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Home Is Where The Heart Is…

When you open your e-mail, you never know what en- lightenment is awaiting you. Such was the case when I checked a recent e-mail from Val. Actually, it is a recap of what we, in the land of alligators and black bears, already know but rarely verbalize.
Anyone that has lived in Florida for at least a year should understand most of these—and for those who are new to the state—check ’em out and ask your neighbor! No surprises here!

Yes, indeed, you know you are a Floridian if you’re younger than 30 but some of your friends are over 65. Well, actually, with all the fresh air and sunshine and a good tan in all their wrinkles, they seem as young as you.

A good Floridian dreads the bug season and, unfortunately, knows the difference between a fire ant bite and a mosquito bite. (Go break off an aloe).

You know you never really need an umbrella because the rain is over in five minutes. Anything under 70 degrees is chilly—but you don’t need or own a winter coat. A denim jacket will do.

Flip-flops are everyday wear. Shoes are for business meetings and church, but many have worn flip flops to church on occasion.

You have a drawer full of old bathing suits, and one big baggy sweatshirt.

There are plenty of parking spaces at shopping centers but you drive round and round seeking a spot in the shade.

Everyone here knows that socks are only for bowling.

You know what snowbirds are and when they’ll leave.

You know the four seasons really are: hurricane season, love bug season, tourist season, and summer. You’re on a first-name basis with the Hurricane list. A category 3 isn’t worth waking up for.

Oh, and you still hear about all those houses with the blue roofs in 2004-05.

You haven’t become settled if you haven’t driven through Yeehaw Junction. Down south means a trip to Key West. You can pronounce Okeechobee and Kissimmee. A mountain is any hill 100 feet above sea level. You have to get you a bumper sticker when you go there, that reads: ‘This car climbed Mount Dora.’

Most of all… You’ve worn shorts and used the A/C on Christmas and New Years.

Kitty Maiden is a staff writer for Seniors Today.