After 14 years, my father has finally moved to Florida. Dad was born in south Georgia and raised in Miami, but while I was growing up, he always insisted he was going to retire to Alaska. Turns out that old habits die hard.
He bought the house as a "fixer upper" with a loan from his father. He never did much fixing-up, other than having me and a few other college friends add a few coats of paint and a new roof. Fortunately for him the property value went up without him having to do much. Back at the turn of the millennium, the closest restaurant was an exit away on I-85. Now there's a Wal-Mart down the street with everything that brings.
Dad raised poodles, cats, chickens, bees, and turkeys in the backyard with varying degrees of success and complaints from the neighbors. He tried sheep once, too, but the less said about that the better.
I lived in the house for six months in 2002. A very long six months, during which time I wired the house with Cat 5 cable just so I could play Everquest online in my room while Dad watched his country music videos. (Does anybody else remember the "good old days" of a wired Internet?) Generally speaking, we get along much better when we don't have to spend too much time in the same room.
The "check engine" light came on in the moving van that mom rented, so we were stuck for a few hours while Penske struggled to diagnose and fix the problem before they threw in the towel and replaced our original truck. I have to say that everyone I spoke to at Penske — Sarah, Bob, Glenn, Amy, Kent, and Jeff — were all very friendly and considerate. I've had U-Hauls break down on me before, but if I'm going to rent a broken truck, I prefer Penske.
I'm not saying I'm going to miss that house, but I will remember it.
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