Appreciating life, with a new view


Lots of people love the four seasons. Myself, I am not a big fan of winter when all signs of life are expunged from the landscape. Bare branches, brown grass and birds hauling south are distressing signs for me.

For years I have dreamed about moving to Florida.

Here’s the deal: I need light and the Boston winters don’t bring out the best in me.

Some people handle the Arctic conditions brilliantly by making kale soups or getting all crafty. Not me. I stay in my bathrobe with a frighteningly large supply of blue tortilla chips and binge-watch Netflix.

It’s not pretty.

I would like to say that the 10 feet of record-breaking snowfall this past winter made me finally rent a U-Haul and head to the Suncoast. It didn’t.

Or that the massive search for new job that had palm trees in their ZIP code finally materialized. Nope.

What finally motivated me to move was that I stopped knowing if I would live long enough to be an old lady.

I got diagnosed with cancer.

Now, before you have even a nanosecond of sympathy for me, let me also share that I had the absolute best cancer that anyone could possibly have. It’s true.

If you have to be struck by the cancer bullet, this is the one to have.

My Harvard-schooled prodigy of a doc found a cancerous tumor on my ovary and took it out.

Poof, done. No radiation, no chemo, just several weeks of wonky tests to confirm that I didn’t have more tumors lurking on other parts of me, which I didn’t.

With that euphoric news, I was given permission to go live life.

Envisioning a shorter life span is a great way to prioritize your to do list. It was obvious that NOW was the right time to go find my place in the sun.

I sat down at my kitchen table, spread out my bank statements and tallied up my worth on a pink plastic calculator. Then I booked a flight to Sarasota.

You may wonder how I picked Sarasota from all the other orange tree towns. What I love about SRQ is that it has a bit of everything and I am a curious chick.

Downtown has fun eateries that range from thatched-roofed tiki bars to white table-cloth farm-fresh eats.

There are guitar-picking joints and an opera house.

The beaches have white powdery sand and aqua warm water. Siesta Key gets a shout out nearly every time some travel paper writes about what “Top Beaches” to tromp off to.

John Ringling, the circus mogul, spent his winters there, and in 1920 he bought up lots of land until he helped mold Sarasota into a vacation hot spot. Decades later, it is a go-to destination for massive amount of pasty Northerners.

Now that I could see myself living, I could see myself living here. SRQ, here I come.

So, I am in Sarasota to find a new nest. Wish me luck.

Amy Archer

Amy Archer is owner of Sarasota-based Creating Inspired Design and writes the Barefooted Designer blog. She can be reached by email.
Last modified: December 3, 2015
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