It’s a Small World, but a Big Decision

My aunt once announced that Perk and I had to quit moving because she had run out of space for us in her address book. When I calculated the number of places we have lived over the course of our marriage, I realized that we averaged a move every three-four years – sometimes to a new city, sometimes to a new place in the old city. I started keeping an inventory of our worldly goods, so that we could divest ourselves of them more easily with each move. We’ve pared down considerably.

???????????????????????????????When we were moving from Minneapolis, I measured my bookshelves in the new DC condo and made tough choices; as an English teacher, I had collected books for decades. Our son carted boxes of cherished volumes to the used book store until the manager cried, “That’s enough! We can’t take any more!” My son sorrowfully choked, “But I don’t know what to do with all of these. My parents aren’t with me anymore.” Assuming that we had moved on to that great Barnes and Noble in the sky, the manager relented and took all 3,000 (yes, three THOUSAND!) books.

Where in the World?

This next relocation, however, is disconcerting because we have no parameters for our decision-making.  Being retired, we do not need to worry about the commute time to the office, the quality of the schools, or even the city we live in. We only need to think about where we want to go, and it’s a big world out there!

As a Type-A Virgo, I had to invent some boundaries for myself.  We began by thinking about what we wanted in a new location:

  • A destination place We are gregarious, accustomed to lots of house guests. Apparently our delightful presence is not enough of a draw, because NO ONE accepts our invitations to come to Houston.  As my friend Ann Flanagan said, “Once you’ve seen the zoo and the beer can house, what else is there to do?”

    Beer Can House

    Beer Can House

  • No snow We lived in Minneapolis, Chicago and sometimes snowy DC for most of our lives. I’ve learned how much more room you have in the trunk of your car when you don’t have to carry bags of sand, snow brushes and jumper cables. I rarely complain about the rain in Houston … I don’t have to shovel it!
  •  Clean beaches I love sitting in the sun and smelling the salt water, wading in the surf and feeling the sand slip from beneath my toes. I don’t want to know what could be slipping from beneath my toes on the shores of the Potomac or on the red tide beaches of Bolivar Peninsula!
  • Things to do We like street fairs and open air concerts, science museums, funky art galleries, baseball games and people-watching.  We like to be outside, dressed in casual clothes and munching goodies purchased from sidewalk vendors.

After we considered the above four bullets, we still had too many options – California, the Carolinas, a Caribbean Island?  We added criteria:

  • Affordable
  • Healthy lifestyles
  • Friends to show us around

We were making progress, but decided that we needed input from the most important people in our lives.

Gulf Coast Sunset

Gulf Coast Sunset

Yes, we consulted our grandchildren. Where did they want us to live? Where would they like to visit us? I loved that their first response was “Paris”, but it’s too expensive for many visitors, snow sometimes clogs the Champs Elysees, the Seine is not for wading.  Their next choice was inevitable …

…and so we’re off to Florida. It’s a Small World after all!


  1. Ahh, Florida! A place we have family and visit often. Just think, if you had your kindle way back when, your book shelves would have been less crowded!

  2. Cup Harrison says:

    Lovely! You must post sunrise and sunset pics and keep us all in the loop of what this new adventure brings. Love and our very best to you!

  3. We will buy a margarita machine for you so make sure you find a place large enough for it. I know you have some great beach chairs so get ready for us. We want to enjoy those sunsets with you! Oh, and then we can have coffee together watching the sun rise!!

  4. When are you making the big move? Good Luck. I think of you often. Smoches to you and Perk.

  5. Craig Scheffer says:

    Hi favorite cousins in law. Miss you two. I am taking good care of Craig. Florida sounds wonderful.

    Sent from my iPad

  6. Ann Flanagan says:

    Personally, Cyndee and Perk, I loved the Beer Can House. I treasure my Beer Can House baseball cap and to preserve it for as long as possible, I will only wear it at the beach or in a boat. In Florida or at my favorite Minnesota lake. My last trip to Florida was when I was in college. Last century. Looking forward to seeing what’s new!

  7. Pam Mitcham says:

    Thanks for the update ! Florida is the right place for you guys – which city ? – have fun and keep us updated w/ your very entertaining posts! Pamela M.


  8. Karen Perkins says:

    I personally LOVE the Gulf side too, Cyndee….just make sure that there is a reasonably priced golf course near-by, or I won’t ever get Jim to visit. Good thing I took my 2 Carribeancrusies with girlfriends…..just sayin :o)) kp To:

  9. Mary Hadfield says:

    I love the way you write….just the way you talk. And have always enjoyed your readiness to take on anything or anyone new. For that I envy you. I know it’s inevitable that you’ll be moving soon, so am already missing you. But I hope and pray you’ll keep in touch and tell me about all your adventures.

    Take care and give Perk a hug for me.

    Love you, Mary

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