Several blog readers have asked why we suddenly decided to leave the central Florida coast to move to rural Alabama and if we are ready to cope with such a dramatic change in our lifestyle.
First of all, this wasn’t a “sudden decision” based on impulse. For quite some time now we had become more and more disillusioned with living in Florida. While it is a great place to go for a vacation, living there proved to be very different for us. Rising insurance rates on our home and cars, even though we never had a claim, were becoming intolerable. The constant development without regard to the infrastructure to support it has resulted in traffic nightmares, crowded schools, flooding with every storm because there is nowhere for the water to go, and higher crime rates. I am allergic to the noseeums, and they ate me alive every time I stepped outside. And while Alabama is also a very red state, Florida’s politics and attitude toward anyone who is not white, straight, and wealthy were something we just could not agree with. So we had been thinking about leaving for a while now, and when this home and acreage became available, we jumped on it. An added advantage is being able to be so close to our son and his wife, who are only fifteen minutes away.
In terms of real estate, the value for the dollar here is so much more than in Florida. Our son and his wife bought a beautiful three-bedroom two bath home on nine acres for the same price that our neighbor in Florida just paid for a new doublewide mobile home on a very small lot.
As for the lifestyle, Terry and I have both lived in cities, small towns, and out in the country. I’ll take a view like this out my back window on a foggy morning over seeing my neighbor’s place just a few feet away. Not to mention the peacefulness. It’s so quiet that we notice when a car goes past our place a few times a day. And when they do, the neighbor always takes the time to wave or beep their horn if they see you outside. As I said in yesterday’s blog, we had neighbors stopping over to help us unload our U-Haul truck and trailer, and others have come by just to introduce themselves and welcome us to the neighborhood.
While we are “out in the country” in terms of rural ambiance, and the small town of Gordo doesn’t have much more than a dollar store, a small Piggly Wiggly grocery, a Subway sandwich shop, a post office, and a garage, we are only twenty minutes away from Northport, which has a Lowes, a Super Walmart, Publix, all kinds of restaurants and services, and it abuts Tuscaloosa. With all of the traffic in Florida, it took us that long to drive to the nearest Walmart. Tuscaloosa has just about every kind of retail store and medical service one could ever need, and if you can’t find it there, Birmingham is an hour away.
And best of all, when our running around is done, we get to come home to this welcoming sight. So yes, while it is a lifestyle change, it is a tradeoff we are happy to make.
And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.
Thought For The Day – One of the happiest moments in life is when you make the decision to let go of what you cannot change.