A MUSE – LIFE CHANGES
MAY 27, 2014
It’s been too long since my last Muse and many things have happened since.
When I retired some years ago I wanted to move to a Caribbean Island where one could swim at least 360 days a year. My wife, Christina, pretended to acquiesce to my desire, so after house hunting for two years and finding some beautiful houses (I thought), nothing suited her. She finally confessed: “There is no way I am going to move to a third world country,” she said.
I suggested a compromise: “How about Naples, Florida?” I knew the gulf water was colder in the winter than I would have preferred, but it was about as far south as one could go and remain in the U.S. (Key West, notwithstanding, lacks the beaches). What’s more! Florida has no state income taxes.
Her response: “I wouldn’t move to Florida for ten million dollars!” (Her tri-state New York friends had always maligned those people who retired and “just moved off to Florida to die.”) So I thought I was just going to have to stay in Connecticut until I died.
But the weather cooperated (or did not cooperate depending upon one’s point of view). It got worse, or so it seemed, and every morning I would wake up, look out the window and remark: “Ah! Another beautiful, bright, sunshiny day in paradise.” It must have worked, for finally, after two years, Christina remarked one morning right out of the blue: “Why don’t we move to Naples?” She had never been to Naples, so I gave her a couple of days to reconsider. Then we were on an airplane, found a house in five days, bought it, came home, watched our dog Riva die, sold our house and moved out in the middle of one of the winter’s first snow storms.
I must admit that moving 25 years of “stuff” was no picnic. But now I look out the skylight almost every morning to a bright blue sky and smell the air, happy that I missed this winter’s “snowrage” up north. Children and grandchildren have already been down to visit (Daughter four times). I’ve started writing again
And last month, after thinking I had paid my last dime in taxes in Connecticut, I received notice that instead of a refund, I owed. An addendum had been added to the tax calculation schedule I had always used. The addendum was entitled “3 % Tax Rate Phase-Out Add-Back”. My kudos go out to the politician or bureaucrat who invented that one.
Thanks for stopping by – and look forward to next Monday’s Muse on today’s children and parenting.