Tag Archives: Weather

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: February Heat Wave

O my God, the Ten Commandments include “Thou shalt not covet,” so I try not to envy those who spend $$$$ so they can post beach pictures in Florida. But OMG, is it wrong to feel just a little smug that today in Indiana, we’re expecting 65 degrees?

 

 

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer

snow-bridge-1782614_640O my God, Nanook of the North, a.k.a, my husband, wore a parka and gloves as we walked outside. Too smart to comment, he nevertheless eyed my bare hands and head. But, OMG, when Your big hands toss the first snow like confetti, I want to sense and celebrate every flake.

To Tan or Not to Tan?

Our truant sun, rumored to have defected to another solar system, finally has appeared. Throughout the Midwest, mothers pull plugs and hide batteries, demanding their offspring “go outside and play!”

For generations, these card-carrying members of The Great Mother Conspiracy have specialized in kicking kids out of the house.

However, during the 60s, moms spouted unique wisdom: “Sunshine’s good for you!”

We needed vitamin D, or some such thing.

Ha! Had I not read of Laura Ingalls Wilder, forced to wear sunbonnets to keep her skin white? My own grandmother donned sunbonnets while gardening or bringing the cows home.

Why, on sizzling days, couldn’t I stay inside and read? At Mom’s bidding, however, (and because she locked the screen behind us), I obeyed, accumulating a dark tan.

SunglassesLotionDuring adolescence, my desperate friends, afflicted with peaches-and-cream complexions and tiny allowances, smeared baby oil (with and without iodine) from head to toe, frying in backyards. Affluent palefaces bought trendy suntan lotions guaranteed to turn them into California girls. Instead, orange-streaked and -striped, they resembled Tony the Tiger.

Regardless, orangeness equaled popularity. I, blessed/cursed with a natural tan, sighed for such status.

Regardless of skin tones, all “lay out.” Working assiduously on my tan, I nevertheless concealed a deep, dark secret: I disliked it. Lying out resembled the Mother Conspiracy command to “go outside and play.”

The similarity should have roused parental sympathy as they watched us loll on blankets, listening to transistor radios. Yet they could not comprehend how hard we were working.

TannedFeetWhat could you expect from moms who tanned only while weeding gardens and chasing after kids? From dads who sported farmer tans? When parents insisted on family beach time, we teens spread our towels far away, lest their chubby, lily-white backs and bellies shame us.

I, suffering a bald father who wore a hat while water skiing, spread mine in the next county.

By the time I frequented kiddie pools with my toddlers, the Great Mother Conspiracy did a 180-degree turn. Expensive sun block replaced expensive suntan lotion. No evil sunshine would attack our babies!

The tanning industry responded with infinite wisdom: free sunshine was bad, but expensive tanning beds would make us sexy, increase I.Q.s, and free us from excess cash cluttering our lives.

Hubby and I keep our cash and slather on sun block. I still prefer hot summer afternoons inside with a good book. But he slaps on sun block, then hands me the tube.

“It’s hot outside,” I whine.

He tugs me free from the sofa’s soft, seductive clutches. “Exercise is good for you.”

Sigh. How long before medical authorities and The Great Mother Conspiracy overturn that one?

 

Have you ever worked hard on your tan? What was your favorite tanning concoction?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: It’s Spring? Seriously?

Oh, my God, this weekend it snowed. Thundered. Hailed. Blew. Walking to church, we had to avoid ice on the streets. Yet, with the sun’s chilly afternoon rays, Hubby changed the oil on the lawn mower and raised the pop-up camper. OMG, is he a man of faith or just crazy?