Farewell to Florida, farewell to the sea;
Farewell to winter weather averaging 65 degrees....
Farewell to the sunsets, the birds, breeze, and sand.
Our stay with you has been truly grand.
Now you see why I write novels and not poetry.
For the whole two years that we lived here, I've wanted to get to the beach and watch the sunset. Usually the whole family would drive out to one beach or another during the daytime, and leave before supper. Yesterday after church, however, we drove to Indian Rock Beach near Tampa just before dinner and watched the sun go down over the water. We collected seashells, sand, saltwater, and took a few last pictures of the state we've called home since 2010. It was quite a surprise that my father got stationed here, and it's been everything I imagined it would be. I'm going to miss it.
I know it may sound a little silly, but I adored the weather. Really. When it gets cold outside, my body gets cold right along with it, and I have a hard time keeping warm during the winter. But with Florida, it never got too cold. Even when things became a bit chilly, I could throw on some socks and a cardigan and be just fine. It was very pleasant.
And on the good days, the sun and the breeze and the lovely clouds made for a cheerful atmosphere that often lifted my spirits. I was able to take my dog for a walk whenever I wanted to, no matter the season, instead of having to suffer through sporadic winter walks in the snow and ice.
The people of Florida are fascinating. There is a wide variety of ethnic roots here because of the snow birds, the proximity to the various islands and Mexico, and those native born to Florida itself. To say the least it's a fascinating place. We also haven't lived near a good honest American metropolis for years. Every visit to the city of Tampa was captivating.
Then there are the people we've come to know that have been a true blessing. Our neighbors, our church, and the family we have nearby. Leaving them is the hardest part about moving. Truly, they have been some of the most beautiful people we've had the pleasure of living near. I couldn't even go into what it was like saying goodbye the church here without tearing up.
But now the time has come. Tomorrow, we shall be gone for good. While we will assuredly visit when we can, this life we had here will be gone forever. A tiny part of history, the course of the lives of a few, will die from reality and become affixed in memory, never to return.
But that's what makes life so precious, isn't it? If we never lost anything, nothing would be worth gaining.