When JFD and I visited his mother and her then current (third) husband in Naples, FLA many years ago, besides having been impressed by the magnificent Gulf-side condominium they had rented (from the Vice-President of Mobile Oil who intended to retire there the following year), I recall being struck in particular by their advice that they had made arrangements to rent the property the year before prior to their departure from Florida. Of course it makes perfect sense that they had done so but at the time it was my introduction to cultivated snowbird policy and it left a lasting impression upon me. Perhaps even then (during the height of my professional obligations) I envisaged the day when I might do the same.
This afternoon we attended upon our estate agent to sign the property rental contract for five months next year. On its face the conclusion of this arrangement is not particularly noteworthy. That overview would however short change the procedure. It does for example gloss over the considerable time spent initially investigating not only the various property choices, but also the alternate venues (Hilton Head Island, Jekyll Island and Amelia Island) and other local property managers. Each variable required examination and contemplation. We made arrangements to inspect seven properties, four in detail, three others we dismissed only from a curb view. Subsequently we met with the estate agent to review our findings and to obtain preliminary financial details. Privately we had considered at length the value of dealing with our current estate agent rather than other corporations some of which were international and not locally owned and operated. At last we met again with our estate agent to put to her our list of choices and applicable priorities. She then enlisted the consideration of the corporate owner and finally an offer was put to us. We accepted without further negotiation, being satisfied that our agent had done what she could in our favour. Today we put it all in writing and ponied up the deposit.
That wasn’t the only bit of business on the table today. I had back and forth emails with my sister concerning my elderly mother and her geriatric consultation. Thankfully the consultation went well and my sister is similarly relieved, which in turn takes a weight off me as I am displaced at a distance. Some private banking matters were also settled including arrangements with our financial advisor. That alone would have been enough but I also received a communication from my lawyer and that matter too has been addressed.
On a less commercial level we undertook some unusual shopping today with equally sterling results. We bought a set of martini glasses to complement the evening ritual; and a set of upscale head phones which it turns out greatly improve the quality of sound from my new electronic keyboard. The latter achievement is positive fortune because I had been blaming the keyboard device for the poor quality sound when it seems the cause was the other inexpensive headphones (now relegated to daily computer usage).
Finally some non-glamorous but utilitarian business – arranging a cleaning with a hygienist at a local dentist’s office. This is one more element of gradual immersion into local life. We already established contact with a mechanic and a hair stylist. I have yet to discover where the post office is located but our agent has so far spared us that enquiry.
Without meaning to contaminate the successes of the day I have to say I derive the same familiar sense of fulfillment in the accomplishment of these chores that I formerly got from my law practice. As much as I appreciate a sunny day at the beach I have to say that it gives me great satisfaction to set a goal and to reach it. That’s business!