Not that I was ever in Kansas, except maybe in my mind. When I was trying to figure out how to make A Country Living, I always pictured myself doing it in Kansas. With maybe a dog and maybe an Auntie Em. Possibly a witch.
But no. I’m not in Kansas. I’m not even in LA any more. And by LA I mean Los Angeles, not Louisiana.
I am, and have been for about 5 months, in Florida. South Florida.
Which has nothing to do with trying to make A Country Living.
Except that I’m here.
It all happened quite quickly – almost as if a tornado in the aforementioned state had scooped me up and dropped me, dogs, horse and all, on the opposite coast from where I had been living.
With no ruby slippers or mantras to get me back home.
It began when I finally went to visit my folks when they had come to Florida for the winter. Bad daughter that I am, I had refused to travel from LA (Los Angeles) to NY to visit during any holiday in the winter. It had been decades since I shared a holiday turkey and the 17 other courses my Italian family would prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I don’t like to fly. I hate snow.
I was homesick during the holidays and I hated being one of the “orphans” invited over to friends houses – but I just couldn’t get on a plane in the winter.
So when they suggested I come to Florida to see them when they were there after the holidays, I just couldn’t refuse. I mean, I wasn’t that bad a daughter.
So I went. In early March.
It was nice. Warm as LA. Palm trees. An Ocean.
It was familiar.
We had a nice visit. There were stores just like in LA and restaurants just like LA and I didn’t need a coat or a hat, just like LA.
So when my 85 year old Father asked if I would be consider moving from LA to Florida I said yes.
I would consider it.
Because after all, it seemed so familiar, so like LA.
Except I would be closer to my family, because even in the summer when I would come home to NY to visit, it was a 6 hour plane trip and when you hate to fly the way I hate to fly, 6 hours on a plane are 6 hours of praying to God to get off the plane are 6 hours of praying more than I do all year.
I am a bad daughter and also a bad Catholic.
But I thought God would appreciate a 3 hour respite from my pleas as Ft. Lauderdale was only a 3 hour trip from NY at 35,000 feet. And since I was already in a state where my parents lived some of the time, I may never have to get on a plane ever for the rest of my life, which would let God off the hook entirely when it came to keeping us aloft.
I may be a bad Catholic, but I am a considerate Catholic. And God has more people down on the ground with more serious things to talk to him about.
Now here’s something you may not know about my family.
They are Sicilian. They operate in stealth mode.
All the time.
So by the time my plane had landed back in LA (thank you God!) my family had already contacted a Realtor to start looking for homes for me in the area near the condo where my folks stay when they are in Florida.
Only I didn’t know it.
And that’s when making A Country Living took a detour over Kansas and most of the rest of the United States and dropped me here.
In South Florida.
With my little dogs, too.