Yesterday, after the craziness of gift-opening and before our feast of pork wellington, we went to check out my mom's new apartment at a retirement center near my brother's house. That's mom above, walking around the older part of the development.
(Her apartment is in a newer area where the architecture isn't quite so mod.)
There's tons of wildlife. This huge katydid perched on the molding over my mom's front door. We marveled that it knew to pick the doorway of the one old lady in the whole complex who wouldn't immediately kill it with a broom.
There are big, mossy turtles bobbing in the pond, which connects to a creek and eventually to the mighty St. John's River.
And of course we saw plenty of squirrels. Reportedly there are also alligators, which may deter my mom from ever using her kayak. She may wind up selling it on Craigslist.
We said passing hellos to other residents, some of whom were dressed in Christmas finery, but I didn't get to meet any of Mom's immediate neighbors. She's still getting to know them all herself, since she's only been there a couple of weeks.
Anyway, it's a nice place and my mom has a very comfortable, spacious apartment. I know it's a relief for her to never have to worry again about roof maintenance or a septic tank or flood and sinkhole insurance, or any of the other complications that go with owning a home in Florida. Liberation!
(By the way, I am deliberately not visiting our old house during this trip. Now that it's been sold, I figure we need to let it go.)
Gift-wise, Dave and I got a bag of excellent caramel candies and a Starbucks gift card, which will come in handy, and the girls have been having a great time twirling around in their new dresses and playing with their various gizmos. A successful holiday all around!