It’s nearly impossible to visit the Florida Keys and not be inspired. You’re literally hovering on the crossroads of two incredible bodies of water. The drive alone on the Overseas Highway is enough to give you the chills. But once you step foot on the mangrove islands, you are instantly engulfed in the warm hug of humidity as well as the shroud of history that makes the Keys so inspiring. Many people far greater than us have felt the call of the Keys. For a few days, we walked in their footsteps.
Is there a better summer song than a fun, acoustic guitar song? We have also gotten rained on quite a bit the first part of our journey so this seemed appropriate now that summer is officially upon us.
“Had to ask you for a kiss
‘cause I knew you were a lady
You had your hand up on my knee
I had your lips on my mind
And I think I kissed your cheek and darling that’s just fine”
You tell me.
As we set out on our travels, we wanted to create a way to draw attention to the language we all use. That idea sort of spawned the complaint jar concept.
We sat behind a couple at a sunset beach bar on the way to Apalachicola. The man walked in complaining about how the friend they were meeting always picked the same kind of restaurants. The woman chimed in saying how frustrating it is that the friend is always late. As soon as the friend arrived, the conversation picked back up. The complaints changed to those regarding our government and society. With a complete lack of appreciation for the beautiful sunset and rolling waves and chirping birds.
We just wrapped up a week in the Keys and there is no better way to close out that week than watching the sunset over Mile 0 with Jimmy Buffett. If you haven’t been, you should put this one on the list.
Yeah, now the sun goes slidin’ ‘cross the water
Sailboats, they go searchin’ for the breeze
Salt air it ain’t thin
It can stick right to your skin
And make you feel fine.
Enjoy the week!
Neither of us had been to the Nature Coast before. But we decided to spend a few nights in Crystal River, Florida on the recommendation of a good friend.
There is no better song for going through old Florida. What takes you away from problems. What takes you away from care. Where you can get away from all the bullshit. I go there to get to reality.
“Homesick but it’s alright
Lochloosa is on my mind
She’s on my mind”
Where do you go to get to reality?
How many times have you heard someone say:
“Can I ask you a question?”
Before asking the actual question. Do people ever respond negatively? How about if instead of asking permission, you just ask the question you really want to ask? This isn’t an open license to be rude. But you want to ask the question anyway, so why wait? Continue reading “Can I ask you a question?”
Finally on the Road
After months of planning, preparation, and packing, we finally made it on the road! We left Houston on a perfect Sunday afternoon with a lot of help from family and friends. Our first stop took us to the Mississippi Welcome Center for Becca’s first night in the trailer. We rolled in as my favorite baseball team hit a walkoff homerun in the fourteenth inning and had beautiful sleeping weather. When we woke up, we headed out on scenic highway 90 along the bay. We didn’t get far before we had to pull off at Granny’s Donuts for breakfast. It was smooth sailing through to Pensacola where we hit a bit of a delay dealing with some cell phone issues. Long story short, changing cell phone plans sucks and we should have tackled this a lot sooner. Also, Becca has a new cell number, so reach out if you need that!
This post may be familiar to some of you as I presented these words at my father’s funeral in August of 2017. My father, Paul, passed away just over two years after he retired, at a fairly young 60 years old. His passing taught me just how precious life is. He made sure I realized that you can’t wait to lead the life you want to lead. You should be doing all that you can to live better now. His passing was a pivotal moment that sparked the idea for this whole thing.
We finally finished packing and this is our first official post from the road!! Every time you move and every packing experience is a little bit different. The nature of the move depends on where and why you are moving. Are you upsizing or downsizing? Maybe you’re moving in with a significant other or new roommates. Perhaps you’re moving out on your own for the first time. Whatever the reason, moving can be stressful. Moving signals the end of one chapter, but the beginning of another. A time when you’ll inevitably cherish old memories and anticipate making new ones.
We learned quite a bit packing and preparing for this summer, so we thought we should consolidate and document our experience. If you have any other questions, we tried to answer them in our FAQ.
What we learned
- We have A LOT of stuff. An embarrassing amount of that stuff falls into the “things we NEVER use” category. We’re talking multiple boxes that hadn’t been opened since our respective prior moves. Becca had at least five things she had been holding onto in case she needed them for Halloween costumes five years from now. I had SO many dress shirts. Definitely over thirty. I maybe wore twelve of them consistently. I couldn’t believe how much stuff I had carried since high school.
- You fill up the space you have at your disposal. Almost like fish in a fish tank or a plant in a confined space, we have this need to fill up every inch available. We let things accumulate until they fill the space, and only then are we convinced we don’t need more things. Working to get our belongings down to only what would fit in Homer (and a storage unit) was difficult. But not impossible.
- You create a lot of piles. When you’re moving, it’s a constant process of creating a pile, moving the pile, refining the pile, and moving the pile again. Eventually, the pile ends up where it needs to go. Don’t let Becca see you do this. It drives her nuts.
- Kitty litter helps reduce moisture in a storage unit. At least that’s what we have been told. We will let you know whether that’s true in November.
- Plastic storage bins are better than boxes. Especially when you’re going to be accessing the items in said bins/boxes frequently and not just unpacking them at your end destination. It is SO helpful to be able to see a box’s contents without having to open it!
- You will laugh and you will cry when you’re going through your old stuff. The things you’ve accumulated will bring back memories you forgot you made. They can transport you to a completely different phase of your life. Hold on to those memories. Write them down if you think you’ll forget again. Then get rid of the thing.
- Breaking down your Amazon boxes is very telling. If you’re anything like us, you fall victim to the convenience of Amazon. If you’re anything like me, you don’t get rid of the boxes your orders arrive in once you’ve unwrapped them. Going through those old boxes can be pretty interesting when you remember what and when you ordered.
- Have bandaids handy. Door frames are killer on your knuckles when you’re squeezing through a tight fit. Stop the bleeding and get a band-aid. Maybe throw a little ice on those dinged up knuckles. Most importantly, keep grinding!
- Grade school geometry is actually really helpful. I’m not sure the people designing houses and apartments considered that people would need to move furniture into them at times. You’re going to deal with some tough angles. Sometimes, the best move, although it might look wild, is to lower a couch or bed out the window.
- Drink Water! Moving and packing is hard work and you don’t want to get dehydrated.
- Don’t give yourself too much time to pack. Just like space, the more time you have, the more time you will fill. The more piles you will make. And the more you will procrastinate. GET. IT. DONE. So you can…
- Have fun! Like anything else, a good attitude goes a long way.
What have you learned about packing or moving through the years? What have you learned about yourself during the process?