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Baby, It's Cold Up North Glad I'm Not There
by James Snyder
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After the recent tornadoes slammed into the state of Florida, I began wondering just why I moved here in the first place. After all, when I signed up to move to Florida I did so because of the sunshine and the beaches and everything that goes along with it. The recent weather anomaly has caused me to reevaluate my decision.

Second thoughts are important. I mean, after you do something it is quite natural to have second thoughts about it. Sometimes a second thought may reveal something not apparent with the original thought.

The fact that I have any thoughts at all is a marvel and surprise to some of my friends.

Be that as it may, and I’m sure looking forward to May, I did experience the “second-thought-phenomenon,” which was a first for me.

A few months back I had a conversation with a friend of mine who was born in Florida. I know it is hard to find anybody actually born in Florida, who is over 50 years of age. This friend of mine is quite proud of the fact that he is a Floridian by birth. He taunts me about this whenever we get together.

It used to irk me and I would quietly submit to his superior nativity status. Then out of nowhere, and I honestly have no idea where it came from, I had a brilliant idea.

Not all my ideas are brilliant; in fact, not all my ideas are authentic ideas. Once in awhile even people like me are struck with a good idea. Such was the case with me.

The last time my friend taunted me with his Floridian status I shot back at him. Fortunately, my gun was loaded at the time.

“I grant you, my friend,” I said to him, “that you were born in the marvelous state of Florida. But let me quickly point out that you had nothing at all to do with it. It was not your choice to be born in this state.”

I could see I had given him something to think about. Being a new experience for him, I allowed the thought to firmly root itself in his mind. It did take a little longer than I had anticipated but finally he nodded in agreement. Then, I gave him the second barrel.

“I, on the other hand,” I calmly explained to him, “was not born in the wonderful state of Florida. Rather, I chose to move to Florida. It was all my doing. It was my choice. Nobody made this choice for me.”

I could see this thought was agitating him a little bit and at first he did not quite get the import of what I was really saying.

“So …,” he mumbled to me not quite understanding where I was going with this.

“Well,” I emphatically stated, “you are a Floridian by birth and I am a Floridian by choice, which means I outrank you as a Floridian.”

I could tell he was a little confused with my reasoning, but I stand by it to this day. It is the better man who makes the choice. I had the wisdom to make this choice but nobody can choose where they will be born and who their parents will be.

This leads me, of course, to my second thoughts about moving to Florida. With all the adverse weather in the last few years, I’m wondering if perhaps I did not make the best choice.

How would I explain all of this to my friend next month if I chose to move out of the state of Florida? Who would have the last laugh, then?

In the midst of this serious study of my situation, I happen to catch the weather news up north where I formerly resided. It all became very clear to me then.

According to the news (and have they ever lied to us?), they are measuring the snowfall not by inches but by feet. At the last count, upper New York State has gotten approximately 10 feet of snow. Talk about your snow job.

I saw one man standing on his roof shoveling snow off his roof, which was deeper than he was tall.

Not only was the snow deep, but the temperature had fallen so low it is a question of whether it will ever get back on its feet again. Some are talking about sending the temperature to rehab. I just hope it’s not here in Florida.

As I was sitting on my back porch, sipping iced tea and thinking about all the nasty weather up north, I satisfied myself knowing I had made the right choice. Second thoughts are not always right.

Someone asked me recently when we were talking about the snow up north if I missed any of that snow. Let my answer go on record: I miss all that snow and subzero weather up north. Furthermore, I intend to miss it for the rest of my life.

Thinking further I was reminded of what Joshua said about making choices.

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15 KJV.)

Some choices are well worth the making.

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Member Comments
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Pam Carlson-Hetland 16 Feb 2007
This made me smile all the way through. Being from Minnesota, I can relate to wanting to choose my weather. I was wondering where you were going with that story but you tied it in neatly at the end. This was enjoyable reading.


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