An aspiring Snowbird

Written by Bob on July 6th, 2009

CANNON FALLS, MN – Summer vacations to my native land of Minnesota always end in a clash of colors and temperatures. My latest trip home to California was no different. From the runway at Minneapolis / St. Paul Airport, my US Airways airbus jettisoned quickly to 30,000 feet.

And as I gazed down at the gently rolling Minnesota landscape below me, the earth appeared as a geometric pattern of squares and rectangles. These patterns – signifying vast acres of farms and ranches – were covered with alfalfa, corn, soybeans and trees. Lots of trees. And all this lush vegetation, watered from a summer of plentiful rainfall, shone a dark, vibrant green.

That’s the green of my vacation. A green that vanished when I landed four hours later in Palm Springs. At this city known for its hellish summer heat, the view is uninspiring. For as far as the eye can see the landscape is covered with sickly looking shrubbery, dead grass and weeds, colored a pitifully dull yellowish-brown. It’s a most lifeless view for someone fresh from Minnesota.

Oh, Minnesota how I already miss your green and temperate beauty.

During my two-week stay in Cannon Falls the temperatures ranged between 58 and 82 degrees. The morning I left it was 62 with bright sunshine and blue skies. The air smelled clean and crisp.

But when my plane landed at Palm Springs and I stepped outside the airport, what a shook. The 111-degree heat almost sucked the breath out of me. Who would want to live in such a place?

But let’s be fair. Come December Minnesotans will be deep in hibernation holed up in their homes to escape the arctic cold and snow blasting down from Canada.

While Minnesotans brave the long winter counting the days until spring, Palm Springs folks will be basking in warm sunshine. They’ll be swinging golf clubs while Minnesotans cuss and shovel out heavy, wet snow from their driveways. They’ll lie poolside while Minnesotans lie and say they enjoy the winter months and all the glorious fresh fallen snow and “brisk” air.

Palm Springers will drive about town in convertibles wearing shorts, sandals, and sleeveless blouses and T-shirts, while whistling a merry tune. Meanwhile, Minnesotans will grumble and curse their fate and pile on layer upon layer of thick winter clothing to brave a howling north wind just to see if their car will even start.

Hey, I admit I moved to California for the sunshine. Toss out those five or six months of freezer-like temperatures, and I’d be back in Minnesota before you could spell it.

“Snowbirds.” You know who they are. They’re your friends, neighbors and relatives who turn you green with envy when they babble on about their winter stays in their favorite warm-weather state. They’re those lucky retirees who spend winter months in California and summers in their native land such as Minnesota.

I have a plan. I’m inching closer to retirement and when I do pull the plug on my work-a-day world in 13 months (yes, I’m counting the months) I plan on joining the ranks of the Snowbirds, and then I too shall enjoy the best of both states.

3 Comments so far ↓

  1. John Otto says:

    Hey Bob, I have an idea. I’ll stay with you in January & February, and you can stay with me in June & July. Do you think Nan could handle it?

  2. Bob says:

    As long as you don’t emit foul odors, shed fur on the carpet, or bark and meow in the wee hours of the morning, I’m sure she will go for it!

  3. John Otto says:

    I don’t shed, bark or meow, but can’t make any promises concerning the foul odors!

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