Before too long, we’ll be away from the glory of the autumn leaves and the snowy cold that follows them. Instead, we’ll be in a place where palm trees blow in the subtropical winter warmth.

Not only is the weather and scenery different between our permanent home in our small Canadian prairie city and our winter home in our park in South Texas, but our lives are completely different.

Here, because hubs and I have my Mom, our daughter and grandkids, and all of our siblings (we have four sibs each) living nearby, our social life is either with family or non-existent. We have lots of lifelong friends living in this area, but because they’re busy with their families like we are with ours, we seldom see them. In our park in Texas, we’ve made many friends and we enjoy frequent get-togethers with them.

Here at home, we tend to be almost hermits. We aren’t very involved in our community. Our entertainment consists of a lot of couch sitting and TV watching and most of our activity is focused on doing improvements to our condo. This past summer, I did introduce Mahjong to several female family members, so that became at least one weekly event here. In Texas, we take part in several of the park activities. I walk, attend exercises and water aerobics, swim, play bridge and mahjong, and paint. Hubs swims, enjoys the hot tub, tinkers in the wood shop, helps friends with yard and home repairs, plays poker, and is learning shuffleboard. Together, we attend park events such as: breakfasts, soup suppers, special occasion pot luck suppers, entertainment, dances, garage sales, and craft and quilt shows.

Here, my morning walks are almost always along beautiful trails in nature habitats and there’s always something new and interesting to see. In Texas, I do laps around the streets of our park, and although the route becomes fairly tedious after a few weeks, the weather almost always compensates for that.

Here at home, hubs and I are together almost 24/7. In Texas, we each pursue our own interests and there may be several hours on some days that we don’t even see each other.

Here, because it’s been home to both of us the majority of our lives, we have to work to find new places to visit and explore and it almost always involves a fairly long drive. In South Texas, we can drive less than an hour in any direction and see something we’ve never seen before. No matter how much exploring we do in the Rio Grande Valley, we won’t live long enough to see everything that’s there.

Our different lifestyles in the two places provide variety, balance, and always something to look forward to at the end of each 6 month period. We’re not in either place long enough for it (or us) to grow stagnant or boring (at least I hope we’re not boring). My wish is that, all being well, we’ll be able to continue this mixed lifestyle for several years, because it’s truly an all-round healthy fit for us.

Photo Note: To join these two photos to make a single comparison feature photo, I used an app called Layout. This user friendly app provides several different layout options for up to nine different photos.

“It’s about finding that balance where you have one foot in the familiar, one foot in the unfamiliar.
If you have two feet in the unfamiliar it’s overwhelming.
If you have two feet in the familiar then there’s just boredom.
It’s about having both.”

Humble the Poet