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Walking Familiar Territory

Day 160

This morning I went for a walk. It’s odd to be walking in a place where I lived for so long but now seems very unfamiliar. I have become accustomed to my mountain life and the sights and sounds that surround me. The first few minutes of my walk I felt unsafe. That was a new feeling for me because I’ve never felt unsafe walking by myself. After a few minutes I re-accustomed myself to my surroundings and I was OK.

I did a 2-mile walk on very flat land which is very strange compared to the hills and curves in my mountain community. I wrote once about fences in an earlier post, but here I was struck by the signs and fences to contain or keep out or to protect. The newer the community the higher and stronger the fences — brick walls and metal gates. I guess that’s what money buys.

img_8856-1I noticed the smell of pesticides and fertilizers along my walk throughout very well-crafted communities. It was a familiar smell but not something I smell often where I live. It’s very beautifully landscaped here but it’s not wild, it’s very controlled. The weeds are held back by chemicals and the flowers are all similar from yard to yard to yard. I’m not sure if they are all native or not but I’m sure some are.

I had forgotten how sandy the soil is here. Such a contrast to the red clay in North Carolina.

Some of the things I saw made me so happy to see again. They were very familiar to me from my life here. I’m a little bit late to see the yellow tab trees in full bloom. They’re a sight to see when their flowers fall — this beautiful tree sitting on a blanket of yellow flowers. One of my favorite trees from my time in Florida.

The squirrels are very different in behavior here. They aren’t so skittish of humans and will climb a tree but constantly check to see if you’re still there and if you are posing any type of threat.

I also enjoyed seeing the resurrection ferns. They look so dead when in need of moisture, but they look so alive just moments after receiving water.

I loved seeing all the crepe myrtles, but they are not blooming yet. Most of the crepe myrtles have been cut back by half. That’s normal here. I always preferred to let mine grow naturally. To each his own.

I only saw three fruit trees. One lemon, one orange, and one kumquat. I am sure this area at one time was covered in orchards. In Florida, most fruits are ripe in December or January timeframe so the fruit I saw on the trees was beginning to look old.

It is so warm and humid here. There is algae growing most anywhere protected by shade. The sidewalks, the telephone poles, and the sides and roofs of many houses are covered in algae. I remember once being written up by our home owners association because we had algae on the roof. We were required to pay someone to pressure wash our roof with bleach even though it drastically shortened the life of this shingles.

Much of Florida is much more rural than this. There is a beautiful wildness to see here. I recommend you seek it out if you have the opportunity to visit. The Spanish moss is not fiend removed from the trees, but in the wilder areas it is very prevalent.

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It was really a beautiful day. Cloudy and overcast with a cool breeze and the threat of rain. A perfect Florida day for me. I enjoyed walking in the cool breeze because in a few months that will be rare. I loved seeing the familiar things but it made me miss the wild area where I live now.

Other than my children and my granddaughter, Florida is now just a memory for me. As long as they are here, I will always return. And I will always have a fond remembrance of the many years I lived here and all the happy times I experienced. But we move on. Sometimes places don’t suit us anymore and we have to find where we fit. I think I found my place and I’m happy to be there. I only wish all the people I love were there too.