The Big Move North

By Joe Moore

In 1978, my wife and I along with our two boys, moved from our hometown in Northwest Florida to Miami so I could take on the job of VP, Production at a television production facility. Seven years later in 1985, we bought our current home in Coral Springs, about 35 cs-housemiles north of Miami. Here we raised our sons and watched them go on to become successful, handsome men. During our 27 years in this house, we also saw dozens of our neighbors’ children grow up and move on. Most of the parents eventually did, too. All good friends. All gone to someplace else now.

I wrote my first novel in a corner of our living room over a 3-year stretch, getting up before dawn and quietly typing away until it was time to shower and head off to the day job. I’ve written 6 more novels out of this house.

We’ve seen hurricanes and tornados come and go—watched huge trees fall over in what seemed like slow motion but were taken out by 100 mph winds.

We’ve swam a thousand times in our pool, many times with a margarita in hand and friends beside us as the BBQ smoke filled the air.

We’ve had Halloween parties on our front lawn while we showed spooky movies to a couple dozen kids on a 6-foot TV.

We’ve watched life end and life begin on this street—laughed and cried more than most people. We’ve been warmed by the Florida sun way more than chilled by the north wind. And more times than I can remember, we’ve said that we lived in paradise.

Three weeks ago, we sold our beloved home and are packing to move. My wife is retiring from teaching after years of devoting her life to children. I retired from my day job a number of years ago to write full time. So now we are moving north. Northwest Florida, that is. Back to our hometown and our roots where so many of our family members live. Back to a place that’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Where the beaches are whiter than sugar, the leaves turn colors in the fall, and the seafood is so fresh it slept in the Gulf last night.

Our new home is on the Blackwater River with a 100-foot pier that offers a perfect place to IMG-20130224-00014sip wine and stare across the water every evening until the only sounds are the breeze through the pines and an occasional mullet jumping.

My WiFi will reach to the end of the dock, and that’s where I’ll be everyday with my laptop writing my next thriller. If you’re ever in the area, come join us for a glass of red wine and a killer view.

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49 thoughts on “The Big Move North

  1. Moving is stressful so I wish for you a minimum of stress. Certainly sounds like, despite the many good memories of your old place, you’re about to make many new memories in the new place. Congrats and best wishes!

    BK Jackson

    • Thanks, BK. Isn’t it interesting that we pretty much remember only the good stuff. Maybe that’s how it should be.

  2. I truly enjoyed your post, Joe. We live in a home we built almost 20 years ago in a small community between Houston and Galveston. We’ve experienced all those things you described (except for the pool – we used the neighbors’).

    Hubby and I spent the weekend in the Texas Hill Country, exploring properties along Lake LBJ for possible retirement — or before — locations. I had no trouble picturing myself settled in near the water, enjoying my coffee/beer/margarita, tossing dead bodies into the reeds (so to speak).

    I wish you and your wife the best in your new place. Please be sure to follow up after you’re settled in to let us know how it is.

    • Sounds like we’ve had parallel experiences, Diane. Thanks for the good thoughts. I’ve spent some time in Leakey, TX in the Hill Country. Another beautiful place to retire.

  3. I don’t even know you and I’m happy for you. Experiencing pier envy as well, but still happy. I hope your new memories will be as sweet as your old.

  4. Here’s to an easy, uneventful move, Joe! Oh, and only someone from south Florida would have the guts to call winters in north Florida cold.

    • Thanks, John. And I’ll have you know it’s been know to plummet into the upper 30s in the dead of winter there. Now we’re talking big time cold.

  5. A very endearing story. You seem like a blessed man. Not just because of the home, family, and a wonderful career writing, but also because you see your blessings enough to share them here. You’ve reminded me today that it isn’t about the destination it’s about the journey. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  6. Thanks, Jeanette. You’re so right about the journey being much more important that the destination. But I’m still gonna enjoy the destination at the end of that pier. 🙂

    • Amen to that! Have a glass of wine for me while your there! And what a neat journey you are about to embark on now! Who knows maybe some of your best works will come out of the end of that pier! Congrats on your new move!

  7. Looks like a great place, Joe. My two daughters live in Palm Bay and Sebastian, so I get to Florida a couple times a year. They want me to retire down there, but my wife’s family all live here in Kansas City, so I doubt that would happen.

  8. That looks like an idyllic spot to live forever, Joe! The older I get, the more I value being close to family. I wish you much happiness in your new homeplace.

    • Thank you, Kathryn. It is a pretty cool place–quite and remote, yet only 20 minutes from the city. Looking forward to it.

  9. Loved your post because it was a pleasure to read, but I had to laugh when you said cold in the winter. (I grew up in WI and still live in northern Illinois.) Enjoy!

  10. Joe, Always a bitter-sweet experience to move away from “home” and start again, even if you’re going to the best place in the world. Good luck with the move, and with your writing.

    • That’s exactly my feelings, Richard. Seems like we’ve lived here forever. Hard to remember where we lived before that. But like Basil said, North to the Future!

  11. This is a wonderful, beautifully written piece. Reading it was like gliding effortlessly on the smooth surface of a frozen pond, only it felt much warmer. All the best with the new home and the writing. Sounds awesome.

  12. Funny how you call it “The Big Move NORTH”, Joe! Sure sounds like SOUTH to me! LOL.

    Sad to leave your home of 27 years, but your new place sure looks idyllic! Quiet and peaceful, but with internet connections – perfect!

    I’ll probably be roughly in your neck of the woods in next year when I head back to the Tallahassee Writers Conference in May to present several writing workshops. Tallahassee sure is gorgeous, so I’m sure your area is, too!

  13. Count me in on those with pier envy. Is your driveway perchance wide enough for my RV? I’m quiet, I swear.

    As I sit here in Kansas with lines of supercells bearing down on us from the NW and SW, Florida is looking mighty nice right about now.

    Seriously, congratulations. Your old home looks lovely and you are leaving wonderful vibes for the new family. Your new home looks heavenly.

    I’m moving as well. A whole 2 miles across town. Out of my drafty, leaky, creaky Victorian brick pile into a tidy little mid-century-modern Cape Cod. No river, but a big green backyard complete with a family of cottontails for my dog to bark at.

    You mentioned Nashville. Killer Nashville perchance?


  14. Thank you very much, Joe, for this post! You inspired me in two ways: about writing and moving to a new home. I am an aspiring writer with a day job and I liked the idea to write in the morning before going to job. I am lucky because I am working most of the time from home, so I have even more time for writing. Although until now I am mostly writing in the evenings, especially when it is my turn to put my son to bed. He likes us sitting close by his room when he falls asleep and I am using this time for writing.
    And we are planning to buy a house: our first one. The loving way you described both your homes, recent and new, is very heart-warming and inspiring. I think sometimes of places I used to live and I know that a part of me is still somewhere there and parts of those places are in me.
    Thank you very much again for your post!

  15. Thank you Victoria. Enjoy the freedom and luxury of writing on your own time without a deadline. With any luck it will be the only time you do so. Good luck with your writing.

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