Life Changing Ventures

Other than marriage, I haven’t been on many life changing ventures in my life. Oh sure, I’ve done the usual vacations with my husband and family but I’m talking about a real change of scenery. The only one that I can actually say belongs in the life changer category is our family’s move from the Chicago area to Florida. Once my husband’s workplace shut its doors, he had to consider whether to change the type of work he had been doing or search for a position in the same field. Our initial thought was for him to take a job in the same industry, sell our house and move closer to where the new company had its headquarters. After taking a Sunday to scope out the new area that we might end up moving to, it was a unanimous decision for hubby to forego this new company. Needless to say, the suburb where we would have been settling did not appeal to any of our family members at all. I forgot to mention that we had jumped the gun and put our house up for sale, not expecting to get any offers right away but as luck would have it, our real estate agent called us within a week with the name of a prospective buyer. Not only did the people meet our asking price but they offered cash. In a moment’s decision we opted to take the offer but now we were faced with the prospect of where to live. It was exciting and scary all at once. As we pondered what to do, I was watching TV in the evening still considering our dilemma when an ad for Hauling Tampa popped up. The commercial was for a company that offered long distance moving services. Just like in the classic comic strip, a “light bulb” appeared in my mind and I said to my husband “why don’t we start all over, take a chance and relocate to Florida?”  He looked at me and said “are you serious?” “Why not?” I said. Some of my aunts and uncles already were living there so we would have family to connect with. It didn’t take long for us to make a firm decision. And a few short weeks later, after a successful garage sale and a going away party thrown by our neighbors of ten years, we were off on our new adventure.

After thirty four years of Florida living I can honestly say we have never regretted that decision. Who knows what life would have held for our family had we stayed in Chicago but it doesn’t matter because life has been good here in the sunny state. I guess that old saying is true…”nothing ventured, nothing gained!”



My Shopping trip

Years ago I loved shopping with my children at a place called Clearwater Mall. After we moved to Florida from Illinois in the 1970’s, our family saw many changes take place in our area and the city of Clearwater had one of the newly built indoor malls that were beginning to crop up in those days. I remember the mall very clearly as it was the first time I had ever seen a glass elevator. My kids loved riding up and down in that elevator. They seemed to think it was much like a ride at an amusement park. The stores were varied in merchandise and we could spend hours just walking and browsing in each and every one. A typical day (usually Saturday) included lunch and buying a batch of delicious cookies from the cookie shop. Even if we didn’t buy anything on one of those excursions, it was just enough spending special time with my young ones. I really liked those indoor venues of merchandising. No matter what the weather happened to be, we kept warm and dry while we were inside. Although I would have liked to have had my husband join us in those enjoyable moments, he pretty much missed out most of the time because he had to be at work but I remember how much he looked forward to hearing of my and the childrens’ adventures when he got home from work. My offspring are all grown up now and the mall of which I have been writing has long since been rebuilt into a large outdoor venue. I have days when I tend to look back and call to mind those happy times and get a little nostalgic but I am grateful that I had the chance to experience those much cherished times. One memory that stands out about those days that wasn’t so upbeat was the afternoon that I, with my kids in tow, couldn’t get the car started. There I was, with three youngsters and a bunch of packages and I was stuck. I had no choice but to call for help (thankfully, I belonged to an over the road motor club) and when the driver from Towing Clearwater arrived, it was determined that the battery was dead. What a relief to find out that all that was needed to be done was a battery charge. The mechanic’s assistance was greatly appreciated and his courtesy was impressive as he patiently listened to my youngest, who kept asking him questions. My “take” on all of this is it’s good to live in a world where professional help can be at your side in your worst moments.


Dumpster Rentals

Sometimes when taking a casual automobile ride heading to Lakeland, I can’t help but notice that the sides of the road are often littered with junk and debris. Shockingly, on one occasion, I spotted a couple plastic bags of  trash. What is the world coming to that people think nothing of tossing garbage out of car windows or dropping cigarettes and food wrappers on the ground? I can only come to two conclusions….they just don’t care about the environment or people in general or they live in an area without garbage service and have to pay a private company to pick up their rubbish. The latter might be beyond their financial means or, who knows, could be these folks are actually too cheap to pay for garbage service. Whatever the reason for highway littering, it needs to be stopped. I’ve even seen oil cans and water bottles mucking up the road. Call me crazy or paranoid but I, for one, can’t help but feel grossed out when unhealthy conditions are staring me right in the face. When my kids were young, I read them a story book over and over about littering. It was a tale of a boy who ignored the wastebasket in his bedroom and day after day, he would drop a piece of paper on the floor and just leave it there, never picking it up. By the end of the story, as you can guess, his bedroom turned into one big mountainous pile of trash. It was disgusting to look at, hard to move around it and eventually had to be cleaned up. The moral of the story was that it takes a lot more work to clean up a mountain than to pick up one little piece of paper. I always made it a point to keep a small litter container in each of my children’s bedrooms and the rule was to make sure every piece of paper, etc. got thrown into the container. When debris tends to stack up, I imagine that’s how hoarding begins. I think to encourage folks to be responsible for cleaning up their own mess is beneficial to everyone. I would like to see trash receptacles out in the open near Lakeland.

Dumpster Rentals Lakeland would be the ideal solution to save the planet for future generations. For every piece of paper or plastic that goes into a trash container, a small part of the earth becomes safer and healthier.


back in the day before drive thrus

I grew up in an era when drive thru businesses weren’t a thing (if there were any, they would have been few and far between.) The biggest and most popular wasn’t a drive thru but rather a drive-in theater. Those were the days of fun for families and teens alike. Going to a drive-in movie made for a great date night and didn’t cost that much, especially when a group of young high schoolers would hide in a car trunk until the driver of the vehicle was admitted inside and then everyone would climb out to spend an evening watching the movie. Families, like mine, spent a Saturday night together watching G rated movies like Disney productions and “Love Bug.” The youngsters would wear their pajamas and bring pillows in case they fell asleep. Our family would bring Saturday night dinner (burgers, chicken, etc.) and eat in the car. If you never had the opportunity to go to a drive-in, you might wonder how the movies were heard. Speakers were placed apart in spaces where cars could pull up next to them and bring the microphone inside the vehicle so all could hear the audio (similar to our modern day phones with speakers.) I think most, if not all, drive-in theaters are closed by now. It’s really a shame to lose some of the old traditional things of the past. In fact, a couple of weeks ago I attended one of the modern movie shows and during an intermission, struck up a conversation with a fellow movie patron about the so called olden days and he, like I, recalled the many Saturday nights he and his girlfriend spent at the drive-in. The casual chatting steered somehow to computers, cell phones, drive thrus and car washing. I told him how I remembered my Dad taking his car to a carwash and standing by his side as we watched the automobile going through the cleaning equipment (brushes and hot wax, etc.) I mentioned how much easier it is for folks to get a vehicle washed these days without having to even leave their home. As irony would have it, it turned out that my new friend knows of a business called Car Detailing Murfreesboro, TN that does the job right at a person’s house or office. Now, it seems, the car washing businesses come to you, instead of you going to them. Just another modern day convenience of the times in which we live. While I miss some of the older ways of life, I must say, it is nice to have existed long enough to be a part of the progress that mankind has achieved.