We’re here in Florida for another winter. This year, we’re staying for six weeks instead of five. We want to be here for baseball spring training. Even though last year’s spring training started late, we left too early even if it had started on time.
At the start of January
I have to admit, it hasn’t been a great January for me. As you know, I lost a good friend and her visitation and funeral were on January 1 and 2. It helped to write this post about her but I struggled before then.
If you’ve followed me for a while or read some of my older posts, you know I suffer from spontaneous vertigo. It’s mostly under control, but it flares up occasionally. It’s not nearly as debilitating as it used to be, for which I’m thankful. But the little flare-ups zap my confidence and energy.
I was eating my lunch on January 8 when a spell hit. I started to walk to the bedroom so I could lie down and I fell. That’s never happened to me before. While walking isn’t easy during a spell, I’ve never felt that out of control. I bumped my knee pretty good and I can still feel the bruise even now.
I’ve reached the point where I can almost tell when I could have a spell. My head feels wonky and my vision is a little blurry. But on January 10, a day when I thought I was feeling great, I had a spell while I was driving. Ok, now I’m really spooked. Fortunately, I was almost home and it was a quick one. I was fine by the time I pulled into our garage. But I was definitely nervous.
I was mostly fine while we were getting ready for our trip to Florida. I had a few loose ends to resolve and then pack. I had good notes from last year which helped. However, I didn’t do a great job of packing shirts. I didn’t bring very many!!
We were kind of excited about the snow we got the day before we left. It made us even more thrilled that we were leaving for a while.
The three-day trip
Just a couple of weeks before we were to leave, Tim made a change in our route. Instead of going south first, we were going to go east and spend our first night in a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. I was familiar with the area because I’d gone to the Western & Southern Open (tennis) there so many times. And we had reservations at a favorite restaurant.
The reservation meant we were on a schedule. So, we got up early to be on the road by 7:00. This would be our longest driving day and we needed to be at the restaurant by 7:30.
Everything started out fine, but we stopped at a rest area around Galesburg, Illinois and as we were getting ready to leave, I had a spell. It didn’t last long but I was afraid to eat much after that. I never know what causes it.
I was fine for the rest of the day but nervous. At the restaurant that night, I had a couple of little twinges. Great, I thought. But I was able to enjoy my meal.
To summarize, I had a spell that night in bed, one the next day in the car (which was a little worse and I missed driving through Chattanooga), and then one that night in bed. I was very apprehensive about our third driving day. But I made it through. I ate very little and I didn’t work any more on my knitting project, since both spells in the car came after I was knitting for a while.
So far, I’ve been doing OK here in Florida. I have had a couple of days when my head didn’t feel quite right, but nothing I can’t manage. I’m pretty sure stress is a trigger and hopefully finally getting here has made things better. It’s unlikely, however, that I’ll go anywhere by myself for a while.
Things we did differently this year
Last year, before we left, I made a note of the things I wouldn’t bring again and those I wanted to add to the packing list.
If you followed me last year, you know I wavered on whether I’d want a printer here. I even considered buying one just for our trip. But I didn’t. We did OK, but I did kind of miss it. I don’t print a lot, but it is nice to be able to do it when you want something.
Plus, we have an HP Instant Ink plan and when we got back, after sitting idle for almost six weeks, the printer wasn’t happy. The ink cartridges were dry and it took me a while to finally get everything straightened out. So this year, I wrapped it in bubble wrap and we brought it with us. I haven’t used it a lot but I have been glad it’s here.
I also hated the knives in this condo. Actually, any condo I’ve ever stayed in has lousy knives. So, I packed up some of our favorite knives this year. We haven’t done a lot of cooking yet, but they’ve definitely come in handy. We also brought a crockpot again and I filled it up with the spices I thought we’d need.
I missed having a clock in the bathroom. For some reason, I need to know what time it is when I’m getting cleaned up in the morning (or afternoon, as is often the case here). I took the clock from my bathroom at home and stuck it in my trip bag. I also brought a little clock we had in our spare bathroom, and it’s by my reading chair. I’m so happy!!
Last year, I fretted about our mail. We checked into the UPS Store as an option and in November, I secured a box at the store closest to us. I was starting to think our forwarding wasn’t working until yesterday when we had several things in our UPS box. Finally!! But there are still some things not being forwarded. We left a key with a neighbor and he’s checked our box once since we left.
Tim had shoulder replacement surgery in September and was going to physical therapy up until the day before we left. He wanted to bring a few weights and things so he could continue with his rehab. But I think he’s already concluded he won’t be doing that again.
When we first got here, I was wondering if we should come again next year. Why do I let it create so much stress for me? I think some of it’s because I am such a homebody and I like being around my “stuff”. I can’t sew or make cards while we’re here. Although I have made progress on both knitting and cross stitch projects.
The other thing is my dad. I hate feeling like I’m leaving everything to my sister. We’ve made some changes recently to his level of care which should make leaving easier. (I don’t have to fill his prescription boxes weekly.) We have applied for LTC benefits and I’m the one who takes care of that stuff. I did call about his tax appointment in December, so we’re set with that and I’ve done all I can until the 1099s, etc. are delivered. I’m trying to tell myself that I need to take care of myself too and this trip is part of that.
We’ve looked at a couple of other options for next year, mainly because we would prefer a king-sized bed. But there are so many positives about this place that I hate to give it up. Unfortunately, we’ll have to make that decision before we leave in March.
Next time, I’ll update you on what we’ve been doing since we got here. The weather is SO much nicer than last year’s. Can’t complain about that at all!!