My family (wife Colleen, son Mike) and & I live in Jupiter Farms, a somewhat rural and more than a little equestrian-oriented area of Florida about 20 miles north of West Palm Beach.
We're five minutes from the grocery story, other shopping and restaurants, so it's not all remote, but it feels delightfully remote. Of course, we have friends who live as close as West Palm Beach yet consider driving up here such a major trip that you almost think they should bring their passport.
And there is some serious driving to commute to WMNF, the radio station in Tampa where I broadcast "Talking Animals": It takes three-plus hours to get there, which means on days I do one or more radio shows there, I'm spending more than six hours on the road. (Thank goodness for my Prius!)
But here's an example of just one of the virtues of this house: Thanks to what was happening with California real estate prices when we sold our home there a little over three years ago, we wound up with some spacious digs, including a good-sized house, a nice hunk of land that includes a pond where fish and turtles reside, even a barn; I'm writing this post from my office in the barn.
Over the weekend, my wonderful mother-in-law Liz and her also wonderful Yorkshire Terrier, Monty--an irresistibly sweet, happy guy; we call him the dog who loves too much--were visiting, and while Mike was napping, I took Monty for a walk around our digs, with Colleen and Liz strolling behind us.
All of a sudden, Monty was trying to dart off, straining mightily against his leash. We thought surely he'd spotted one of the many squirrels who live on the property, but when we got a closer look, we saw that it was a raccoon. A gorgeous raccoon, calmly ambling just on the other side of the fence that separates our property from the road.
This raccoon was doing turns like a furry runway model, so we all got a good look at him--he seemed really relaxed as he finally climbed up one of the trees, and settled in. I came back later with a camera, but didn't see any sign of him.
It would've been nice to include a picture of him with this post, but that's OK. The fact that we could see a raccoon on our property (and, at the risk of anthropomorphising, that he seemed quite comfortable being there) was plenty cool.
And yet another reason I love living here.