Confessions of a Weekend Snowbird

Several winters ago, I flew to Florida. But only for a weekend. And only because of work.

Thanks to my in-laws, I realize snowbirding isn’t easy. Snowbirds deal with two sets of household worries. Before leaving the Midwest, they must forward mail, stockpile medicines, and empty refrigerators. By law, they cannot desert the state until they eat or give away every single egg.

I only had to stockpile frozen dinners for Hubby — and assure him I would try not to enjoy my work too much.

However, I faced wardrobe complications, digging through mountains of summer clothes for an outfit that fit. Usually I don’t even have to say the word “waistline” until May.

Migration itself proved challenging. At the airport, I, a sixtyish grandma armed only with expired Liquid-Plumr® coupons, was dusted for explosives.

The airline also implemented an aggressive program to increase passenger space. All zone four passengers, including myself, were tossed into compactors that crunched us into pillow-sized rectangles. We fit into the airplane seats, no longer suffering from lack of leg room.

Finally carted from the aircraft, I understood why snowbirds brave Florida migration tribulations. Palm trees, with real green leaves, fluttered a hello. Brilliant flowers abounded. No wonder the Spanish explorers named it “Flowery Land.”

Today, however, they might name it “Trailer Court Country.” Thousands bloom on the Florida landscape. These mobile home parks offer neighborhood lifestyles like no other. Need to borrow a cup of sugar? Simply stick your measuring cup out your window into your neighbor’s kitchen.

Need exercise? Walkers benefit physically and enjoy constant access to neighbors’ favorite episodes of The Andy Griffith Show — at Cape Canaveral sound levels.

If such excitement does not suffice, back out of a driveway amid the daily NASCAR Golf Cart Challenge.

I did enjoy the novelty of hearing, “You’re so young!” Throw in fresh seafood, and it doesn’t get much better than that.

Given my schedule, I did not see the ocean. Had I viewed its blue, sparkly waves, I might have, as my hospitable hosts urged, stayed much longer.

Instead, the heat chased us inside, where they turned on air-conditioning. I tried to imagine avoiding torrid Easter temperatures. Seeing Santa in a red tank top.

I envisioned myself in a bathing suit most of the year.

That prospect scared this temporary snowbird back to airport security, zone four passenger compactors, and a flight back to her Midwestern nest.

Are you a snowbird wannabe? Or do you prefer snuggling by the fire?









2 thoughts on “Confessions of a Weekend Snowbird

  1. Sara Hunt

    I’m now a permanent Floridian. Yes, I enjoyed Christmas shopping in a t-shirt and capris. I love wearing flip-flops all year long and never having to grab a coat when leaving the house. I will admit to always keeping a neutral colored sweater in the car though because air conditioning in restaurants can be a bear. We have no palm trees swaying in our yard but we are excited to be planting a lemon tree in the back corner. I miss my midwestern friends and family but not the midwestern weather. The exception being October. I miss the colorful leaves, the crisp nights, the harvested corn fields, and all the other wonderful aspects of a midwestern autumn. I just need to visit home every fall.

    1. rachael Post author

      Yes, Sara, from what I’ve seen on your Facebook posts, you’ve taken to Florida like a pretty flamingo! But I would feel weird Christmas shopping in flip-flops! Though I would love to have a lemon tree growing in my back yard, and a few orange and tangerine trees, as well. Despite our unusually pleasant February weather, I keep expecting a blizzard on the horizon–a paranoia you don’t have to deal with. And our landscape is dreary gray and brown this time of year. But I do love spring in Indiana, and fall as well! You’re right about October–I LOVE autumn here. So sorry I missed your visit last fall, but I should be around this October and would love to see you again! Hugs, friend in flip-flops 🙂


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