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The Little Woman (don’t call me that!) and I are going through a serious menopause (as in change of life) and it is causing both of us to experience hot flashes of anxiety and trepidation. When we moved here 11 years ago, both of us felt it would be the last move that we would make before they carry us off to “the home.” Our only doubt was about who would go first and who would be the one to carry on with things and make regular visits to “the home.”
Now, here we are, committed to moving to Sarasota, Fla., so we can finally be full-time burdens to our son and his family. Wow! As of this writing, we no longer own this humble abode on the banks of Golden Pond and 90 days or so from now, we will be full-time Floridians. And I was just getting used to being a Texan (I even sorta-rooted for the Cowboys). One thing is for sure — I will always be a Bronco fan and there is not one professional team in the state of Florida that I care to root for.
As the reality of the impending change sinks in on TLW and me, we share much the same overwhelming feeling of 11 years ago as we were driving through Oklahoma on the way down here to Golden Pond in Booger Woods. We both noticed the outside temperature display on the dashboard read 110 degrees and, in unison we gasped, “What in the hell have we done to ourselves?”
One of the obstacles we need to overcome is how well our 16-year-old cat, Little Orphan Annie, will make the trip. She made the two-day motor trip down her OK with just a mild case of “pet lag.” One problem I had with her was her penchant for snaking between the driver’s side door and my seat and up into her usual nesting place in my lap. This can be very disconcerting when you are whipping down a crowded freeway at 70 miles per.
TLW is already half way through a big bundle of packing boxes. Even though most of our furniture is staying with the house there is still a ton of “packed-by-owner” stuff. We have an astounding amount of books, crystal, china, flatware, dishes, cookware, bric-a-brac, knickknacks, and decorative gimcrackery (bet you have to look that one up). The professional movers will pack all our TVs, wall hangings, and lamps — which is a relief to us.
The term “pulling up stakes” is a time-worn expression for moving on to some other place. We are acutely aware that, in our case, those stakes are the many wonderful people we have come to know and love here. The sad reality is that when you “pull up stakes” they may very well be “stakes in the heart” as you depart.
I remember when we first got here much of our new social life and friends started at the Other Place restaurant which was owned by TLW’s sister and brother-in-law. For many years, as an Air Force First Sergeant and Senior Enlisted Advisor, I had a sign on my wall that proudly declared “People Are My Business.” However, I was terrible then, and I am terrible now, at remembering people’s names. It seems I never forget a face but I can never remember a name.
The point here is that, as we met all these new people, I had to hang a label on them in lieu of remembering their names.
There were people like “Tom the framer,” “Tom the florist,” “Steve the pilot,” “Tommy and Kenny the realtors,” “Dick the developer,” “Mitch the bar-b-que guy,” “Steve the furniture guy,” “Rhonda the beertender,” “Izzy the chef,” “J-Ro from Max’s,” “Hope the boss,” “Fireman John,” “Philip the builder,” “Joe from the barn,” “jug-fisher Ralph,” “Collin Street Bakery Marsha,” “Tom the landscape guy,” “Cindy the decorator,” “Hollis the barber,” “David the sprinkler guy,” and “Bobby the surveyor.” I guess my favorite pet name of all was “HEB Rita.”
There are many other “stakes” that we have become dearly acquainted with through TLW’s membership in the Corsicana Newcomers club, my membership in the Island Cattle and Goat Club, and our involvement with the Grandview Estates Property Owners Association. For years, as we met new people, we would claim Denver when asked where we are from. When we get that same question in our new digs in Sarasota, Fla., both of us will proudly state that we are from Corsicana, (of course, then we’ll have to explain where Corsicana is).
By the way, many of you readers have asked me what will happen to this space in the Tuesday paper once we make the move. For better or for worse, and due to the graciousness of his Royal and Exalted Editorship, Bob Belcher, it looks like I will continue to rant from Florida. During the interim period of the actual move, you will be subjected to some recycled rants from when I used to write for the defunct Navarro County Star. So there!
TLW just took a break from her frantic packing and asked what I was doing. When I said “Nothing,” she yelled back, “That’s what you did yesterday!” I said, “That’s right, and I wasn’t finished.”
Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: email@example.com