Friday, June 23, 2017

Florida Home Anniversary

Today, June 23, marks five years of living in The Villages. We've all heard it said, have probably even said it ourselves, and I will say it again, "I can't believe it's been five years!"

Time is whizzing by.

I blogged here about move-in day which was a remarkable experience. We'd barely unloaded the U-Haul truck and closed the garage door before Tropical Storm Debby blew in, causing several days of non-stop rain. Being Florida newbies; and well-remembering the 1993 floods in Des Moines, when the Des Moines drinking water supply was contaminated, and floodwaters overflowed the rivers, also threatening West Des Moines' drinking water; we were sure we would again be sandbagging, and dealing with flooding in our new home!

Happily, we were wrong. We've become accustomed to the frequent rains, and that rainwater just flows down through the sand.

The Villages, now comprised of more than 80 villages, continues to be a beautiful place in which to appreciate the outdoors - the weather and the scenery. And the best way to enjoy it is traveling along at about 20 mph in a golf cart, in the golf cart lane or on a multi-modal path...

The approximately 150,000 residents do a pretty good job of sharing the road, though with us being seniors, often having visitors to The Villages, and with more than 100 miles of golf cart paths, there are occasionally unfortunate accidents.

This is one of my favorite stretches of the multi-modal path paralleling Buena Vista Boulevard (on the right).

Round-abouts for automobiles are common in The Villages so anyone who's new to the area almost certainly needs an education as to how to properly drive through, or make a turn on a round-about.

As far as I know, this multi-modal path golf cart round about on the south side of town is the only one in The Villages.

There are dozens of golf cart tunnels that allow carts to pass under state and county highways.

A favorite activity when grandchildren visit is to drive through a tunnel and hit the horn to hear the "beep-beep."

Everywhere you look, we see lush vegetation and flowers. Especially in the common areas, The Villages does a wonderful job of showing something blooming, year 'round. This bed is just outside one of the more than 70 recreation centers.

Big Cypress rec center is where I go each Tuesday afternoon to meet with quilters. There are now 20 chapters of Quilting Guild of The Villages, with more than 1,100 quilters in the guild.

May and June are months when the crape myrtle are in bloom. They're gorgeous, and make me think of Iowa's lilacs that I miss so much. But disappointingly, crape myrtle doesn't have a scent. 

We live in a golfer's paradise which is ironic because neither Dan nor I golf. But we appreciate the beauty of each one.

The wildlife love the golf courses too. This is a dance of sandhill cranes. They are so big! In this picture, Mother Crane is following three of her colts. (Yes, I looked up the proper terms for a group of cranes, and baby cranes.)

We have lots of wetland in the area too. Homes located on those are highly desirable, with lovely views of marsh and wildlife.

Twenty-four-hour staffed guard stations are throughout The Villages. The people working in them are always friendly, help when someone needs directions, and monitor resident and non-resident vehicles passing in and out of residential areas. 

We have to admire that the city planners who laid-out the area, left live oak trees intact. Roadways, multi-modal paths, and golf courses have been designed around live oaks so we can continue to appreciate the beauty of them with their dripping Spanish moss.

Fire stations look good too. We appreciate that a couple times we've been able to drop into a station with our grandchildren where they get to see and climb into the driver's seat of a fire engine. Around here though, it seems that the EMS vehicles are most often called into service.

Major automobile intersections are beautified with flowers...  and fountains.

Here's where we live. I snapped this picture at about 6:30 in the evening, just after a heavy rain. The sun came out and made the house seem to glow. 

Our Bismarck Palm has grown into a show-stopper. It's certainly taken over my front sewing room bay window view! I love hearing those huge fronds (they're at least 72" across!) clack in the wind.

It's been great to live here five years now. I love my home, and sewing room set-up. We're thoroughly engaged in activities, and keep ourselves happily occupied. We have good health - Dan more so than me, but I'm doing very well now - so we''re anticipating another five good years.

We are blessed! Linda


Deb said...

It is hard to believe that five years have passed already, but it's great to know you love it there. Congratulations, and here's to many more years of health and happiness in your beautiful home.

Angie said...

What a beautiful area and the wildlife is very cool. Pretty cranes. Congratulations on five years! Have a wonderful day!!

FlourishingPalms said...

Thanks so much, Deb! You've been "with me" through it all, and then some! I so very much appreciate your friendship. Maybe someday you can come and visit us here, but in the meantime, I'm grateful for Skype so we can have our 90-minute PLUS, chats! Ha! You're a very special friend, for sure!

FlourishingPalms said...

Thank you, Angie! Yes, we do live in a gorgeous area, and I sure don't take it for granted. I appreciate your good wishes. (You're a no-reply commenter so I can only respond here. Otherwise, I would have emailed you a private reply.)

Paige said...

Linda, time does fly! I remember when you moved. I've heard you mention the Villages many times, but I had no idea the magnitude. And then your guild, Wow, the state guild for all of SC doesn't have that many members. Enjoyed the tour!

Susan said...

Thanks for the tour Linda! I was surprised to find that roundabouts are not a regular feature of roads in the US! We have them every where in Australia as they are on French roads. And crepe myrtle are aa feature in many an Australian garden! It's always fun to find some similarities among our differences, isn't it? I certainly don't see cranes on my daily drive to work! Happy house anniversary- here's to many more happy years to come!

Rosemary B❤️ said...

Your house is really cool looking Linda. I love your tropical neighborhood. Very fun farting around in a golf cart. I bet your have fun every day.
Thank you dear for giving us a tour of your snazzy place.

I will never move to Florida because I hate bugs and snakes and alligators and spiders. I like Virginia because we are in land, less humid, not boiling hot. 35 miles west of the Cesspool, which is on it;s way to get great again.

Kathy@KayakQuilting said...

Congratulations on your anniversary! it sounds like this has been a wonderful new home for you! Thanks for the interesting post! Of course everyone (especially people my age!) have heard of The Villages. But I had no idea it was this big! Over 150,000 people! Wow! All those quilt guilds is impressive! I have always thought golf cart life would be so much fun!

KaHolly said...

Wow! Five years? Amazing! Looks like a beautiful place.


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