…for three days in 1990!
Today (September 28th, 2016) is the 26th anniversary of my official residency as a Floridian. Three days before, on September 25th, 1990, I gave up my citizenship as a legal resident of the State of New York, as I signed on the dotted line to sell my house.
It was a big, new adventure; one which held an unknown future for my then husband, Dan, myself and his Mom. That’s what I called it, as we drove into Delaware on US I-95. “A new adventure,” I announced to Mom. I felt excited and positive. Little did I know, as we settled into our first motel stay and I got my first mosquito bites which were of major proportions, what was in store for our future.
We were a caravan of two cars and were “attached” by a CB system that Dan rigged up. It was very basic, but served the purpose in notifying when we intended to stop at a service area. Dan led the way in his car.
I followed, with Mom in my back seat. She was 86, full of trepidation; full of trepidation, because we couldn’t leave her in Long Beach. She had no one there on whom she could depend if she needed help. Friends had moved away to be near their kids, or died. Nothing was left there for her. She really didn’t want to leave, but there was no other choice.
Mom was very comfortable what with pillows and blanket to insure her comfort. She was of small stature and she fit right in on the bench seat of my 1986 Ford Granada – turbo engine, of course. Ha ha.
We were making very good time. I had arranged for motel stops and the next one was located in Georgia. When we got there, it was only 3:00pm, and we decided that it was too early and had the manager call ahead to another one in St. Augustine, Florida.
We lost all the time we made before that motel stop in Georgia. We got caught up in the Jacksonville rush hour traffic. What a bummer!
Mom was very tired after the two days’ travel, so she just wanted to rest when we arrived in St. Augustine. We decided that we would bring her back some food, which we did after enjoying our supper in a casual restaurant.
We had visited that city previously, some years before, and found ourselves wandering about, and visited some of our favorite places. It is such a quaint, old city, and it was a pleasure to stretch our legs and feet over cobble stones!
After an exhausted sleep in St. Augustine, and after five more hours of driving, we finally arrived at our first destination at Forest Trace in Broward county. It had opened only a year before; it was beautiful (we had visited it a couple of months earlier). Mom was settled in at her apartment: she was warmly welcomed by the staff, and made to feel at ease. Her rented furniture was in place, so she was able to rest after the long trip.
At the same time we had made arrangements for Mom’s apartment, we made arrangements for an apartment in a nearby apartment complex for ourselves. Our rented furniture had been delivered in our apartment, overseen by the complex office manager.
All our furniture and Mom’s were sold in New York. This was really a new start for us all!
It was an odd feeling I had, knowing I didn’t have a place where I could call “home.” I had a destination, but those three days had me feeling “displaced.” And, in another way, it was a free feeling because during those days, I had no responsibilities. No tethers. It was peculiar, but, yes, exciting.
Everything went smoothly. That was a good feeling. The next day, we went to the court house, and signed a “Declaration of Domicile.” We were no longer HOMELESS!
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