THE SONIC BOOMER
This is my interim report on how things are going so far in my quest to become a snowbird: they’re going fine. Except for mail delivery, doctors’ appointments, insurance, license plates and voting, there’s no challenge to it at all.
I’m working on it.
I lived in Florida full-time for 40 years before running up to Kansas City to keep an eye on my grandchildren so their mother would be able to keep her job. While there, I bought a cottage in an online auction for $30,000 and, because my husband is a renovation genius, turned it into the cutest little thing ever.
Yet I didn’t want to be there all the time because I also have a fun shop with an adorable little apartment in the back (thanks to the renovation genius). In the beginning, I had wrongly assumed that, once I left for KC, my Florida business would wither and die and have to be sold, but evidently I am not the mission-critical person I thought I was. The key person turns out to be my manager, Bonnie.
With Bonnie at the helm, I am freed up to do other things — like paperwork and cleaning. But I also have time to write and think. It was the thinking — always dangerous — that suggested to me that I really didn’t have to give up either residence.
For 40 years, I watched people come to Florida in the winter and leave in the summer. They are pariahs for clogging the roadways and causing long wait lines at restaurants, but they are also saints for spending their money here. Having no real money to speak of, I am simply a pariah.
But I’m dealing with it! I try to keep my car off the road at rush hour, and I try not to go to restaurants during peak hours. If retirees are eating dinner at 4 p.m., this is why. Don’t be angry at us, we’re trying to help!
Not only that, but I’ve turned into sort of a nomad. If I’m in one place for too long, I get bored. Worse, I have nothing to write about.
My four-year-old grandson upon hearing an Amber Alert: “Grandma, I have bad news.”
Me: “What is it?”
Four-year-old: “A kid is lost.”
Me: “Oh, that’s terrible! It’s not your sister, is it?”
Four-year-old: “No, and it’s not me either.”
You can’t buy one-liners like that. So you can see where I must be in Kansas City part of the time — not just for the jokes, but so no one gets “lost.” They need me up there — not all the time, just when they do.
And Bonnie is nice enough to tell me they need me here, too. To get new merchandise into the store, deal with problems and, mostly, write checks.
It’s great to feel needed, especially for a pariah.
I’ll catch up to my mail someday.