Thursday, August 30, 2012

A New Season: A New List

Ah, Labor Day.  Hard to believe June, July and August went by so fast! The long weekend is summer’s last official hoorah before it’s time to face the shorter days, the crisper nights and the reality that fall and winter are coming.  It’s also a good reminder of the loose ends that should be tied up before the busy months of the holidays are in full swing.
It may be the last thing you want to think about when it’s sunny and warm outside, but late August and early September are the perfect time to begin winterizing your home and belongings.  There are a host of items on the winterizing to-do list, and it can seem daunting without a plan. 
Make it easier by breaking up your tasks, and focusing on one area of your home at a time.  Start with the exterior, by preparing items such as lawn mowers, gutters and landscaping like shrubs and flowerbeds for winter hibernation.  Prepare the inside of your home by stocking up on emergency supplies (you never know when that freak storm might hit!), unpacking winter clothes and double-checking insulation.  A few minutes now can mean so much more later.  Like having a good reliable flashlight on hand, a radio and plenty of batteries to spare.  It doesn’t hurt to store some bottled water and snacks, too.
Preparing now means fewer headaches later, and more time to enjoy what colder weather has to bring – like family and celebrations.  Preparing now also means fewer surprises later – by ensuring everything in your home is in working order and ready for the long haul of fall and winter.
So between Labor Day burgers and fall foliage, set aside some time to tackle that cold-weather to-do list.  There’s no time like the present!
Jensen Communities

Making the Most of Your Free Time

“Live life to the fullest.” 
- Ernest Hemingway­
Over the years, I’ve drawn inspiration from that quote, always keeping those words in the back of my mind.  I’ve used it as motivation to learn to sail, drive cross-country and even visit Australia.  They are the words I’ve lived my life by, as simple as they may seem.
Now that my children have their own families and I’ve retired, I find that that saying still has meaning in my life – though in a new way.  It used to be about using my free time wisely, and finding the biggest and best adventure to experience.  Now it’s about savoring the little moments, and appreciating what my life has given me. 
Fall is probably my favorite time of year to put that wisdom to use.  My flexible schedule means that no matter what activities my family has going on –sports, school or work – I can always find a way to spend time with them. 
I make a point to take my grandchildren apple picking and on hayrides; to can the last summer veggies with my daughter; and to take fall foliage drives with my son and his family.  We live life to the fullest by appreciating the beauty of our world and the joy of being together.
I used to think that living life to the fullest meant traveling far and spending money to find the most exciting experience I could.  Now I know – it’s about the sound of crunchy fall leaves, and the smell of fresh tomatoes.  Living life to the fullest is about valuing what you have, no matter how simple or how small.
Get In On It!

Fish Fry

Labor Day isn’t a holiday that mandates you spend time with family, or give thanks for what you have.  There’s no gift exchange, and no special songs or decorations to denote its arrival.  For me, it has its traditions, all the same.  It’s that last opportunity to really enjoy all summer has to offer, and prepare for the fall and holiday season ahead.
Years ago, a few buddies and I decided that the best way to spend our Labor Day was out on the water, boating and fishing and swapping stories.  No one really remembers whose idea it was in the first place, but it has become a tradition none of us would pass up.  There’s nothing better than the quiet sound of the water, the small splash of the fish jumping and the excitement of that first tug on the line. 
The Labor Days are gone where my buddies and I commiserate with one another about the stresses of work and the challenges we’ll face – we’re all retired now.  But some things never change.  We may not talk business anymore, but we still remark how lucky we are to enjoy the open water; how good the fresh fish tastes grilled just after we catch it; and we still debate who has caught the biggest fish so far.
Sometimes, you just have to stop and smell the fresh fish grilling.  And for me, Labor Day is the perfect time to enjoy everything life has given me.
Flyin’ Free

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rewarding a Green Thumb

Jensen residents usually don’t need a lot of encouragement to keep their home sites looking their best.  At this time of year, we like to give them an added incentive by providing a Prize Home Site Award or two for each community!
Having a small, private and manageable home site has long been a key advantage of owning a home in a Jensen community.  The grass doesn’t take long to mow.  The leaf raking or snow shoveling is nothing like the big chore it was in the old house.  And for those that don’t want to do any heavy lifting, you can hire one of the many contractors that are available (or use Jensen’s service at Brook Ridge, Hillcrest, Cherrywood and Southern Palms).
What a right sized yard gives you is time to utilize that green thumb for your flowers, shrubs and other garden tasks.  The results are beautiful and enjoyable.  It is a difficult task for Jensen’s judges to choose the best site or two out of so many attractive yards.  Here are a few examples from up and down the coast:

And that award?  Residents with the winning home sites receive a check for one month’s lease fee for their efforts!

Congratulations to all of the Jensen Prize Home Site Winners in 2012!
Kris Jensen III
Get in on the Good Life!®