Friday, June 01, 2007

A Clevelander Living in Florida

A few years ago, I packed up everything and moved down to the Tampa Bay area of Florida. My hometown is Chagrin Falls, Ohio; an outer eastern suburb of Cleveland. The area I used to live in was lovely but I was sick of those heavy winters and decided to take off for a warmer climate. Here is a winter photo of the Popcorn Shop, in Chagrin Falls :

Though I love Florida, I do miss Cleveland in spring, summer and fall. It's the snow I'm happy to never need to see again. Chagrin is picturresque old town, a place that anyone would be proud to grow up in. Here it is in the warm months:

I miss my hometown, but the ultra-rich have taken over. I cannot afford to live there anymore, but do visit the local Starbucks and shops whenever in town. And the local pancake breakfast nearby at West Geauga High School. The area will always be in my heart.

Now, I live in Florida, which is fascinating. It's so different from my midwestern upbringing. Here, there are bugs the size of plates, amazing vistas of ocean down the street from me, and huge amounts of traffic, that moves fast and the drivers are aggressive. Florida is flat, but the gorgeous natural lakes and parks everywhere make up for it. I live on a lake and though rent is high, I love it here. It isn't home in Ohio but I moved here to enjoy the sun, water and blue sky.

Life is good, and every day, I call my parents to say hello. Thank goodness for the phone company. I love my job (working from home in sales and running my art studio), and the great outdoors. My plants take care of themselves, out on my balcony. I brought a bunch of orchid plants with me from up north, they didn't like the dry air there, but here, they are in their element. They bloom profusely. This is a gardener's paradise.

Sure, we have hurricanes here. If they hit, my area is on high ground and I'm up high, so that's a plus. If the hurricane is really dangerous, it's time for a quick vacation up north, with my pets, to escape for awhile. I don't want to own a home here, too risky. Every time a bad hurricane hits, peoples' roofs get damaged or blown off. Not for me. I'll stick to letting the landlords maintain the property, and enjoy myself. Moving to Florida, it's a good thing.

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