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Welcome Home Spring
By Larry D Matthews   

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We are all glad when spring arrives.

 

Welcome Home Spring

Well folks we will soon have another winter under our belts and will be experiencing April showers and May flowers. I always remember my mothers enthusiasm looking for those first May flowers every spring. Once she was unable to get out herself I would faithfully search and find that first bouquet of May flowers for her. When I was younger I never understood why my mother loathed winter so much. I looked forward to all the winter activities and as a young man loved snowmobiling.

I now understand that winter brought a lot of extra hardship for my mother as it does for us all. That is the reason so many Canadians (snowbirds) head down south for a winter break. I know every winter is a challenge for our small business with reduced sales, day light and cash flow.

Living down south is a very desirable retirement goal . Especially for the winter months. My doctor tells me living down south for the winter increases our chance of living longer as winter with it’s flu’s and icy falls are very hard on seniors. Living down south is probably easier than most people think. Right now housing in Florida is very affordable. There are many options available from retirement communities to time shares to low priced single family homes. Our dollar is at par or better on any given day so we now have the combined benefits of parity and low housing prices.

I have reviewed housing prices in Florida and found winter residences as low as $3999.00 in parks with lot rentals of $260 per month. I found single family homes in reasonable neighborhoods as low as $39,900 with 2 bedrooms and one bath. Those with 3 bedrooms and two baths as low as $89,900. My search was interesting and revealed how affordable living down south for the winter can be. Rentals range from $350 per month for a one bedroom up to $700 for a 2 or 3 bedroom. There are other things to consider a primary one being health care and the cost of insurance while staying in Florida. Groceries are not cheap running on par with our local costs except for milk which is cheaper.

One thing I know for sure is that it is nice to have a break from our long winters. How long a break varies with each individual or couple. Driving down can be simplified by traveling hwy 81 through the mountains which offers great scenery and very little traffic as compared to hwy 95.

The Florida economy has been hard hit by this recession and tourist traffic is down. This is a great time to travel there as it is not near as busy and there are deals for affordable overnight accommodations. If you are like me it is nice to take a break and visit but I wouldn’t want to live there and there is no place like home. Part of home being home is the people around you. Absence does make the heart grow fonder. After only a week away I’m missing friends, family and yes my customers. Spring is coming and along with spring I hope will come home buyers looking to live in our own little paradise here in Nova Scotia. (Yes even with the winters) . While away I had the opportunity to sit on a bench in Deland Florida. I was dropped off there to view an art collection on display in the court house there. While sitting on a bench on that busy street corner I couldn’t help but contemplate the fact that I knew absolutely nobody there. I felt a moment of anxiety with that realization and actually felt relieved when my drive arrived to pick me up and I was among familiar faces again. That time of contemplation made me realize how much I appreciated what I had at home. You see home is where we are who we are. Home is where we have built our lives , our careers and our relationships with the people around us. Home is where we matter. There are different definitions of the word home but this definition best defines what I am referring to:

the place where somebody was born or raised or feels that he or she belongs

 

When I sat on that corner in Deland I did not feel that I belonged there. I only get that feeling when I am home surrounded by the people I love and care for. That is what is meant when people say “There is no place like home.” Yes we all know it also often comes with trials, tribulations, heartache and responsibilities we would like to run from sometimes. That all comes with the territory. To be truthful, I could only move to Florida if I took everyone with me. I guess I’ll just have to settle for a vacation in the sun every once in a while. Welcome home spring we are all glad to see you.

Remember

The first day of spring is March 21st

As my Mum always said

"April showers bring May flowers."

Larry Matthews



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