Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tarpon Springs

Prospective new residence in Tarpon Springs
After much debate I have come to Tarpon Springs, Florida to look at a house. As much as I can stay in my beautiful house and garden, the cost of living of New Jersey just no longer makes sense. I feel sad in this admission because, I have dear friends that I will miss. I have established myself as a professional in the area and the work and projects I have done are here. I am also part of a caring religious community with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Cherry Hill. It is also sad because I love my house and garden. But I have left places before. The moment seems ripe for Florida.

My unemployment situation has not changed and being 59 I am beginning to feel that what worked before needs to be abandoned and something new created. Nevertheless, the continued economic crisis seems to be affecting us all except for the greed of some politicians who continue to raise property taxes where they are the already the highest in the country in spite of new caps to control it or the necessities created by this economic crisis. At $7500.00 property per year for a small house in a normal town, I give up! I can't keep up no matter how wonderful my life has been there.
Some of the neighborhood
Old Sponge Warehouse (now artist housing)

For sometime I have watched a house that was listed for sale in a community called Tarpon Springs. Located twenty some miles north west of Tampa on the Gulf coast. Tarpon Springs was incorporated in the late 1880s by Greek immigrants who founded a community fishing and diving for sponges. The community has a wonderful foreign flavor and the language heard around town is Greek even though it is here on our shores. As Florida seems filled to capacity with Cubans it is nice to find a place where another minority is the majority. The town is located along a series of bayous along the Anclote River. Fishing boats line Dodecanese Boulevard filled with the latest catch of sponges and varieties of fish. The sun is powerful and the bright skies are "Galanolefci," blue and white like the Greek Flag.

Neighboring bayou

I have watched this house because it was built the same year mine was in 1924 (in reality it was built in 1912) and in some ways it reminds me of my house although this one has a wonderful palm and a tropical hibiscus hedge by the front porch instead of the rhododendrons and other temperate plantings of mine. The house although in the same style is bigger and the taxes are but a fraction: $615.00.

Of course this comes with strings. This wonderful house is in need of lots of work. Work that I performed on my current house when I was younger. Work that I thought that I would not need to do again, but with the current employment situation maybe this is work that is best undertaken again to regain purpose, restore a lovely house in a beautiful neighborhood and become part of a thriving cultural community. If this sounds too pie in the sky believe, me it is not. There are wonderful places around this entire country where people are picking up and doing the same.
Limo with my cousin

Limo has been enjoying all the attention he has been getting from my family. I have cousins nearby whom I visited last year when I first considered this option. Now spending time with them again I feel a sense of family that I lost living alone in California so many years ago with my parents.
We have been to a wonderful doggie beach on Honeymoon Island where all the locals bring their pooches with all kinds of doggie life vests and other floating devices. It was a hoot seeing dogs swim openly and see people interact with their animals.

I know I should not have encouraged this but he was having so much fun...

Doggie, Honeymoon Beach at Sunset

Strapped to go on the road again, he has gotten his car legs and no longer gets sick.

We are starting our trip back tomorrow. My offer was not accepted, but it is on the table as they say. We shall see what we shall see and with any luck I will start a tropical garden this winter. Happy Gardening.

PS An email announcing new members to my UUCCH community focusing on me was just sent. Many know of the troubles I have had finding work and hopefully will not be surprised by my announcement. I am saddened, as I said, by the actions I have been forced to take. I know, I am not the only one doing this exodus from high tax states as it was a feature on the PBS news hour yesterday describing people leaving California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for their high taxes. It is a sad day when you have to leave your home because the taxes are consuming what income or pension you have.

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.