I’m Charlotte, writer of The Naïve Princess, The Crystal River and Trouble at Tarpon Springs.
I used to live in the north, as the people of the south call them. Winter was way too long. The chill crept in late August nights, then sprung like a mountain lion nipping at your fingers and toes. More layers upon layers, became a planned event.
I was fortunate to be tucked into the Niagara Escarpment, (Lake Ontario) an hour from Toronto and twenty minutes to the breathtaking Niagara Falls, which one could never tire of.
Up near Lake Huron, the Grey Bruce county, feet of snow might surprise you when you throw open the shutters. But an hour the other direction was Lake Erie, which gets its big wintery dump as well.
“What the F,” is an expression I’ve used often, although mostly at some crazy folk on US 19 where I live now, also known as Death Valley by local hospitals.
For decades, I dreamed I’d be a snowbird and planned my retirement on those dreams. Life, as we all know, does not go as planned. Sometimes we are lucky and all the ducks are in a row and others it is tipsy turvy and we are left scratching our head.
My life took me on a wild journey. I was standing at a Y junction and it was continuing as is, which meant I couldn’t moan or complain as it was the choice I had made, or go on the road less travelled and take a huge leap of faith and jump headfirst into chaos.
So here I am, I am not a snowbird, I live here on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I’m busier than I have been in a long time. I haven’t had much time to write as of late, but as my schedules change, then I’m getting my fingers back to the keyboard, much like I’m doing right now.
The latter was my choice. The great thing about choices is that you are not cemented into those choices. That’s the thing about roads, they have detours, U-turns, side streets, highways, etc., and you can change direction at any time.
So that is what I have done. I didn’t want to be a snowbird any longer. I wanted to call Florida, my land of inspiration to a lot of my books, home. I used to come here often and I started telling my family and friends that I was heading to my office for a couple of weeks to work (write). But as I said about life’s mysterious plans, I didn’t expect to take the turn that I did.
How have you lived your life? Have you kept a steady path or have you followed a wild journey?
Most importantly: Are you living your life to the fullest? Are you? The you that you are meant to be?