By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 8/22/2017
Posted: 4/27/2017
Topics/Keywords: #Autobiography #KeyWest #Phoenix Page Views: 236
Pondering an upcoming residential move.

For several years, now, I have awakened in the middle of the night, and at dawn. This is such a new thing for me that it's almost like living on another planet.

Ella at Dawn

I don't regret the time, which doesn't cut into my need for sleep. Now that I'm retired, I can almost always sleep in, so I am always rested. In the middle of the night, I do my medicinal smoking and drink my H2O2 and perhaps Facebook or even Kindle book for an hour before returning to bed.

Ella the Golden Lab always comes out on the porch with me. We have a ritual. She waits for me to sit down, then plants herself in front of me for a full minute of cuddling. When I lean back to assemble smoking materials, she lays down on my feet and watches for beetles and lizards.

It's a small, enclosed patio, a garden, really, though my gardening skills are meager at best and now that I'm recovering from a leg broken in two places, non-existent. Yet it's my favorite part of this condo. It feels so sheltered and safe despite its location in Central Phoenix. There may be crime occurring within a square mile, but here, it's quiet but for the sounds of birds and the hum of distant traffic from the freeway.

But nothing is more constant than change, and it appears that Keith and I will be moving to a condo in Key West come October. It too has a porch, overlooking the inner row of condos and, possibly, a glimpse of the Gulf.

I have mixed feelings. I dearly love Arizona and the West and haven't begun to finish exploring them. Yet, when I have exploring opportunities, I'm finding these days I tend to return to old favorites.

I have also loved Key West for 22 years and Keith seems to have fallen in love with it too (after the three trips we've made there in the past 12 months). (And this despite my having fallen in a Key West houseboat and breaking my leg in two places on this last trip. Ironically, it was the place we looked at after seeing the condo on which we finally settled.)

And then there's all my Arizona and west coast friends I won't be able to see so often. However, let's face it; we spend more time here on Facebook than we do in real life anyway. Plus, our expenses in Key West, especially electricity, will go way down so periodic trips back are a distinct likelihood.

Plus I have more family now on the east coast than in the west, and my beloved toddling grandbabies are in Key West.

Keith's family is concentrated in Shiprock, New Mexico but is actually scattered…he has a sister who lives in Germany! So, by that technicality, Key West is closer to the center of Keith's family than Shiprock!

Meanwhile, besides healing and organizing preparatory to packing, I'm sure Keith and I will try hard to fit in at least one trip to the West coast before we head east. Or, if not that, at least one last visit to Fossil Creek!