I lived in the state of Florida for over 30 years. I went as a visitor when I was 26 and left at age 60 to retire to Upstate, New York. “Isn’t that a little backwards?” New York people ask. “You think you can handle those winters?” Florida people ask. The answer to the first question is, “No, not for me”. The answer to the second question is, “Yes, and I have”. Thank you very much for asking.
I never meant to stay in Florida that long. But one thing led to the other (husband, house, kids, teaching job)… 30 years do go by. Well, you can take the New Yorker out of New York, but you can’t take the New York out of the New Yorker. At least not this New Yorker. I always knew I’d make it back to the Northeast. And so I have. And no regrets. But nightmares. I do have a few nightmares. Not as you might suspect of mammoth, murderous snowstorms! No, my nightmares always center around finding myself back down in Florida and not being able to return to my home in Cambridge, New York. Like one of those dreams where you are always running but never getting anywhere.
I conquered my Florida nightmare by going back for a visit after 5 years away. And the long, sunny swamp didn’t swallow me whole. I’m home in Upstate New York! And to prove it I’m here in my cozy cottage on the hill looking out of every window and liking what I see. I might even go back to Florida again sometime. Just for a visit. It wasn’t so bad.