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The Winter Hell Froze Over

I know there are those of you who love winter.

You love skiing, ice-skating, snow-boarding, building snowmen, and you even love shoveling snow. What is the matter with you? Were you born in a barn? This winter has proved that most of us are beyond simply complaining; we are ready to take action! My husband and I who are recently retired have made the big decision to move to Florida.

When we were first married 40 years ago my husband and I lived on the Gulf Coast just outside of Mobile, Alabama on an inlet named Alligator Bayou. We weren’t far from Gulf Shores, and could actually watch the shrimp boats navigating the canal right in our own back yard. I was student-teaching nearby and my husband had landed his first job as a chemist for an oil company. It was absolutely heaven on earth…for about six months. By May, I was  sweltering and couldn’t stomach the smell of dead fish and stagnant water. Suddenly appearing were flying cockroaches the size of mice and red ants that were lethal.

However, as newlyweds living at no cost in my in-law’s summer cottage, I tried to tolerate most anything that came my way.

Then came the deal-breaker – without warning. Since it was 99 humid degrees on that summer afternoon and far too hot to cook, my  husband came home from work and proceeded to barbecue pork-steaks on our backyard grill. As he went inside to shower, all I had to do was slice tomatoes and stretch out on the lounge chair.

With sweat dripping from my entire body and not even the slightest breeze, I couldn’t imagine what was causing the rustling sound near the water. As it got louder and closer, I rolled off the lounge chair to find myself face to face with the intruder. Immediately I remembered the name of our backyard canal, Alligator Bayou; and there it was. I must have scared it as much as it did me for it made an about-face, allowing me to see it had only three legs. Hysterically shrieking I watched my husband come running out with a shotgun just in time to see the gator plunge back into the canal. Although it was just one lonely gator, I knew that there were probably more! However, at that point it didn’t matter! Lower Alabama with the varmints, critters and overwhelming humidity had gotten the better of me and I began packing that night. My husband reluctantly followed suit.

All of my St. Louis family were thrilled that we were coming “home” to live. Even my husband admits that most of  these past thirty years have been seasonally tolerable. I acknowledge we have had our share of floods, tornadoes,  muggy summer nights and even icy winters. But this past polar express was the clincher. I was actually ready for Global Warming, and adhered to my hubby’s request to head South.


Last month after a few weeks of visiting and exploring Florida, we discovered that inland near the center of the state are beautiful vast lakes begging us to “come on down!”

Thus,we have now joined the ranks of the millions of “snowbirds” who migrate south to escape the intolerable icy winters. I write this not to persuade any of you to follow suit, though the older you get you may also reconsider. I too once loved the skiing, ice-skating and snowmobiling. I even once said, ” I won’t move back South until hell freezes over!” This winter it did. And I concede.

Read more posts by Debra Peppers, Ph.D., here. Dr. Peppers blogs for JenningsWire.


JenningsWire.com is created by National Publicist, Annie Jennings of the NYC based PR Firm, Annie Jennings PR.  Annie Jennings PR specializes in marketing books for getting authors booked on radio talk show interviews, TV shows in major online and in high circulation magazines and newspapers. Annie also works with speaker and experts to build up powerful platforms of credibility and influence.



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