Growing up in Florida, I spent a lot of time outdoors. Like all day. Outdoors. Our parents didn’t worry about us back then. We were gone all day, traveling miles on our bicycles or horses, unsupervised and without cellphones. We were blissfully independent and oblivious to the perils of the evil world. Our world was safe and pristine. It gave me a love of the outdoors because that was our playground.
As an adult when I began to afford property, the most important thing was the backyard or view. In Central Florida, my backyard is a lake. I may be only minutes from a large metropolitan area and it’s international airport, but in my backyard I have otters, owls, bald eagles and all kinds of “tree creatures” like raccoons and possums. When you have spent an hour battling traffic after a long day, looking out onto the lake does make it all better.
Ten years ago we found a small cabin on a huge lake in Maine. I love Maine. They have very few people, but they do have moose, bears, beavers, and lots of fish. This summer I stumbled upon a black mink lingering along the shoreline. The views and cries of the Loons can make me emotional. If you want to get away from any hustle and bustle, Maine is the place to be.
Our latest land purchase was 200 acres in North Florida. When you exit off I-75 onto I-10 heading west, you can feel your blood pressure lowering. Gone are the billboards, and thousands of acres of agricultural land spreads out in either direction. Just a few miles after crossing the Suwanee River, you exit onto our county road. The views there are very different. Deer, fox squirrels and turkeys are in abundance. Occasionally you see a black bear. There is even a now rare covey of quail. In one direction you have acres of pasture, turn and you see rows and rows of timber pines, turn again and you see the live oaks and dogwoods. Springtime is heavenly when they bloom along with the wildflowers in the pasture.
I’m officially a “view snob” who is growing increasingly disgruntled with city life.