Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Fall brings on  colorful leaves, cooler weather, sweaters and a fire in the fireplace. Well, not for everyone. This time of the year my sister, June, thinks about going to Key West. One more snowbird migrating south for the winter.

The signs of fall were definitely there on Neff Road. I noticed early that one of the neighbors closed up their house for the winter. When we went to church at Painter Creek, many of the congregation were missing. Fall was in the air. More and more as children left home couples disappeared heading south to Florida.

I was 17 my parents took me to Sebring, Florida, to visit my Aunt Alma. I'd never been that far south. The Spanish moss and palm trees captured me. Finally I understood why so many wanted to spend the winter in the green, lush state instead of in the slushy snow and grey of the farm.

Mom and Dad never had the desire to go south for the winter. Sometimes I think that the farm was their oasis, the place they loved most. Yet my dad was more animated and excited as I had ever seen him when he showed me the wonders of the swamp, Bok Tower, orange groves and most of all the Atlantic. In looking back, I think perhaps it would have done Mom and Dad good to soak up the winter sun and wade in ocean blue, er, grey.

Now I try to drive on leg of the trip with my sister on her winter journey. Key West is a tropical paradise. I can see why she wants to spend cold months there. I understand why so many go south for the winter. Perhaps I would be a snowbird as well had I stayed back east.

The pews might have been empty, but there were those worshiping God's beautiful earth under the sun.

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