No Growth Without Change

We recently moved again. On one hand, we were just about settled in our new home on the island of Matlacha when we made the decision to move. On the other hand, the move affords us the opportunity to do some other things we had hoped to do in our retirement.

It was a really tough decision that had to be made quickly and it was deeply shocking to leave what we had just finished making our own. The thing is, we got an offer we couldn’t refuse on our Matlacha house and we didn’t even have the house on the market. Sadly, we were feeling settled as if we were finally able to call it home being there two good years after having been in Orlando for decades.

On the up-side, we have made some good friends here, which initially seemed might be a great challenge as, on first glance, there didn’t seem to be a lot of like-minded folks here. That was an illusion based on the highly visible unlike-minded folks. Most like-minded folks are a bit quieter about their business, but there are plenty of them around here.

We looked at waterfront properties north of Tampa where the water quality is better. There was nothing affordable there and then we got wind of the fact that all waterfront property, which requires flood insurance, was getting a HUGE cost increase beginning last Friday. People with $1200.00 policies are now expected to come up with $8500.00 per year for flood insurance. Climate change and years of waterfront people not paying risk-based premiums resulted in this outrageous hike. While we don’t like it, we also know it’s best for the environment that there is limited ability to develop waterfront in the future. Unfortunately, it prices out some people who have lived it all of their lives. Such a sad situation.

In the end, we made the decision to stay on Pine Island in a flood X zone that doesn’t require flood insurance. There was literally one house available and we grabbed it. Pine Island is the main island that Matlacha bridge was built for. Settled in the late 1800s, it was once home to a large tribe of Calusa Indigenous Peoples who met their demise along with many in the 1700s-early 1800s. It is said that Ponce De Leon was wounded here and the wound resulted in his death. There are mounds, canals, and villages they built on the islands that the Randell Research Center Maintains today.

When I am out kayaking, I often think of the indigenous people who called the coastal areas their home.

I am particularly fond of mangroves as they buffer our coasts and have a profound and most important ecosystem. Many miles and acres of them have been removed/destroyed for development and that complicates the abilities to deal with hurricanes and other large storms. The limited mangroves remaining are teaming with crabs, red fish, snook, and other species and provide habitat for our beautiful water birds who are dependent on the shellfish they harbor.

The three “Small Treasures” done in alcohol ink and acrylics with silicone were added to my website a while back. I’d like to see them framed as a gallery collection. It’s hard to tell here in these photos, but the canvases are highly textured with impressions. BTW…if you like my art, do visit my website and sign up for my newsletter. I am planning a major clearance sale for the holidays and things will be drastically reduced in price.

Until next time, peace and be well!

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