It’s finally going to happen. After canceling our first planned year (2021) to spend two months in Florida, we’re actually going to make it this winter. I just sent the final payment for the condo this week. It’s real!!
But am I ready? Both organizationally and mentally? There are so many things to consider and I’m afraid I’ll miss something important. Maybe you can help me. I know some of you have snowbird experience!!
Organization – Making a List
I started a list several weeks ago, but it’s primarily a list of questions with no answers. For some reason, I keep putting off making any real decisions. I’m hoping writing this post will give me that extra push I seem to need.
We are leaving January 7, so we have only a few days after the holidays to take down Christmas. I guess we could start earlier than usual; I like to wait until after January 1. In fact, we probably should start earlier, because there will be too many other last minute things to do.
We have the condo rented from January 9 until February 13. Our original plan was to stay until March 13, but we decided to cut off four weeks so my sister didn’t have to spend so much time holding down the fort with my dad. Realistically, though, most of what I do for him now can be done remotely, so I don’t see that being too much of a problem. But I also wanted to get back in time to help him with his taxes, which he typically likes to do in late February/early March.
My list includes the following:
- Prescriptions – do I need to transfer them from our local pharmacy to a nationwide option?
- Mail – do we forward it or have the post office hold it?
- Someone to check the house – I don’t want to bother anyone but I would like someone to check things out at least once a week
- Projects – limited to cross stitch and knitting.
- What do we need to take besides clothes?
Can you think of anything else I need to consider as a snowbird?
Prescriptions and Mail
I talked to my pharmacy about their options for getting me my prescriptions. I hate to transfer all of them just because of these five weeks. It sounds like I can request a “vacation override” and get my meds early. I need to make a note to go in and request this a couple of weeks before we leave. And hope the holidays don’t mess things up!!
I did an inventory of my meds yesterday and it appears I will have three (out of five) that will need the vacation override. They’re all due to be refilled around January 15. My prescription from Mayo Clinic, which is already mailed to me, can be mailed to our condo, but I’ll have to coordinate it well to avoid missing it. It could be tricky as I never know how long Mayo will take. Sometimes they’re quick; sometimes not so quick.
Tim thinks it would be too much of a hassle forwarding our mail. He’s the expert so I have to rely on his opinion. We don’t get that much important mail anyway (do you?) and I assume I can still monitor it through Informed Delivery if we have them hold it. I think I will delegate this task to Tim.
Checking the house
I heard that some of our neighbors actually hire someone to check their house. These neighbors are gone for six months, however. One of my friends has offered and the other day, one of our neighbors did too. I think we’ll be OK. No more cats, so we don’t have to worry about that. I just want someone to check and make sure nothing is leaking and that the furnace is working.
What to take besides clothes
We won’t be in the middle of nowhere, but there are some things we use that I really don’t want to buy just for this trip. Laundry for instance. I plan to take a drying rack, a basket (or two), detergent, dryer sheets, spot remover, and the hangers I use for line drying. I have extra washcloths to take, as we’ve found from past experience that condos are not supplied with lots of these. Maybe even some extra towels?
I definitely need my laptop and have been wondering about buying a cheap printer. I can get one at Amazon for under $100. Is it worth it for five weeks? I’m just not sure what I might need to print, scan, or copy and I don’t want to be caught off-guard. I have a few weeks yet to decide.
I’m planning to take a Bluetooth speaker and one of our Amazon Fire Sticks. And I’ll want the light I use for cross stitching.
What about office supplies? Stamps, envelopes, return address labels?
Will I want my recipe binders or specific cookbooks? I need to remind Tim that this isn’t like being on vacation; we won’t be eating out every night!!
I can certainly buy any books I need there, But I also like to take what I think I’ll need. I can always download to my Nook or the Kindle app on my iPad, but if I’m going to be reading outside, I actually prefer real books. On past vacations, I’ve read as many as six books a week. That will not be the case with this trip. I think maybe I will need three or four.
And then there are my projects. I will be focused on cross stitch and knitting. I’d like to have everything I need for my projects, but I did check to see if there were any needlework stores in the area and I found one. Their website says they’re the “only full service, full cross stitch store in a 7 county area”. I must check it out!!
As far as knitting goes, I’ve been working on a project all summer. I call it my car project as about the only time I work on it is when we take longer trips. My guess is it won’t be finished before we leave, so I’ll take it with me. And then maybe one other project. We’ll see. I’d rather have too much than run out!!
It will be tough leaving all my cardmaking stuff at home. There’s just no way I can take what I would need, so I’m not even going to try. I do plan to have birthday cards for January and February made before we leave and then mail them from Florida. I’m hoping that knowing this ahead of time, I will not miss it too much.
The mental aspect
I am very excited about going but there’s always a little hesitation. Maybe going for just 5 weeks will be a good way to ease into snowbird life. I’m hoping we’ll find it’s tough to come back, meaning it’s going well.
But there will be things I’ll miss. My cardmaking, time with family. I know five weeks will fly by. I keep telling myself I’ll be able to walk outside. We’ll take time to explore things we haven’t had time for during our one week vacations. I want to think of it as our life, not just a vacation. I want it to feel like home.
So tell me – what else do I need to plan for?