Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Rite of February

     For the next three weeks I will be joining a group of primates who are sometimes distainfully referred to as Snow Birds. We are members of the human race who inhabit a cold, northern climate who make a habit of migrating to warmer weather for some period of time after the winter solstice, to return by the vernal equinox.

     Scientifically, we are classified as a legitimate part of the animal kingdom, in the phylum of invertebrates, because we do not have sufficient backbone to last through the northern winter. We are further classified as warm blooded mammals. And our order is homo sapiens -- meaning humans who know enough to come in from the cold.

     More specific classification puts us in the family called Snow Birds -- the colloquial name usually applied to us. And within that Snow Bird category, I am of the Florida genus, in the Gulf Coast species, sometimes grouped with the subspecies of golfer, other times in the subspecies of beachgoer.

     Some of the alpha members of the Snow Bird family -- dominant members of their group who enjoy more luxurious nesting locations -- migrate to places such as Hawaii, or Cancun or Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, or perhaps Malibu in Southern California, or Scottsdale, Ariz., or Palm Beach, Florida.

     I happen to rank among the less powerful and influential in the herd, and will therefore be staying at a Comfort Inn, somewhere closer to Highway I 75 than the albion sands of Siesta Key or Sanibel Island. That will be followed by a short period of time sponging off my sister, who has settled permanently in this frost-free zone. Nevertheless, I will be able to experience daytime high temperatures closer to 75 degrees than the 25 degrees recently recorded in the Hudson Valley of New York.

     Part of the attraction of a visit to Florida is that I will be out of touch with my usual linked-in life. Yes, I will have a cellphone. Who in this day and age can survive without one? But other than a few particularly enterprising and annoying telephone solicitors, the only people who know my cellphone number are family members and a few golfing buddies. Part of the attraction of this annual migration is to enjoy being out of touch with one's usual humdrum life.

     I will therefore not be carrying a laptop. So my access to a computer will be somewhat limited. I hope to post on my blog once or twice while I'm on vacation; but probably not any more than that.

     I hope my new friends in the blogosphere will not forget about me. I will be back -- as I promised my beautiful and much more hardy better half -- in time for Valentine's Day. She is a member of the phylum of vertebrates, people who do have the backbone to withstand the New York winters, and who think shoveling snow develops character rather than (as I believe) a bad back.

     Anyway, even though you won't be able to see it, I can assure you that when I do return, I will have a tan!


Kay Dennison said...

I love Sanibel Island and was down there last summer. I would love to move down there but I'm not rich. And yeah, I envy you! Bon Boyage!

June said...

For a few years, several years ago, Husband and I spent the month of February in Clearwater Beach in a rented house on the beach. I am envious of your escape, except for the coming back part, when you will look around and suddenly notice that everybody in the cold north is YOOGLY. said...

Have a good time. See you in February. Dianne