Seniors Today Newspaper
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Florida, As We’ve Known It…

Hard to imagine how often a me-mory appears in your thoughts and brings back special happenings half a lifetime later.

In the early years of raising a family, we felt so strongly about upcoming holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Planning, decorating, enjoying the seasons were the most important times of the years. The ideas and plans seemed to automatically be passed down to the next generation—and the next.

When the Mom and Dad and four growing youngsters moved to Florida, the children found the place very intriguing. Nowhere else in their travels had they experienced the sight of tall white birds flocking on a spot of grass to enjoy their breakfasts together… or a series of large turkeys comfortably running around as if Thanksgiving meant nothing to them.

For the new family in Florida, Thanksgiving Day would be different and exciting. Can you imagine having dinner in a motel unit or on a carport? Those two locations became the norm in those days. The first year was to be at their parents motel, dining on long tables set up to stretch across two rooms of their motel home, to accommodate about twenty members of family.

Outside the sun would be shining brightly (if it didn’t rain) and chances of going swimming in the ocean later were quite possible.

For years after that, when settled in a home with a double carport, the carport became a perfect setting for a large family dinner.

The most amazing thing about Florida is how quickly it buildt up. Everywhere you look, the earth is being sold, built on, and occupied with giant condos, houses, and apartment buildings. We hold our breaths to learn what’s next? Many residents who have been here for years cannot get excited about such plans. Like everything else, our Florida is up for changing.

For now, at the Veterans Nursing Home, a half dozen turkeys entertain us regularly running around the property while growing nearly as tall as the humans who watch them grow. A fellow named John, who comes from West Virginia and has been a resident of ELB for several years, goes out daily, taking food he purchases for feeding the animals. It’s a special world we (and they) live in and for all, we give thanks as we meander through our Florida—the way we know it.

Kitty Maiden is a staff writer for Seniors Today.