No, I'm not dead — I finally survived that cross-country move, from New York to Florida, and someday you'll all learn how it amounted to the most unpleasant and soul-deadening experience of my life thus far. Four weeks of living in a house with no furniture was just the cherry on top of the sundae of my nearly year-long stress rollercoaster.
Right now, I'm just grateful to be done with it, to be settled in with good people I'm close to, and to be getting back to something resembling a normal life. Protip: don't use a move-it-yourself service if you live in an area infamous for its snow, or if you have a driveway on an incline. (I had both.)
Okay, so why give up the NYC suburban area — and NYC itself — for Florida? Finances, mostly. It's become all but impossible to live in the NYC area unless you're making six figures, which I haven't and still don't. The move is part of a larger plan to consolidate our expenses (that is, mine and my wife's) and put us into a better living and working situation.
It's also not about the weather, at least not solely so. As I put it to a friend, living in NY was a package deal. You accepted the lousy winters and the high cost of living as the price of being in, or near, such a vibrant cultural center. I accepted that price up until the point I simply couldn't afford it anymore. But that doesn't mean I have no plans to go back someday — and I definitely have plans to visit NY as often as I can.
Regular service will be resuming shortly, as soon as my moving container arrives and I pull some of my most-needed junk out of it.