Wintering in Florida…

I never thought that I would become a snowbird. All those years of shoveling snow and scraping ice in Northwest Indiana were part of who I was. The daunting task of facing brutal winters by getting up early to clear the driveway before going to work on time and making sure my sidewalks were also not contaminated by the white stuff was second nature to me as a Hoosier and then as a Coloradan after I moved to Colorado in early January of 2008. Facing Old Man Winter was just another of those rituals, like going to the dentist for regular checkups, just another unpleasant obligation.

Then I visited friends in South Florida, where I and my partner Jim were intoxicated by the handsome condos we saw as well as the dazzling beauty of the flora and fauna, eventually purchasing a condo as a winter retreat for retirement, so that in our old age we wouldn’t have to endure anymore snow and ice storms, unless Mother Nature became unhinged enough to create them during summer and fall, which we spend in Colorado.

I’ve told many people that snow is still lovely to me on a Christmas card, or while I’m looking out a window,  sitting beside the fireplace with a nice brandy. However, snow loses much of its charm when it’s on our driveway, or melting and then turning to ice on streets and sidewalks. I’m satisfied to see snow on the national weather reports or on a Charlie Brown Christmas Special, but the actual charm of snow no longer measures up to the backbreaking work it requires when one tries to keep it under control.

So here I am in Pompano Beach until May, when I’ll return to the northern regions of our country and the majestic mountains of Colorado.

My only awkward transition from there to here each winter is the Christmas season, when I can’t seem to get my mind around the lush greenery everywhere around me, juxtaposed to the occasional illuminated snowmen on front lawns, Santa in his sleigh, and candy canes with Christmas bells hanging from palm trees. It’s almost like seeing an igloo in Honolulu. It simply doesn’t work. But, I’m not complaining. I’ll take the balmy ocean breezes down here over anything I’ve seen this past week from Buffalo, New York.     JB

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *