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Two-State Solution

I don't know when it was that I realized that Florida was too alien a place for me.  Great place to visit and have some fun but for a permanent day-in, day-out place, it sorely lacked some of the things that I had always taken for granted.  Once at Three Birds Tavern a few years ago I expressed the void I felt and came up with a two-state solution: a kind of snowbird idea where I would spend time in both Florida and Illinois.  In the intervening time I have made many trips up to Northlandia but always stayed with either the Wombie and his lovely wife Holly, or with great friend Pat.  There have always been offers from friends as well.  

Then I bought a house in Henderson and it has served as a rental, supplemental income and all that.  More or less successfully.  More successfully lately as I turned it over to a management firm, sort of, and they have provided long-term renters and finally, I'm making a profit.  (Knock on wood.)    

During my last trip up I commented to Mark and Holly how it would be nice to have a place in Aledo - we could have twin fun.  Twin fun is more fun than solo fun.  We even looked at a couple places.   It was kind of serious, but kind of not.  Well, it got serious fast.  They went through a small place and said it would be perfect.  I had another person go through, Miss Patti, and she said it was worth every penny.  In the most agonizing decision I have had to make I pulled the trigger and now have a place in Aledo to escape to when I need the Wombie, or dark sky, or a beer with the boys, or a bike ride, or breakfast with the girls.  When I need to see corn, go to a car show, or breath Northlandia air, or see a snowflake or drive down to Seaton, or get a Jerry's pizza, I now have a place.  

To my great and good friend who extolled me to get my foot off first base in order to make it to second, well, thanks for the encouragement.  To Mark who is willing to allow me into his town, thanks.  To Holly who will provide her own polish to my mess, thanks.  And to friend Pat who always says, "Do it!", thanks.

Now, here are the caveats:

  • Because I will be trying to keep two places going on a small county pension, my budget will be stretched.  I'm not buying any rounds at the Club or Gimpy's.  Allow me to just do my own thing.  This is an expensive proposition and I'm constrained by a strict budget. 

  • Norah will have to adjust, and will probably do better than mew.  So if I suddenly get quiet, I'm thinking of my family.  If I suddenly get a ticket and head back to Florida for a while,  that's the price of love.  I intend for this to be the best of both worlds, and I won't stand to be away from her, or them, for long.   

  • I'm bound for a year.  If after a year it hasn't worked out, or I simply can't operate on the revised budget, I'll modify the situation.  The hope is that this is the best thing I've done in a long long time.   If it only lasts a year, then I'll make it a Hell of a year.  If it lasts longer, well, then you can probably count me as being a pretty happy guy.  

Finally, I'm scared but excited by having an opportunity to put it all together, so to speak.  But old guys tremble at the unknown.  We stay up too long, tossing in bed worried about what may happen next.  Young guys don't, they lack the circumspection too many years provide.  Circumstances and fate made me a two-state nomad, and now I have created a two-state solution.  It may be a high wire act but not having done this I would have always wondered.  It's a big move, and I am creating a bit of a house of cards, but damn it, let's make it work.  

Stop by for a beer or a Bloody Mary.  I even have developed a taste for something called Rum Chata.   My brother biker and neighbor Tim has a Home Rule: if the flag is flying at the garage, the bar is open.  At my new place, if you drive by and see a Pink Flamingo,  stop by and say Hello.  

Maybe, just maybe, you can go home again.  



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