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Don, Beaux and I up in the north GA mountains

It’s been a few weeks since my husband Don, my dog Beaux and I took an incredible leap of faith and moved permanently to south Florida. It was such a spontaneous, quick, all in decision that my mind still hasn’t caught up with the fact that I am not returning to my beloved ranch home in Georgia. Or playing tennis with my neighborhood friends or playing golf with my Wednesday league, or plein air painting with my art buddies, or going out to dinner with my Birthday Club, or meeting with my book club of over 20 years, or one on one teaching with my fabulous students! So many awesome memories!

my 23 year Birthday Club

art friends
painting with Jill McGannon in Duluth, GA
my golf league
Cathy, my dear friend

So, why did I move? With the world taking on this massive shift, I suppose we were ready for change. What new opportunities and adventures are out there? Who will we meet and become our new friends? What potentials and what is our next chapter?  What and where haven’t we explored yet? Not ones to be afraid of change, we went all in and in less than 2 months, sold, donated and gave away most of our belongings.   What a lesson in “letting go” that was! Actually, how liberating that was! Unfortunately, my painting time dwindled during that time for we also sold the house, moved and settled into a rental home and started the process of building our new dream home. I keep telling myself to always look and move forward, keep evolving and seek  out new directions to grow. Trust and everything will be awesome! 

A friend asked, “So, you are moving down to FL to retire?” I replied, “No, I am moving down to live life fully!!” 

our future home

For the most part, everything fell into place. We both fell in love with Naples and the new neighborhood found us.

downtown Naples at night

Our house sold without listing it and there were no blockades in our way to stop the blast of momentum. I felt like the universe was saying yes and clearing a direct path. I can’t say that it was all a bed of roses, however! I had a couple of meltdowns and feelings of being completely overwhelmed and stressed out. Especially, when the moving company ran out of room in their truck and there was still 1/2 of my studio to move. Thank goodness for U-Hauls! 

So now I have a well lit, working studio all set up in a bedroom. I am amazed how little space I actually need. It is definitely not what I am used to but very adequate for the year that I will be here in this rental while waiting for our new house to be built.

my new studio in our rental
Shrimp Dock 12 x 12 pastel – studio painting

I was lucky to join the local plein air painting group that meets every Wednesday morning. I must say that it has been so fun to paint scenes that are so different than what I am used to. 

out painting the shrimp boats

shopping center
Everglades City, the old hospital
behind Collier Museum
Coffee Shop in downtown Naples
at friends house
out at Koreshan State Park with the Fort Myers Plein Air Group
painting in Naples Botanical Gardens

It is so wonderful to be close to the beach! Don and I have been taking advantage of morning walks and sunset strolls along the shoreline. And the sunsets have been amazing!

Breaking Through 16 x 20
Sunset in Paradise 12 x 16 pastel – houses along Bonita Beach
Lovin’ the beaches!

enjoying the sunset on the beach

We have also made use of the new tennis courts and learning to play Florida’s very popular sport, pickle ball. The golf courses are beautiful and the resort style pool has been a fantastic place to relax and cool off. We even went kayaking where the dolphins swam right next to us.

So, wish me luck on our new venture! Here’s to exploring!!

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