We sat cross-legged at the camp fire, the flickering flames casting eerie shadows in the trees surrounding us.
An owl hooted in the distance, causing the ancient old man sitting with his head lowered to raise his arms over his head and proclaim, “The wise one of the forest has spoken. You are destined to suffer mightily at the hands of the gods of winter. There will be mighty winds and bitter colds to freeze your radiators. Many snows will come to hide the fruits of your labors in the yard and flower beds. Many rodents of the fields will seek sanctuary in your garage, chewing up the wiring in your automobiles and taking comfort with the bounties in your cupboard.” We listened with growing apprehension as he continued to describe the horrors of the coming cold months.
“There will be what is known as a jet stream vortex curling down from the arctic regions, bringing with it long periods of insufferable cold and misery. I would advise you to take sanctuary in a warmer climate before such disasters occur. That will be $25. You can pay my secretary on your way out. Have a nice trip.” Humbled with such prophetic wisdom we packed our vehicle and headed south to the land of milk and honey. After all, who would doubt the prophesy of an old sage who charged only $25 for such an accurate forecast?
How do you define a snow bird? First, they can be identified by their dress, especially the men. Multi-colored Bermuda shorts, a matching flowered Hawaiian shirt, black nylon socks pulled up half way to the knees and supported by garters, black navy last shoes, a Panama straw hat and a net bag to hold sea shells hung from a belt loop. Normally sighted on beaches, sometimes armed with a metal detector, but always carrying a long stick to poke at sand fleas. Joining these types has always been at the very bottom of my bucket list, but after listening to our old prophet we decided to take his word for it and get out of Dodge before the tempest(s) hit.