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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why I'm Thankful


I'm thankful that I have my health and that I live in Key West.

I fell in love with this town soon after I arrived here on my first visit. I remember walking the streets of Old Town, imagining what it would be like to live in a place like Key West. So many of the houses back then were so funky and un-fixed. I envisioned what I could do to them with a little paint and a lot of hard work.

After I actually moved to Key West I learned to love just being here. I quickly decompressed from my former lifestyle. Things that had to be done in a New York minute just can't get done that fast here. There's no forcing it. People don't move too quickly. I learned to plan ahead and hope for the best. It works.

I love the weather in Key West, even the torrential rains and the sizzling summers. I look forward to the first day of October when I know cooler days are heading our way. One of my fondest memories occurred on Christmas Day a few years ago. I spent the day at Atlantic Shores laying by the pool in 80 degree weather. Later that afternoon I was preparing a prime rib roast and had the TV turned on. I remember a weather report about how damned cold and miserable it was up in New York or New Jersey and I thanked God I didn't live there.

A few months ago I had to go to Omaha. While there I went to a large shopping mall. As I started up on the escalator (we have none in Key West) I looked around at all of the people. It was a very busy day and the place was filled with shoppers. And then I realized everybody was white and so normal looking. I thought 'how odd' they looked compared to the people who live in Key West. We are a mixed bag of Conchs who grew up here and others who came here looking for something less than normal but more fulfilling than one could hope for elsewhere. We are white and black, brown and yellow. We speak English, Spanish, French, Czech, Russian, Polish, and many other languages of Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Go to our Winn Dixie grocery and you'll see what I mean. Some came for love; some came to get away from the law (or an ex); some came to party; some came to start a business or to find a way to get by with a lot less stress; some bums came to live off those of us who do work; and many came to work very hard at several jobs so they could save money and return home where life is not as rewarding as it is in the United States.

I have all that I need or really want. What more could a person ask for? For that, I am thankful.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you Gary, but there are some of us here who work in high stress jobs that still have to get their work done in a New York minute. Those of us who work for the government, the military and the DOD contractors are still obliged to do their jobs here as in the real world. That means deadlines and due dates that won't fall under Key West time. We do this to live here at a great salary, health benefits, pay raises and 9-5 security at work. We are the lucky few who have nothing to do with the tourism industry and its ups and downs. We fall under the radar most consider the average resident here in Key West. And we like it that way.

Anonymous said...

All the best to you Gary. And on a day of thanks we thought we would thank you for your wonderful blog.

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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.