February 23, 2020: Family, Snowbirds,....and Revisions
As a greater part of the country is still dealing with winter weather, we here in the south are starting to enjoy some of our most desirable days. With this spectacular sunshine comes our Snowbirds. This is the nickname for those who live in the north, but like to head down south for a few days or weeks or even months, to get a bit of warmth and sunshine.
That makes these months some of my favorite.
Yes, there are some native southerners who say the word ‘snowbird’ with distain. Who grumble about the increase in traffic because the roads are now filled with northern state tags; who complain about the upset to the routine or how the beaches are now packed. But I love the fact that people from other places are coming in droves in search of our spring and sunshine.
I love being able to share my beautiful adopted home state with others. Although born and raised in New England, Florida has been my home for nearly 30 years. Over these years I have grown to love nearly everything about this state- the history, the wildlife, the flora, the architecture, the people.
Selfishly, it also gives me a chance to visit with friends and relatives who live in other parts of the county without having to leave home. When they are down here, there is something for everyone- whether they want to immerse themselves in wildlife and visit preserves, visit theme parks and attractions, sit on the beach and soak up sun, or learn about our state’s place in history. Whether they are here for the entire winter, like my brother-in-law; or for less than a week, like my brother, it is wonderful to have them here and to spend some time with them.
Yes, it is a bit of challenge. We, after all, are not on vacation, so fitting in visits, and dinners, and meeting up, around our usual work schedules and responsibilities takes some planning. But it is so worth it.
This week has been a busy one for that! My dear soul-sister Debi ( who has been my best friend since I was 6 years old and my family moved in across the street from her family) and her family are in Florida for several weeks. They are truly part of our extended family! They are also nature/wildlife enthusiasts, so they are enjoying our state preserves, rookeries, and nature parks. We have been able to fit in some visits. Debi is also one of my most trusted literary critics. When one of my writing projects has reached the feedback and revision stage- she is one of the first ones I reach out to. Not only does she have great instincts and insights, she is a lifelong educator as well, so she knows my audience of children intimately. Her feedback always helps to make my writing better! So this week we also found time to discuss her impressions and thoughts regarding one of the manuscripts I sent up to her last month. Now I have some direction with my next round of revisions on that particular manuscript.
In addition, my brother and his wife and two sons are also down visiting some of the tourist attractions this week. My sweet nephews are in second and fifth grades, so they are loving the theme parks. We were able to spend a fun evening with them all out at my dad’s house. Four generations; eighteen people. So much fun!
As February draws to a close, I wish everyone the warmth and sunshine of loved ones.