After signing the lease at the Madison, I came home to start packing my worldly possessions. I looked around for many trucking companies that would move me to Florida. It was going to Cost over $11,000 to move the Bedroom Suite, Living Room, and my office furniture. I also took the Washer & Dryer because I paid cash for those with money I saved from not eating fast food. I did leave the Piano, 2 Bedroom Sets, a complete Living Room Set, Bose Stereo System and our Dining Room. In the end, most everything was split down the middle. I had to have everything in the home appraised before we divided all the personal property. She was pissed that I took several of the Artwork paintings that we purchased, but she also got all of the Holiday Decorations, All the Pots and Pans and Expensive Cutlery, China, Silverware, and a $2500 Authentic Barbie Doll House complete with furniture. I had bid on this at a Fundraiser for Breast Cancer in October of 2010. It actually took me over 3 weeks to pack my worldly possessions. I took possession of the Apartment on July 1st of 2012.
Before I moved down to Saint Petersburg, I invited my friend to join me at the IDDBA, International Deli, Dairy, Bakery Association Show, which was held in New Orleans, LA that year. I was feeling absolutely wonderful. I had kept off my weight I lost. I was so proud to have a new girlfriend that was young and beautiful in my eyes. Before she had arrived, I met with a friend of mine who worked at Ramsey’s Jewelry store in Metairie. I don’t know what exactly came over me, but while I was in Metairie, I bought her a beautiful Diamond Engagement Ring. I had it customized to what I thought she would like and picked it up, but did not give it to her for several weeks. More to come about this in the next few blog writings. When she flew into New Orleans a few days before the IDDBA show, I introduced her to My Aunt and Uncle , my daughter and both grandkids. We had a nice visit, but I could tell my family was not all that crazy about her. She had a few tattoos on her arms and back, which never really bothered me. All that mattered to me was she made me happy and I felt like a man again. I also took her to Commanders Palace with my best friend and his wife. We have a fabulous time. As a matter of fact, Sylvester Stallone and his wife Jennifer Flavin were dining across from us that night at Commanders. It was a fabulous evening. Once the IDDBA opened, one night the owner allowed me to have a Crawfish Boil for our Customers, Salesmen and several vendors. We also had a Dixie Land Trio entertain for that event. My friend whom owned a Seasoning Company, brought his entire Crawfish Boiling System and Boiled over 500 lbs. of Crawfish, 100 lbs. for Shrimp, Corn, Potatoes and Andouille Sausage. That event went off without a hitch – I invited several of my New Orleans Friends and Family members to join in on the fun. All had a fabulous time. We ate and drank like it was Mardi Gras. As a matter of fact, that year was a Mardi Gras theme for the IDDBA. I purchased her a 3 day pass to walk the show. She was accepted by my boss and all of my Co-Workers. My ex-wife had visited the show that year, but we never made any contact. She had no idea that I had a girlfriend. She did hear through the grapevine that I was seeing someone, but until I broke the news I was moving, she did not realize it was to Saint Petersburg, FL. She finally put two and two together and realized I was moving to Florida to be with her. She was absolutely pissed. All along she thought I caused our divorce so I could be with her. Sometimes down deep, I often wonder if this was not true. We were not on speaking terms and I wasn’t ready to live with my sister at the young age of 53.
Later on after the IDDBA show ended, I put her on a plane back to Saint Petersburg, FL and told her I would see her in a few weeks. She seemed very excited that I was moving down to be close to her in Saint Petersburg. We became joined at the hip. Once I moved into my new apartment, we began going everywhere together. She had a home of her own that she was living in with her daughter and granddaughter. She traveled for work every second or third week, depending on her workload. When she was in town, she spent all of her time with me. I even took the 3rd bedroom and turned it into an office for her, so she didn’t have to go back and forth to her home. We were becoming closer and closer.
Will to Live – Lust, Envy & Pride – Part 63