Mom and Dad go through the same ritual of closing up their condo as they do their house back home. They turn off the water and the phone, stop the mail, clean their apartment, and since the ant incident, they set ant traps, too. In Florida, they also hire a man to check on their apartment once a month while they are gone to make sure the Florida humidity doesn’t ruin anything inside. And of course, last but not least, they have to wrap their toilet in plastic wrap. I told Dad that he should suggest ‘The Art of Toilet Wrapping’ as a new activity at the Harbor View clubhouse.
After all of their last-minute going-out activities and the closing up of their apartment, Mom and Dad are finally ready to leave. Mom says the long drive home is not nearly as much fun as the drive down. Not that the drive down is too much fun to begin with, but she says there is some sort of excitement in the air as if they are going on an adventure.
Mom tells me that it is actually somewhat depressing driving home. As they drive farther and farther north, the seasons change from summer in Florida to spring in the Carolinas to not quite spring where they live, she says. The trees have fewer and fewer leaves on them, and the temperature gets colder and colder, she adds. I get depressed for them just thinking about it, but then I remember that I have spent almost my whole winter in the cold climate, while they have lounged in sunny Florida, and then I don’t feel so bad for them, after all.
This year Mom and Dad stopped at my house near DC on their way home (without getting lost on the way, for a change). They excitedly told me all about their last few days in Florida. “The ‘Young in Spirit’ club had a Farewell Dinner Dance. They rented a room in the clubhouse, and we danced and ate with all of our friends and had a great time. Then the day before we left Dad and I sat at the pool one last time. It was gorgeous out,” Mom tells me.
“Are you going to miss Harbor View this summer?” I ask Mom.
“Well, I’m really looking forward to seeing the grandkids, and we’re happy to see you, and we’ll be glad to visit with your brother and your sister. But I will miss the beautiful weather, The Characters, the activities, the shopping, and all of the delicious food, of course,” Mom replies.
“Don’t worry, Hon,” Dad says, “the way I figure it, there are only eight more months till we go back to Florida.”
“And,” I add, “only six more until you start packing.”