Peg’s mom gave us her small Florida condo when she decided to move back to Indiana. It is part of a retirement complex where owners must be over 55 years of age; we qualify. For about 20 years we have spent part of the Christmas holidays at the condo. I remember our first trips there. We drove down non-stop (19 hours) and came back the same way. It now takes us at least 2 extra days. Those first few years we filled each day with trips to the beach, sightseeing, miles of walking on golf courses and many hours of swimming. We frequented sports bars where we watched college football games late into the night while noshing on burgers and fries washed down with draft beer.
We met other snowbirds from New York, Massachusetts, Canada and the mid-west who enjoyed getting away from the condo complex and engaging in dancing, dining and conversations about sports, politics and contemporary music. Those folks have remained friends for years.
During this same period Peg and I have attended my high school reunions which are held every 5 years in Oklahoma. Twenty years ago there was a live band playing Beatles songs. This past weekend there was one guy doing an Elvis impersonation. He was quite convincing. Whereas twenty years ago and several times in between everyone danced and shouted out the lyrics, this year people sat and listened politely while occasionally tapping their toes.
Over the years the reunions have included alumni football games, trips to local ranches for beer and barbeque and an occasional reprise of high school rivalries between contesting classmates. This year we met for a buffet of soft food and iced tea accompanied by a few announcements about the classmates who either could no longer be with us or who have retired to Florida.
Peg and I are looking forward to seeing some of those friends and our other Florida acquaintances this Christmas. We plan to sit around the pool and talk about the weather as we enjoy some lemonade. It will be exhilarating!