Appreciating Florida more each winter

by January 31, 2009 • 10 comments

This is the time of year I really miss Panama City Beach. I know my fellow out-of-state property owners can sympathize with me as they are probably going through the same arctic blast, as I am this week. I’ve included a photo to represent the icy grip winter’s merciless fingers has on us here in the Midwest.

Sheets of ice

I was born and raised in California. One would think that living in Southwest Missouri for 34 years would have afforded me some sort of assimilation with the climate here. In all actuality for this Cali girl, my body and mind become more and more resistant of the winter season with each passing year. I mourn the passing of summer, while autumn prepares us for chilly things to come. And I now realize how I took the Bay Area’s gentle climate for granted.

Once my husband and I “discovered” Florida, it was like some part of my inner beach girl was reawakened. So now that we own property in PCB, every one of our visits there are precious to me. I’m a fish out-of-water here, and I may never acclimatize to SW Missouri.

Yes, Florida has its weather-related faults, as does the rest of the country. So for my own sanity, I do a comparison. Florida suffers draught, hurricanes, tornados and fires.

California has its draughts as well. That golden state also endures fires, floods, the San Andreas winds, snowstorms in the higher elevations, and to top it off, earthquakes. Getting the picture?

Let’s talk about my four-state area now. We woke up this morning to a blanket of ice over an inch thick, and this is just the beginning of what the meteorologists predict. We expect at least another inch in our part of Missouri, along with some snow. Since we nearly border NW Arkansas, we get to experience not only snow, but also ice storms that cripple our roadways, halt school attendance and shut down businesses. What normally takes my husband 35 minutes to drive home from work, took him three hours. A very prayerful three hours. Oh yeah, we get wildfires too. We are not exempt from earthquakes either, thanks to the New Madrid fault. We are in “tornado alley,” and often, springtime floods have devastated Missouri’s crops.

I may be living in Missouri, but I left my heart in Florida. I just wanted to encourage any of you on the Emerald Coast to keep your chin up when your temps dip below 45 degrees. And I know, at least financially, the toll a hurricane can take on a property owner’s morale. But if the fortunate Florida residents can step outside their “sand-box” for a moment and appreciate what a glorious state you live in, you’d understand why I miss it so much.

The ice is building on our power lines, threatening us with a possible outage and forcing us to stay in a hotel. The tropical plants in my sunroom will have to tough it out. The lows tonight will get to about 10 degrees, but there is hope. We may warm up to a balmy 35 degrees by Friday! My heart goes out to the residents in the states north of us. You may love it there, but you couldn’t pay this water baby to tolerate the winters you experience. So God bless ya!

I’m SO looking forward to our next sunny visit to the beach. It’s no wonder so many choose to migrate down to this beautiful area of the country. I know our guests from the north that come to enjoy our property feel the same way. The Emerald Coast of Florida is so appealing thanks to its powdery white sand, welcoming climate, and miles of gorgeous coastline. Florida – I miss you!

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1 Dave & Jane January 31, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Lori,
Your weather in Missouri sounds very similar to ours in Cincinnati. I agree with you, after 10 days of snow – ice and temperatures between 10 – 35 degrees I would very much enjoy a week in PCB with visits to the 30A area.
We will visit in early April, after our Snowbirds from Canada vacate our unit on Front Beach Road.
February is the shortest month here in OH, yet it is the coldest.
Try to stay warm !!!
Dave

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2 Lori Duncan February 1, 2009 at 12:17 am

Dave,
You are lucky you get to go that soon! We have to wait until May! Have a great time!

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3 John February 3, 2009 at 10:32 am

Come on down, everyone.
Winter here is balmy, quiet, and cheaper.
As for the weather up there,
being from Illinois, I get it.

My last set of Snowbirds just arrived,
from Nova Scotia….

Need I say more?

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4 John February 3, 2009 at 10:36 am

Jason –
Winter is a season we are
really missing out on.

The demographic is telecommuters,
work from home folks, retired,
with no kids (in school) from
any northern state. No one needs
to freeze and no one needs to have
10% occupancy in the winter!

John

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5 Lori Duncan February 3, 2009 at 10:36 am

Right now it’s 22 deg here in SW MO, and I’m thinking a cool day in PCB beats the tar out of a frigid day here! Wow, Nova Scotia…heck of a long drive!

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6 Lori Duncan February 3, 2009 at 10:41 am

There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that we all face the horrid “winter rates” nightmare just to occupy our units. The good news is, that if we market our rentals well, we fill them the rest of the season in hopes of making our mortgages! 😉 Ahh, one day we’ll be some of those blasted retirees with no kids at home! I do admit it’s been fun getting to know all our guests, even if just by phone.

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7 Sharon Ernst February 6, 2009 at 9:37 pm

I totally now how you feel Lori! I live in Kentucky where we have just been through intense snow and ice causing most of us to be without electricity for over a week when it was single digit temperatures at night!

The only white substance I want to see is the white sand in PC!

Cannot wait until spring!

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8 Lori Duncan February 6, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Thanks Sharon. I don’t know how I ever made it through our winters here without the prospect of going to the beach. I guess that’s why we trucked 5 tons of it into our backyard here!

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9 Allan February 7, 2009 at 1:17 am

I am only a hour and half away from the beach and I still dont like the cold weather. It has been really cold here for the past couple of days..we dipped down into the teens which is not for me. I dont know how you all live with the freezing temps up north. Come on the end of March…I am SO READY for our Snowbirds to leave. Last year they left on a Saturday, I was there that Saturday night after work! I know they help to pay the bills and such and you really wouldnt be able to go to the beach but it is knowing that you cant because someone is in there! lol 52 days and counting……..

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10 Lori Duncan February 7, 2009 at 9:27 am

I feel your pain Allan. It’s a dilemma we all have to deal with…rent for pennies, or pay for half the bills. Man, only 1.5 hours from the beach and it got into the teens! Maybe we should all be thinking southier! Like, some island! Still, the teens are rare there and short-lived. Here it is the norm in SW MO. Yuck. We’re counting down too!

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