

  7. I wish you both the very best of luck with this new adventure. It sounds wonderful, just don’t have such fun you forget to send out those blogs, I love them all.

  8. Congratulations Nick and Miss Terry!! What a beautiful anniversary gift to give each other!! I wish you all the best in your move and look forward to hearing all about your new adventures! God bless and Happy New Year! 😊

  9. Congrats! A loss for Florida but a huge gain for Alabama.

  10. Agree with the others – Congratulations and Enjoy! So happy for the both of you.

  11. Best wishes on your move. Florida’s loss is Alabama’s gain!

  12. Nice! Your own range! Now I’m envious!! Enjoy, you deserve it.

  13. Wow, that is a big change! What a lovely home! Being near family is always a good thing as one ages. The only downside I can see is losing your water proximity but maybe that isn’t as important anymore.
    We are somewhat older than you and Terry, and I cannot imagine doing the moving ourselves. Packing up maybe, but not the actual moving. Hope you have lots of help. Up here in the frozen tundra, we have a company called “Two Men and a Truck”. Reasonable cost and very reliable.
    Hope all goes well. New adventures!

  14. Congratulations on your beautiful new home and being closer to your son and daughter-in-law. What a wonderful anniversary gift to one another. Looks like there might be some good trails for horse-riding grandchildren, so you may have some visitors from Arizona.

  15. Congrats! We just moved cross country a year ago to be back near family. Best of luck with the move!

  16. Congratulations. What a wise decision to move and I wish you both good health and happiness. I live in Celebration (Central Florida) and I too am so tired of the politics in this state. I used to think that this would be my last move but now I’m thinking not. Thank you for sharing all the pictures.

  17. Looks beautiful. Sweet Home Alabama/

  18. Best wishes, but since you didn’t like FL politics, I doubt AL will be much of an improvement in your mind.
    Burlington , VT or Portland, OR would probably suite you better.

  19. Congratulations, may your blessings be many. Pictures look like it’s a real nice place. We are living life the same only in the opposite directions. We had the nice big country place in Southwest Indiana, after escaping Southern California now in our fourth year of full timing. Thank you for the latest Big Lake novel, have you started the next one yet? 😉

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