February is here, and that means VALENTINES DAY! So what are you to do? Creativity is the key! Yes, most people will buy a nice gift for that someone special, but is that enough? This is a day that is all about romance, about showing your partener how much you love them, how much you think about them. So how much thought do YOU put into a gift? Is it really personal or sentimental? Can you take something that person really likes or enjoys, and turn it into a gift? Get creative, be different!

Being creative and different is becoming my mantra down here! There are some times when you really need to “think outside the box”. Florida is a lot different from Connecticut! Since I got here I’ve become accustomed to looking at things in a different way, lol.

The first thing I realized that was “different” down here is; no matter how many rooms you have, you still have NO ROOM! I’m serious, I had a tiny apartment in CT, and we got a big 4 bedroom home here, but no one realizes there is NO STORAGE in FL! Until you get here with all your stuff! Do you have any idea how challenging it is to put rocks (a lot of rocks) away in a place without storage? Pretty tough. All the homes are the same here- no basement, no attic, very little closet space- no “cubbies”. Now I know why people don’t park in the garage!! And there are some pretty elaborate sheds around here!! lol Live and learn.

The other thing you find out real quick (no pun intended) is that things move at a different pace around these parts! Being from up north, we are used to a very fast paced lifestyle; this will take some getting used to, I can say that! Being in the south, people are much more “laid back” and relaxed about everything; and if they are not from the south, then they are retired- and in no hurry, and on no schedule! A lot of things need “thinking about” before they get done, or so I’ve been told. So if you thought things were taking a lot longer than you expected….you are right! Maybe planning ahead more will help?

And what’s up with the birds down here? They are HUGE! Not even kidding, some of them are bigger than me! I am afraid one day someone will come looking for me and discover I’ve been plucked from my dock and carried away! They are not  afraid of people- not even a little! We had to battle two great blue herons over what was in the crab traps!

You know what else they don’t have in Florida? Dirt. Yep, dirt. There is no real ground, or dirt, or grass; it’s all sand! No rocks- just shells and limestone. With no dirt to be had, there are a few small indentations in the yard where we took out some of the jungle’s weeds and plants; well I keep thinking they are sink holes! Frank has to keep reminding me there was a plant there before. The plants here are amazing; they grow like a jungle; really, really huge in a really, really short time- but they have almost no root system! I couldn’t believe it! There was bamboo growing right over the cement in the back yard, and we didn’t know it, couldn’t see the cement. When the kids discovered there was more patio, we tried to remove the bamboo-wow! Tough plant! And there is not much to the root, honestly it grew on cement, not into the ground!

So, there are some adjustments to make, but some you don’t mind. There is fresh, free food everywhere! You can “catch” your dinner, right from your dock. The neighbors love to share from their fruit trees; avocados, oranges, star fruit, papaya, grape fruit, you name it! Speaking of neighbors, people are much more friendly and helpful- not that they are all that bad up north, but there is a big difference here. It could be that they have less stress, or that they were all new once too; very few people are native to Florida, we are almost all “transplants”.

They do have a better way of thinking down here, it is an easier way of life, and you can actually have a life instead of working yourself to death. Between the water, the beaches, the gulf breeze, the wildlife, the swaying palm trees, and the vacationers you almost have to take it easy, go at a slower pace, enjoy the scenery; stop and smell the roses. And you really don’t mind going to work when 9 times out of 10 you are working right on a beach, in the sun, with a beautiful breeze and a gorgeous view. I can go to work, and literally have my ” toes in the water, a**  in the sand”! So that’s what I’ve learned down here so far; here’s to the next chapter! Stay tuned!

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Author: terri
I have always loved gemstones! I have been polishing stones since I was eight years old! Now I have a business I love and I get to share my passion with everyone!