Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Fleeing to Florida

Today is the kind of day that reminds me why my husband and I bought a house in Celebration. Sunday night we had to return to Chicago for four days, and of course Jack Frost and Mother Nature had to enter into an unholy partnership and whip up a blizzard to welcome us back. It's been snowing for most of the day, and it's supposed to continue all night until we've got a foot of the white stuff just in time for the morning rush hour.

When I woke up this morning, the bitter wind was doling out frostbite to the unprotected, and my car windows were sheathed in a thick coating of ice. As I chipped my way through it with what little mobility was left in my frozen fingers, my thoughts turned longingly to Florida. In Celebration, the worst "car incidents" usually involve discovering that the interior has turned into a blast furnace. It's much easier to reach in gingerly and crank up the air conditioning than it is to shovel out a snowbound, ice-encased vehicle. And that's a moot point anyway, since the summer heat has fled Celebration. Now the weather is mild, with the occasional nippy night. It's at the perfect temperature to open the windows and fill the house with fresh air.

I can see why birds fly south for the winter, and why so many humans follow suit. I prefer Florida all year 'round, but the span of time between November and March only confirms my choice. Back when my husband and I were mere tourists, we snickered when we saw the natives bundled up in thick coats, gloves, and even ear muffs in weather that would give a northener heat stroke if it occurred in January. Now we're starting to lose our heartiness, and we shiver and complain when the temperature drops below 70.

Hopefully the snow will clear out by Friday night, when we wing our way back to the Sunshine State. As usual, we'll be flying good old Lame Duck, ATA, which may actually be more like a phoenix than a duck, rising from the ashes into a new incarnation. It looks like Southwest will be taking over several gates at Midway and purchasing a stake in ATA. The infusion of cash will keep them afloat (or rather "aloft") and allow them to keep the rest of their gates in Chicago. They will be cutting some routes, but Orlando is a popular one, so hopefully they will keep it running.

It will feel so good to return home to Celebration this weekend. Christmas is past, so the "snoap" on Market Street and at Disney World is long since over for the season. How nice it is to live in a place where "winter" means switching from t-shirts to sweatshirts.

My email address is

Visit my Celebration website at

No comments: