We just returned from a short visit to Florida for a family celebration. We had a marvelous time seeing my husband’s brother and his three grown children with their families, all gathered in one place for our grandnephew’s Bar mitzvah. The last time we were all together was nearly three years ago, and we remarked that we can’t wait so long between visits. Life is too short—don’t we all say this?
Florida is an unbelievably beautiful place, it’s lushness rivaling Hawaii, though it does lack Hawaii’s stunning mountains. My sister-in-law walked into her yard and plucked a gorgeous avocado off a tree. She has mangoes and grapefruit, lychee, lemon and tangerine trees, a grapevine growing up a pergola, and palms everywhere. We loved waking up to such beauty every morning.
My brother-in-law’s screened-in pool is long enough to do laps in and float around on a raft until you are pruney and red, as my husband can attest. It was hard to get him out of the pool, in fact. When he came home, he realized how red his front side was and seemed surprised that if you stayed in a swimming pool in Florida for three days in a row without suntan lotion, you could end up with a darn good case of sunburn. I couldn’t blame him, however, because the one thing about paradise that was a little hard to take was the heat and humidity. And this is only June. I suppose, if you have lived in Florida year ’round for a long time, you get used to it. As for me, I need the change of seasons. I need the cool fall days, watching the leaves turning from green to gold and red, a steaming cup of hot chocolate in my hands. I need the hope of a snow day once in awhile. But I also know that deep in winter, I would trade it in for another day in paradise with family.