Peddle Your Onions Elsewhere.

Author:Puterbaugh, Dolores T.
Position:PARTING THOUGHTS
 
FREE EXCERPT

NEARLY 30 YEARS AGO, we moved to Florida... on purpose-meaning, we picked Florida and then we went to Florida intending to live in Florida. Yearning for another way of life leads people to a place that is new and yet feels like returning home. I know people who never have lived in Arizona but know that the high desert is where their home must someday, somehow be. Another person knows that home must be in England; schooled there and connected deeply to true friends, she never will demand that England turn into there from whence she came.

We discovered, very quickly, that not everyone who moves to Florida actually wants to live in Florida. They really want to live precisely where they used to live, just with less cold weather. No doubt readers in Arizona, the Georgia and Carolina mountains, and other beautiful and clement climates commiserate with this experience.

Some immigrants from northern states sweep in to live their snowbird dreams and promptly attempt to turn their little slice of subtropical heaven into the kind of bureaucratic, bossy-pants nightmare the rest of us deliberately and gratefully escaped. Locals and plenty of transplants (myself included) wonder why some Northerners relocate and immediately begin petitioning their homeowners association or the local zoning board to turn Florida into the kind of micro-managed order they just left.

When a pastor I know began receiving letters of complaint with threats of fines from the condo owners association because his Christmas wreath was one inch thicker than permitted in its bylaws, I immediately made suppositions on where the sneak with the ruler lived until a year or so ago. I also have a hunch that individual would see nothing wrong with the kinds of egregious rules we left behind--such as needing a government bureaucrat's permission to put up paneling in your own basement, or not being permitted to buy building supplies for your own home projects without a contractor's license. 1 mean, we certainly cannot have amateurs scampering around with handsaws and nails. Show me your papers, comrade.

The urge to change things upon landing arises in other settings. On occasion, new employees, especially those relatively new to a field, come in on fire with fresh ideas and blissfully unaware of how much they do not know. They almost immediately begin announcing what and how to change things to improve the workplace, efficiency, patient care, etc. Some of those ideas are no doubt good, unless...

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