Once we made the decision to move to Florida, the search for the right home began. Luckily for us, one of my former classmates from Lake Wales, was a very experienced and excellent realtor. With her help we began the search. Mike and I went back to Lake Wales to look at some homes and explore the area. We saw a house we liked that was actually less than 1/2 a mile from the house I lived in back in high school. It was an older home with lots of character and quirkiness. It was a bit on the small side compared to the last several homes we had lived in, but it had a lovely pool and a guest cottage and it was very reasonably priced. We placed a bid on the house and kept our fingers crossed!
Well, crossing our fingers didn't work. On the same day we made our offer, the owner also received another bid for the same amount but their offer was a cash offer....which pushed us right out of the picture. It was disappointing, but it was understandable. So it was back to the drawing board. After searching on-line some more we found another home that we liked. After much discussion I went back to Florida to actually see the house and Mike stayed in Austin. I really liked the home and Mike and I decided to make an offer. Surprisingly, the offer was accepted and then we had to put our Austin home on the market.
That didn't go as well. It took about 3 months to find a buyer, a long and frustrating 3 months. So for those 3 months we had 2 homes. The Austin house was built in the early 90's and unfortunately many of those who viewed the house thought much of it was dated and in need of major updating. The things people didn't like were fairly superficial, and in some cases downright ridiculous. But eventually we received an offer. It wasn't as good as we had hoped but we wanted to get on with it, so we accepted the offer. Yay!
So the summer of 2014 was filled with all the paperwork for both houses, sorting through some of our possessions to begin to weed out some of our stuff. We closed on the Florida house in September, 2014. I went back to Florida in the middle of October (for my 50th H.S. reunion). Because we didn't want the Florida house to sit empty while we were waiting to sell the Austin house, I filled my car with as much of my stuff as possible and I stayed on after the reunion.
For the next three months I lived in Florida and Mike lived in Texas. We spent a lot of time on the phone! Mike ultimately decided to retire in mid-January, 2015. After we got the offer on the Austin house, we scheduled that closing for mid-January, 2015.
While I was in Florida waiting for Mike and the rest of our things to arrive in January, I got the worst case of flu I have ever had!! I was so sick for over three weeks that I was totally incapacitated. I wasn't able to get out of bed for more than a few minutes at a time. I was hardly able to eat anything and lost about 7 pounds! I mostly slept through those three weeks. I wasn't able to drive back to Texas for Thanksgiving which was extremely disappointing. My whole family was together for the holiday, except for me.
I seemed to be recovering slowly but surely, when I had a relapse and was sick again for another 10 days! Finally, Mike flew to Florida and took care of me for a few days and then we drove back to Austin about a week before Christmas. It was a very weird experience all the way around.
After Christmas 2014, I loaded up my car again with as much stuff as I could get in and returned to Florida. Mike would be there in about 2 weeks and then we would be able to start getting our house in order and settled in as Florida residents! I had a smooth trip with no delays and I arrived back here on New Year's Eve at about 7:00 pm. Safe and Sound! After 50 years, I was finally back to "Home Sweet Home!"
As I was on the very last leg of my trip back to our new home, and I was only about a mile and a half from the house, I pulled into a turn lane to make a right turn onto the street leading to our house, when, seemingly out of nowhere, I was sideswiped, pushed out of the lane on to the shoulder, and then the driver of the other car took off like a bat out of hell!! Luckily I was not injured and my car was still drivable, but I was really angry and I took off after the car so I could get the license plate number.
Hardly a great start to 2015!!