We're about all settled into our CO Casita. In Florida we lived in a small, semi-rural community. Longmont is a mid-sized town with an estimated population of over 87,000 people. It's about 45 minutes north of Denver and 20 minutes from Boulder. In Fort Pierce $250,000 would get you an ocean front condo., or a house within a few blocks of the ocean, or a smaller, older home on an ocean-access canal. In Boulder County $250,000 gets you a pretty basic house in a nicer neighborhood. Plus CO has a state income tax. They simply add 4.63% onto your federal income tax bill. But we knew those things going in. On the other hand, our annual homeowners insurance premium in FL was almost $3,000. Here it's just over $300. No hurricanes in CO. Now that the move is behind us, we're very, very glad to be here. Considering we only got serious about moving last October, to be here and mostly settled in by mid-April was a accomplishment. The closing on our new house was on March 28th. The camper and car are now registered in CO, I have my CO drivers license and Carol has her state ID. We're both registered voters and official residents of the Centennial State; the 38th state admitted to the union. The official state grass is Blue Gramma Grass. Very recently CO legalized the smoking of grass but they weren't talking about the Blue Gramma variety.
Our new home is in a 59 lot community with a homeowners association. For years I swore I would never live in a condo. or any place with an HOA; I have a hard time living by other peoples rules but here we are. We specifically did not want to live in a retirement or 55+ community where we would be totally surrounded by just more old people. Our next door neighbors, Rya & Chris, have a 4 month old son; Harry. The couple next to them have a boy about three and a girl perhaps four. We enjoy being around young families and their children. Probably a third of the residents are retirees like us and the rest are younger, working families. A nice mix for us.
They say the harsh April weather delayed the sod and it will be here any day now. We'll see. We planted a berry garden in the back yard; black, rasp and straw.
The house is new and only a five minute walk from Suzanne and family. A new, or almost new, home, i.e. minimal maintenance for me, and walking distance to Suzanne were the two major requirements. I suppose I'll learn to live by the HOA rules, more or less. I had to put the Lazy Daze in storage. No RV's allowed. I miss having the camper parked next to the house. Looking at it was a constant reminder of all the great times we've had traveling over the years. There is an informal ladies club here. Twice now Carol has gone to dinner with the "girls". That's good. Carol needs company other then me.
City life has turned out to be OK. Better then I thought it would be. I can walk to Starbucks, Safeway, Walgreen's, a barber shop and a few other shops and restaurants. All the big box stores are about ten minutes away. There are paved multi-use trails in our neighborhood that lead to McIntosh Lake or to the baseball complex. Gopher and I walk between two and six miles a day. When the weather is nice Carol joins us for our before-lunch and after-dinner walks, but never for our sunrise walk. I got Carol a new scooter with a higher capacity battery so she can join in on the longer walks. The scooter can go an easy six miles on a full charge. I even got myself a bike. It's a beat up hand-me-down from the kids but it suits my needs just fine. Chris, Suzanne's husband, said the good thing about the bike is that it's such a piece of junk that no one will steal it. I tied an old piece of towel over the seat to make it a bit more comfortable. Carol's starting to get more exercise as well. She set herself a goal of walking 500 steps a day. We got a pedometer so she can keep count. Already she's up to a thousand steps on some days.
Two or three days a week I help Suzanne by picking the children up at school and either bringing them to our house or dropping them off at soccer or baseball practice. Suzanne is off almost every Friday. On most Fridays she and Carol do something together. That gives me a little time to myself.
The doctor situation has worked out very well. Dr. Sue Meyer has turned out to be a real jewel. I like her approach to health care. She doesn't simply dictate, she presents treatment options, the costs involved and then discusses the pros and cons of each and encourages you to make your own decision. Doing nothing is the first option she brings up. Carols cardiologist, Dr. Dressher, shares the office with Dr. Meyer. He just moved here from a big practice in Fort Lauderdale to escape the South Florida insanity.
I'm going to build a deck out back and when that's finished, we'll start traveling again. August in the Grand Tetons with the Lazy Daze contingent, then the BF in ABQ in October. The plan to escape the worst of the CO winter is to spend January-March in southern AZ. Our brief exposure to the CO winter this year reinforced our belief that warm is better then cold.
Gopher made her first ever trip to a groomer the other day. She's sporting her CO summer cut. Definitely looks different but I'm sure she'll be more comfortable when it gets hot.
All's well in our world.