A friend of mine equates living in Orlando with living in a stomach (as far as the weather goes), and in contrast to where I used to live (in Virginia), there are a few other key negatives one has to consider.
First, the land is flat, and I do mean flat. Brakes and brake pads last a very long time here. There are a few rolling hills out to the west, but it is fairly obvious why it was easy for them to build a very large airport near where I live. Second, our welcome to Florida was punctuated by the a triple hurricane hit to Orlando – something unheard of for the nearly forty years prior. It did minor damage to our house (blew out of soffits and curled up the fascia into a curly-cue), but given some of the other damage we saw, we had nothing serious to complain about. Third, hiking (even if you tolerate the heat) isn’t much compared to the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway areas. In Virginia, there was also tons of history and archives and monuments and preserved colonial buildings all around for you to see, and it wasn’t uncommon to walk into church that had been in its buildings for nearly a hundred years. Florida still has charms in that area, but admittedly not as many.
However, that said, I have found so much here that I have come to love it as much or more than I did Virginia. First, we can go outside all year round. While it’s hot much longer (in terms of days per year) than where we came from, it’s still possible to go out and enjoy activities – no snow, no ice – ever. Second, this is a beautiful city with a lot going for it. Leaving out the fairly obvious theme park attractions, there are a number of smaller museums and exhibits and opportunities that just don’t exist in many other places. I’ve been to the Titanic museum (it’s awesome), iFly (which is a free fall simulator – like parachuting on the ground), and the local science center and iMax theater are pretty darned awesome. There are so many small ponds and lakes and wildlife (only have seen a handful of gators), and there’s still more I want to see! Third, this has been a great place to raise our family with a good police, a great church, and good schools.
We’ve been very blessed living here in the place we were led to, in what happened where we were after we left, and in how we’ve been provided for. God gets the glory and gratitude for all of that – His timing in His way. Moreover for me, personally, the joy of being able to realize my dream of writing books others would enjoy. With a simple, low-cost advertising campaign running a little bit more than a month, I’ve had well over fifty sales and additional positive reviews! I couldn’t be more thrilled!
There were a lot of challenges when we came here, but we were led through each one, and I’m grateful to call Orlando my home.
PS: Writing update – Finished chapter 6 of Beyond 2 and am well into chapter 7! I will be slowing down a little this summer because of big vacations and a local convention I’ll be attending, not to mention helping with another author’s e-book. Anyway, take care and thanks to everyone whose bought or only browsed! Bless you!