When I hear the term snowbird, even now the first thing that comes to my mind is the Anne Murray song that was popular when I was in high school. And since that song was released in 1970, I imagine you can guess my age within a few years. Those years have flown by! Just as I never thought I’d ever be sixty-one, I also never thought I’d be a snowbird.
Nowadays snowbird generally means: “a person who vacations in or moves to a warmer climate during cold weather.” (per dictionary.com)
When I was younger, I thought people who wanted to escape the snow and cold were wimps! Granted, our home is in western NY State, where frigid winter air blows across Lake Erie and causes what meteorologists now call “lake effect snow”. Back when I was growing up, it was called a “blizzard” or just plain “snow.” Come on, we’re a hardy bunch, I thought only a few years ago. We don’t need to leave our friends and family to travel south the first time the furnace kicks on. We know how to drive on snow-covered roads. We can handle the cold. Why would we want to go south where a million old people go during the winter?
But now that hubby and I have retired from our day jobs, now that our bodies are not so forgiving after shoveling snow, now that we have time for activities we can’t enjoy while we “hibernate” for months on end…well, traveling south where people can actually enjoy the outdoors in the winter sounds a whole lot more appealing. Not that we consider ourselves old!
We don’t fly south like many snowbirds do. We pull a fifth-wheel trailer, taking our winter home with us. We now own a tiny sliver of Florida, a site in one of those fifty-five plus RV parks I used to make fun of. And we’re having a great time. We’ve made new friends. And we have family and old friends in the state (other snowbirds – ha!) and can travel to see them without worrying about state of the roads. (just the traffic – hey, nothing’s perfect!)
I don’t apologize for leaving family behind from January through April (and I may rub it in when I just got out of the pool, or when our temp is 85 and at home it’s 15). I do miss the grandbabies, though! Thank goodness for smartphones. I get texts with pictures almost daily, so I can still watch them grow. And since I can take my laptop with me wherever I go, I can keep writing my new series of Silver Fox Romances. No, none of my characters are snowbirds…yet.
Eve Corcoran hates being a cliché, but after her husband leaves her for a younger woman, she’s surprised how much she enjoys being on her own. When the empty nester hires the contractor next door to renovate her new apartment, her surprising feelings for him threaten to turn her new life upside down.
After Rick Best lost his wife, he never expected to fall in love again, especially not with the mother of his daughter’s best friend. He’s gone on enough rescue calls with the volunteer fire department to know life can change forever in an instant, and he can’t understand why Eve resists grabbing a second chance at happiness.
Rick wants her to choose a life with him, but Eve is holding on tight to her newly-found independence. As she keeps pushing Rick away, however, being on her own starts to feel a whole lot like being lonely.
Eve couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that Rick had been naked while she’d been talking to him. Naked. Nude. Sans clothing. All that masculine skin with nothing covering it. She blew out a shaky breath.
She’d seen him in swim trunks often enough over the years. Both of their houses had pools, and since Amy and Heather had been joined at the hip for most of their lives, and Eve and Cathy had been friends, the two families had often been at one or the other’s houses.
But that was back when he’d been Cathy’s husband. When she’d been Don’s wife. Back then Eve had been able to appreciate a good looking man without coveting him or getting turned on. Those kinds of thoughts had never even crossed her mind.
But now…as she paced the scarred hardwood floor, Eve found herself getting all tingly at the thought of Rick having been naked while they shared words. And even more shivery knowing he was rushing over here as soon as he covered up that naked body.
What was wrong with her?
Crazy as it was, she dashed into the outdated bathroom to check her reflection in the mirror. Her hair was a mess. She shoved her fingers through the strands, trying to fluff them up a little. She’d left her purse, and the brush inside, down in her shop and she didn’t have time to run down and get it now.
Her lipstick was down there too. She bit her lip. Her face looked so pale when she didn’t have lipstick on. At least she was still in the dress and heels she’d worn for work, so she felt as if she had at least some of her armor in place.
What was she getting so worked up about? This was Rick. She’d known him for years. He’d seen her hundreds of times. It wasn’t as if he was going to care what she looked like. He was coming to look at the apartment, not her. She should be getting her thoughts together on the work she’d like to have done, not primping in front of the mirror.
There was a knock at the door at the bottom of the stairs. “Eve?”
Eve dashed to the stairs and then forced herself to slowly descend the steep steps. Her foolish heart was beating wildly. She seemed to have no control over it. She crossed the entryway and took a deep breath before she opened the door. “Hi. Thanks for coming right over.”
Rick was one of those guys who seemed to get better looking as he got older. While he’d been long and lanky, almost skinny, when he was younger, he filled out a pair of jeans and a T-shirt real well now. The silver at his temples and threading through the rest of his hair sparkled beneath the light.
And the crinkles around his brown eyes when he smiled?
There were those tingles again.
Eve realized she was just standing there, blocking his entrance. She cleared her throat and hoped the heat she felt in her face didn’t stain her cheeks red. “Come on in.”
He had a clipboard in one hand and began his inspection as soon as she closed the door behind him.
“This is a nice-sized foyer. Is there anything you want to update in here?”
Straight to business then. She frowned and looked around her. “I hadn’t thought about it.”
He pointed down with the corner of the clipboard. “The floor is worn and some corners of the tiles are coming up. It wouldn’t cost much to replace it with a durable vinyl that would withstand the rain and snow. A new coat of paint on the walls would brighten the space and you could get away with keeping that old ceiling fixture. It adds character but not a whole lot of light.”
Eve nodded slowly, looking at the space with new eyes. He was right. “I can see you know your
The corner of his mouth quirked up. “Did you have any doubt?”
Her breath caught on a laugh. What was wrong with her? The first thought to pop into her head was,
I’d like to see your stuff.
“Um, come on up. I think the stairs are safe and sturdy.”
“Lead the way.”
Rick followed her up the stairs and all she could think about was him staring at her ass. And that she liked the thought of him staring at her ass. It was as if she’d been dropped into an alternate universe.