Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


April 10, 2014

Escape from the arctic

How often do you hear of a far southern resident migrating to one of the northern states for the winter?

I think the only way that could happen would be if the entire state of Florida broke off and floated northward to the coast of Maine. That possibility isn’t as far-fetched as it seems considering the masses of northerners who crowd into Florida to escape the ravages of cold weather. Just the extra weight of all those people could cause the state to sink like an overloaded boat.

From what Judy and I observed, that is a distinct probability in the not too distant future. What with the hordes of snow birders and spring breakers who crowd the coasts, the full time residents can be a little grumpy until they add up the till in the cash register every evening. I guess they figure that if they couldn’t “whup” us in the “big whaw,” they could make us pay for all the cannon balls they used in the attempt.

After years of advice from friends who make the annual pilgrimage to the Sunshine state and after finally admitting that we were (approaching) the age that qualifies us as official members of the snow bird species, we made arrangements for lodging in a suitable “bird” village. For three months, while the midwest freezes, we would frolic in the sunshine and feel the warmth of sandy beaches between our toes. I would have the opportunity to fish for exotic species and study the vast variety of their flora and fauna in its native habitat. Now, I recall a famous quote that goes, “Ah, the plans of mice and men oft times go awry.”

Settling into our spacious accommodations of a living area consisting of the living room, bed room, kitchen and bath in one room, more or less, we decided to familiarize ourselves with the local area. The first problem arose with trying to get out of the village with solid traffic in both lanes stretching in either direction as far as the eye could see. I have been trying for years to convince Judy to let me add a helicopter rating to my pilots license and now she could see why.

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