Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Changing Seasons


One thing that I will miss (besides obviously my children) about living down in the southern tip of Florida, is the changing of the seasons.  I am a visually stimulated person, and I am always left breathless during the Fall when the leaves in the northeast United States change their colors.  I will miss the smell of Fall that you get from cool and crisp mountain air with the fallen leaves.

But down here, the change of seasons is recognizable by colors also, just not leaves on a tree.

license plates

Yes, the joke with southern Florida, is you can tell the changing of the seasons, by the changing of the colors, but of license plates.

This is the first time that I have lived in a tourist area, so this will be the first time I am having to deal with “in season.”  What that means, many, many car carriers transporting vehicles from all over the country, with their owners typically flying south for the winter.  Hence, the nickname, “snowbird.”

Up north, we often knew colder weather was coming, by watching “our snowbirds” called geese, fly south for the Winter.  But humans that travel south for the Winter are referred to as “snowbirds” because typically, they are travelling to avoid cold and snowy weather.

The permanent residents grow used to this migration.  It is definitely an inconvenience, as lines of traffic, waits at restaurants, and reservations for activities increase in difficulty and availability.

“Snowbirds” are easy to spot.  First by their driving habits, as they get used to the traffic patterns here that are typically different from their home state.  Then their personal interactive behavior.  They are often tense, coming here from their stressful lives back home, are wiped out from the travel, and just want to get settled.  Full time residents often feel displaced during the “snowbird” migration because of the hurried pace at which a “snowbird” moves.  And residents feel that “resentment” that we are in their way of their seasonal length vacation.

I remember my first exposure to a “snowbird” many years ago, riding the autotrain to Florida for just a week vacation.  The train was filled with “snowbirds” who often looked at us as intruders, or in their way, not belonging to their migration.  Years later, I understand now why.

But the migration is good for the local economy here.  And it is understandable why the “snowbirds” come south for the Winter.  And for two seasons, “snowbirds” will relax, and enjoy, before they migrate back to their homes and to their stressful lives and activities in the Spring.


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One thought on “Changing Seasons

  1. My grandparents keep a winter place in Florida. I’ve never been. I’ve been in Louisiana over twenty years now and in my part of the state, do not get the “snowbird” effect that you do. Maybe during Mardi Gras, even in the NW corner.

    I miss the changing seasons and colors of Michigan even now, and would give up my best shorts to shovel some snow….

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