Have you ever watched a pirate film or an historic epic from the Middle Ages? Those folks really know how to fight. They swing their swords with abandon – slashing and crashing their way through a battle. From whichever direction the enemy comes, those swordsmen are ready for them. Their swords are two-edged, so they can cut from either angle.

Currently, my life is a two-edged sword. When I swing to the left, I feel excited about moving to Ocala, Florida. When I swing to the right, I feel sad about leaving Pawleys Island, SC. There's a confusing feeling to my days.

As I pack a box, I also divest myself of some items. The "happy" to get another box packed is tempered by the "sad" to see some items head for the local Hospice Retail Store.

The "happy" I feel about being closer to my daughter and her family is balanced by the "sad" I feel at leaving the home we've grown to love.

The "happy" that infuses my brain with the knowledge that our new residential development is perfect for our life style is at odds with the "sad" that we will no longer be only a mile from the ocean.

In "the Sound of Music," there is a line that many people have quoted – "When God closes a door, he opens a window." To me, that saying has meant that – even in the darkest times – there can be joy. As we pack up and move amidst some sadness, there is excitement contemplating the new experiences we will have.

An old friend of mine, Paul Mazzocchi (an Italian guidance counselor), said "Not all the evils come to hurt." Paul taught me many lessons during our friendship. That was one of the best. We can learn from the negative things that happen to us. We just need to have an open heart.

Some other examples of my current "double-edged sword' life…..

Yesterday, I got teary-eyed as we gave away most of my porch plants. My neighbor took them and I know she will be an excellent caretaker. Some of those plants have been with me for more than 25 years. Our new Florida home doesn't have the room indoors for many plants. But, I am anxious to discover new species of tropical plants that can survive in the outdoors. As we drive by some of our new neighbors' homes, I see amazing flowers and bushes that make me anxious to try my green thumb.

For years, I have been collecting cobalt blue glass items. I have also accumulated a lot of blue dishes, glasses, ovenware, linens and kitchen accessories. Guess what? Our new Florida house is decorated in rosy pink! I've never been much of a "pink" girl, but life changes and I'm ready to try something new. For now, the 'blue stuff' will stay in the Pawleys Island house and I'll try and find some 'pink stuff' for the new house. I guess if I choose a deeper rose color, it will complement the pink. Pastel colors are not my thing. But, who knows? I may end up loving the change.

My Yamaha spinet piano isn't going with us to the new house. As much as I have loved playing it throughout the years, there will be no room for it there. Why? Because our new house came already outfitted with a 3-keyboard Lowrey organ. I had a choice – get rid of the organ or the piano. I chose to keep the organ. It will provide me with many happy hours of learning. No one needs two large keyboard instruments in a home. Maybe we can find someone who will love the Yamaha as much as I did.

And so, dear readers, another milestone is about to be passed. As we move from the 29585 zip code to the 34481 zip code, I recall the days when we were packing up to leave the 18229 zip code. As hard as it was to leave the Jim Thorpe, PA house and move to Pawleys Island, this move will be harder yet. This wonderful home has nourished our souls for 12 years. And, it was the first house that I felt was truly mine.

In the double-edged sword atmosphere of my life, I can assure you of one thing – life is never boring. Just remember to keep an open heart.

(IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTACT DR. SMITH, SHE CAN BE REACHED AT HER NEW EMAIL: JSMITH1313@CFL.RR.COM OR IN CARE OF THIS NEWSPAPER.)