A year ago today, my husband and I arrived in Riverview, Florida, picked up our keys, and moved into our new home after a seven-day drive from the San Francisco Bay Area.

In the past year, and in spite of the pandemic, our adventure has continued, albeit a bit slower paced than we would like due to all the restrictions and our own paranoia.

We ended up moving to a new home late in the year for the waterfront view, lack of stairs, and last grasp before the real estate market really went boom a month later. …


About six weeks ago my husband and I got a rescue kitty. The decision to get a cat did not come lightly. I had been debating it with myself — he was on board from the beginning — since we moved to Florida in the midst of a pandemic … March 19–25, 2020, to be exact.

I grew up with cats, dogs, and various farm animals, but I had never had a pet as an adult. Being self-employed as a freelance copy editor and publication designer made such a commitment difficult.

That’s 20+ years of only being responsible for myself…


Top 10 Favorite Things

Sunrise in Florida

When I first hinted to some friends that I might move from the Golden to the Sunshine State, the most common reaction was, “Florida? Why Florida? You know it’s going to be under water in a few years, right?”

My response: “That’s like a hundred years from now. Also, there’s no state income tax in Florida.”

Of course, that wasn’t the only reason for the move. Besides a much lower cost of living than what I was used to in the San Francisco Bay Area, I was looking for warm beaches (the northern Pacific is ice cold year round) and…


Top 10 Thoughts and Experiences

Sandhill cranes in Riverview, Florida

“Amy Reff, you have been living in Florida for one month! What are you going to do next?” … “I’m NOT going to Disney World!”

Okay, so Joe Montana, among others, said “Disneyland,” but that’s in California, and I don’t live there anymore (check out my articles on that here and here).

I officially arrived in my new home exactly one month ago today on March 25, and it has been hunky dory in spite of the pandemic-related shutdowns and subsequent anxiety.

My mother shipped my husband and I two of the dozens of face masks she has been making…


A Marathon Cross-Country Road Trip to Beat State Shutdowns, Dodge a Virus, and Contemplate an Empty Country in Panic

View from hotel room of palm trees and mountains in Palm Springs, California
View from hotel room of palm trees and mountains in Palm Springs, California
We had a lovely view from our hotel room in Palm Springs, California.

Good morning from Palm Springs! That was the cheerful, innocent caption to the first photo I posted on day 2 of mine and my husband’s epic road trip from California to Florida in spite of, or more appropriately in our case, because of a global pandemic.

Energized by early-day possibilities, we had arrived at the hotel the evening before, had settled down after diligently spraying Lysol on doorknobs and light switches, and were greeted by the iconic palm-tree-plus-mountain skyline of the notorious desert town upon awakening.

We had a breakfast of bananas, Costco granola bars, and Trader Joe’s kefir —…


A rocky California shoreline. A shadow of a man appears in the sand in the foreground.
A rocky California shoreline. A shadow of a man appears in the sand in the foreground.
On the shores of Big Sur, circa 2015

Or How Technology Will Destroy/Save Us All

Five and a half years ago, I met my husband in a bar in Rockridge, a swanky neighborhood of north Oakland, California. I’d been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for 10 years with no intention of ever living anywhere else. I probably shouldn’t have agreed to go on a date with a European with that determination in mind, but I had always preferred foreign guys, so I couldn’t help myself.

I quickly learned he had an intoxicatingly adventurous spirit that made the introvert in me want to leave her carefully conceived shell for parts unknown. I had been…

Amy Reff

I’m a freelance copy editor, publication designer, Udemy instructor, and author of Quick Guide to Freelancing. Learn more at FreelanceAmy.com

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