Happy New Year! Life is really one of the best roller coasters you will ever get a chance to ride. If you take life like an amusement ride you will never cease to amazed by the turns and the ups and downs that this ride has in store for you. I say all of this because I was minding my own business watching the tourists watch the Manatees in Tarpon Springs on a warm sunny day when a friend went to my house in Collingswood to check on my mail. His thoroughness got him to look at my phone answering machine which I had failed to turn off as I always do when I go away. Besides the few bits of nonsense left on the machine was a message from the Federal Government saying that I had a job waiting starting on January 3.
I will tell you that I had spoken with them a few weeks before heading down to Florida with no news except that all jobs had been cancelled and there was not anticipation of any potential start date. I told the human resources people that I was in Florida and could be reached at my cell number. Well, they called the house and thanks to my dear friend who is as thorough as he is scattered I was relayed the news of this job.
The Manatees would be there a while longer I said to myself and decided to accept the position and move back to my Collingswood home which had been closed for the winter as I expected to pass most of it in Florida. I had been cast at sea for too long a time and wanted the company of other working people and the benefit package of a Federal job before my real retirement came along a few years from now.
So I packed a crate of lemons from my garden told the news to my family who were not at all pleased as they thought I would have no problems in finding a good job in Florida. I told my Florida friends who were happy for me because jobs in Florida don't normally pay that well and because I told them that I hoped to get a transfer back to Florida as soon as I could request it.
I left beautiful Tarpon Springs on the 1st of January. The 31st I had gone to spend New Year's with my family and it had been a magical and balmy warm day. As I drove north the foliage of the trees soon disappeared and traces of snow were on the ground here and there. I had been in North Carolina for Christmas and we had gotten quite a bit of snow for the holidays. Jersey had been the recipient of about 6-8 inches of snow. As I entered my driveway patches of snow lay everywhere.
I accepted a job in a field totally unrelated to anything I have done before. My greatest skill for this job will be my ability to speak Spanish and help the public. It is a job with few responsibilities, no people to supervise, no special projects that require you to work late into the night or until you project is accomplished. This is, for better or worse, an 8-4:30 job. Nobody will look at me for leaving at 4:30 when there is work left to be done. Best of all it comes with some of the best medical coverage in the planet. I was given a 300 page book of medical options and varying benefits plans.
Limo has been the one to suffer the most from this affair, but that is probably overstating it. He has had me around him for almost every second since we entered each other's life. I feared that he would howl and miss me when I crated him the first day I went to work and left him for 9 hours. Like Taxi, who endured my working life, he adapted with similar ease. If he has separation anxiety you cannot tell. He is a well adjusted and loving animal. He goes crazy when I return from wherever regardless of whether I have been gone for 9 minutes or nine hours.
The weather has been frigid lately and walking him has been difficult so he has made due with a quick run in the garden to take care of his needs. We got another snow storm that made life all the more interesting. This weekend we went to the park I first introduced him to this Fall. We had not been there since leaving for Florida and as you can see from the images he was intrigued and exhilarated with the cold stuff on the ground. He ran like a banshee or posed pensively looking at the frozen lake. Florida is nice and warm but crawling with flees. No such problems in our Jersey winter.
So comes to an end 19 months of unemployment. For now, I will work and await Spring and the sale of my Collingswood house. While I am here I will have new working colleagues and a place to go to and leave the house regularly. Yes, this has put my Tarpon Springs home restoration on hold for the present, but this too shall pass and before too long I will be at it again. My Jersey friends are delighted the new job and that I will stay around longer. The next task will be to figure out how the transfer process works or how to get a similar job in Florida. Of course, now that I am employed finding another job will hopefully be less of a hassle. Somehow I will still manage to work designing gardens. This, after all, is just another turn in the roller coaster...Happy Gardening!