When our youngest called us to let us know he’d gotten the job at the Western University in London, ON that he’d been hoping to get and then as we chatted back and forth helping him to plan his move into his first apartment, it finally began to dawn on Dave and I that we had completed our financial obligations to our children.
It was a difficult thing to wrap our minds around. I became pregnant with our oldest just a little over a year after we got married. She’ll turn 28 in the beginning of January.
We don’t really even remember what it was like to be just a couple. We had barely even figured out how to combine our finances when I had to quit work because I had such severe morning sickness (or rather all day sickness.)
We decided at the time, that I would be a stay-at-home Mom until our children were in school. I did try going back to work after our youngest started kindergarten but I found that I couldn’t care for my family in the way that I wanted to care for them and work full-time. We made a lot of sacrifices over the years for me to be able to stay home full-time to raise our children.
Last month, with this dawning realization that we were only financially responsible to and for each other also came the realization that while the past year has certainly brought it’s challenges, it has also brought us a freedom that neither of us had ever experienced before.
Dave joined the army right out of high school. I worked 30 hours per week during my last year of high school and then full-time after leaving high school.
Not even in the first year of our marriage did we have the freedom that we do now because the army told us where we were going to live and how long we’d be there.
In Canada, the type of contract work Dave does runs from thaw to freeze up. There is the possibility of a US contract in the new year but the company he is in contact with is waiting for a confirmed start date.
That left us to decide what we were going to do for those cold winter months in Canada. That is until the realization also hit us that we didn’t have to spend the winter in Canada. Dave had made more than enough money on his last two contracts to see us through the winter and then some.
We toyed with the idea of spending the winter in Hawaii, home of our hearts and while we could have made that work, it would have been a real stretch financially. The same was true when we checked into the usual snowbird destinations in southern Florida and Texas.
So while we were celebrating my 50th and his 55th birthday in Panama City Beach, we checked out several winter vacation rentals in northwest Florida. We finally settled on a lovely one bedroom, one bath bottom floor apartment in a rental complex in Perdido Key, just outside of Pensacola.
We had visited Pensacola quite a few times when we lived in Carrabelle, FL from 2004 to 2006 and really like the city and surrounding area with it’s multitude of white sand beaches.
So without further ado, let me show you our home for the winter:
There is also a full bathroom with shelving to store linens. And in the hall between the living room and bathroom there is a coat closet and on the other side a closet that houses the stacking washer and dryer. It is sooooooo nice not to have to leave the house to do laundry!
Also included in the monthly rent is the use of the outdoor pool and hot tub.
We also have the use of an indoor heated pool, hot tub, sauna and workout room. Friday morning, I swam laps in the indoor pool and once we’ve settled in, I’ll be alternating morning swimming with morning walks on the beach, all of course, depending on the weather that particular day.
It’s supposed to get up to 70 degrees F today… much too nice to spend another minute inside. So now that I’ve shown your our winter digs, it’s time to get out and enjoy the gorgeous sunshine.