Jul 042011

Happy Independence Day from the Florida Keys. I figger this is a good time to kind of rub it in a bit and give all you mainlanders a bit of insight to living on the islands.
Hard core minimalist? Yeah, I am getting there. You probably read my earlier blog last month on my take of the 100 things challenge. I am there, less than a hundred and still have some room to get rid of more. It has been an interesting take on getting rid of crap. I still think back to the house I had with so much junk I never used but thought I had to have. So much wasted money and time on things that have no importance in my life now. But, with age comes wisdom. It would have been nice to have adopted this mindset when I was in my 20’s instead of now when I am pushing 60. Looking back though is just a waste of time, what is done is done, time to look forward.
So here I sit in the middle of the Florida Keys, a place I have wanted to live since I first came here almost 40 years ago. It has not lost any of the appeal it had when I first discovered it and I love it here now as much as I did when I was just visiting.
When it comes down to it though, living here is not much different than anywhere else. You need a place to sleep, eat, earn some income, all the usual stuff. The ignorance of some of the visitors down here is amazing. They seem astounded that we have toilets and running water. The whole touristy vision put forth by the travel agencies and tourism bureaus is fine and dandy but reality is you are coming to play in our home. We live here and have to make a living too. But we make our living, all of us in the Keys in some way, shape, or form from the tourists so it’s a love/hate relationship. We tolerate the traffic, the higher prices for goods and services, all that, because we love it here.
Anyways, as I said, here I sit in the Keys looking to the future that has many options. My current living arrangement has a lease which runs out this fall. I am looking at three options at the moment. One, renew the lease through the winter and stay put. It has the advantage of being the cheapest. Marathon is a pretty nice place to live with everything right where I need it. Downside, the park where I live will get crowded this winter with all the snowbirds back in. They come down for the winter and spend all their time bitching, moaning, whining, sniveling about anything and everything.
Option two is to relocate to Key West. It is the most desirable of the three and will depend on the availability of affordable living quarters. No easy task in one of the most expensive places to live east of Aspen, Colorado. Timing is very important here. If the right place comes up at the right time I can go.
Key west has always been a place I wanted to live. It has it’s good as well as bad. Lots to do on a 2 mile x 4 mile rock. I don’t drink anymore but still it is nice to sit around and watch “all those tourists covered in oil.”, as some singer once said. Should I be in the position of needing to get some throw away job to get some income going, there is plenty of that around. Downsides are there too. 25,000 call Key West home, with thousands more tourists coming through every day. Traffic is congested and a car is out of the question, a bike is the best way to go. Key West has a very high crime rate. The combination of drinking, expensive cost of living, and general stupidity of people makes it not the safest place to live. But, I would really like to try it. If it doesn’t pan out, I can always return to Marathon.
Third option is unlikely but still could happen…moving back onto a boat. Boat living is unique unto itself. Something that is not for everyone but can be one of the more exciting and relaxing ways to live. There are plenty of affordable boats for sale all the time. Sailboat is the only way to go. But it has it’s downsides too. Keeping the boat afloat for one, having a place to anchor or dock, access to land to get minor things like food and water, and the general upkeep which sort of goes against the grain of the whole hardcore minimalist thing. But then again, if the right situation comes up, it would be an option.
A lot depends on what happens in the next few months. I am in a bit of jam financially at the moment. I have no income stream and little prospects of getting anything going in the near future. This blogging thing is fun but I need to get it to start generating some kind of income. A lot hinges on my selling my jeep. So far that is not going well. The price is fair, at least based on what I have researched but no takers. Selling it would solve many financial issues.
The one good thing is I have no debt. No credit cards, no car payments. The only contracts I have are my lease, and Internet with Verizon. Those two items eat up more than half my monthly expenses. Food is next and then all the usual nickel and dimey stuff, which I have at a minimum. It would be nice to get back into bringing in some income so I can start enjoying all the things I came to Keys in the first place for. But it will come soon enough.
The nice thing is I have choices, I am not bogged down by possessions, debt, nor am I embedded in some job or relationship. Health is good for my age, and stress levels are way down. Bottom line, I am where I want to be, moving my lifestyle in the direction I want, with a few bumps in the road of course, and I am looking forward to what may come. It’s a Keysy life for me thank you very much. Enjoy the holiday and take a moment to determine just how free you are this Independence Day.
The Fritter
Now watch, some exgirlfriend will read this, come down and fuck it all up.

  One Response to “Hard Core Minimalist…I haz it…in the Florida Keys…”

  1. I read it 🙂