by Guest Author Eda Suzanne
Since moving to Florida almost forty years ago, my husband and I have tried to attend as many out-of-town family festivities as we could. Our goal was to let our then young sons remain part of their close-knit extended family. The objective was reached, but, alas, my core family has developed a bit of a negative reputation. Without exception, every time any of us has flown north for a family celebration, we seem to bring snow, sleet, a nor’easter, heavy rain, Florida-style stifling heat, or even a hurricane. Since the weather is picture perfect for the few celebrations we’ve missed, our friends and family must really want us with them regardless of our jinx when it comes to the weather. If not, by now we would have received a note in an invitation saying, “If you can’t make it, we won’t be upset.”
In October, before packing to fly north for our grandnephew’s Bar Mitzvah, I checked the five-day forecast. It predicted unseasonably cold weather. If I knew a bookie, I would have bet it was going to snow—something that has never happened to my knowledge on Long Island before Halloween. I even suggested the guaranteed wager to my Facebook friends.
I shook the dust off our ancient winter coats—there’s little use for them in South Florida— and packed winter clothes in lieu of autumn ones. We were prepared for the icy wind that blew in our face when we exited the airport, but didn’t expect it in our hotel room.
“You should be in seventh-heaven,” Hubby said to me while I unpacked. “You can’t complain it’s too humid to do your hair.”
There is rarely a day we don’t have at least one spat because I like our home cooler than he does, and our thermostat squabbles tend to travel with us. After the hotel maintenance man reset the unit from cooling to heating, Hubby Dearest set the thermostat to his usual 80-degree comfort level. When the room began to feel like a sauna, I “explained” to him that I was wearing winter clothes not a bathing suit.
The next morning, snow and sleet poured from the sky. Our warm coats protected us from the elements, but walking on the icy surface was frightening. When we entered the synagogue, it was almost as cold inside the building as out—as in the hotel, the heat had yet to be turned on. Ancient memories of tenants banging on radiators to force the landlord to “shovel more coal in the burner” flashed through my gray matter. I began to think thermostats that can simply be switched from “cool” to “heat” are unique to Florida.
I was surprised by how few men wore coats over their suits and how so many females’ only protection from the cold were thin shawls or bolero sweaters over their sleeveless party dresses. I could count on my ten fingers the number of women who were wearing hose, and I was one of them. Perhaps because the “locals” didn’t have to pack to head to a different climate, none of them checked the weather forecast. Unlike us, they didn’t know Jack Frost was arriving almost two months before his due date.
I know the “in” look is for gals to wear dressy open-toed shoes sans stockings despite the weather. But, during services, as the snow piled high on the ground on the other side of the sanctuary’s glass wall, I wondered if the same females wore open-toed boots while walking in snow, so all could see their fancy pedicures. (If anyone designs snowshoes with transparent plastic toes because of this article, I want royalties.)
The snow had its benefits—for the hotel where out-of-towners were staying. They gladly put up guests who had no desire to drive back “up-state” or to New Jersey, especially since Long Island had electricity and their homes did not. The only thing inclement about the entire weekend was the weather. All else was as near perfect as any hosts could ask for or guests could want.
Once back home in hot and humid Palm Beach, I am left with two nagging thoughts. One, since I was dressed for the weather, how’d I end up with a sinus infection? And two, does anyone know how I can find a bookie? We have a wedding in New York that we will be invited to this Spring.
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AUTHOR AND BOOK INFO
A native Long Islander, Eda Suzanne relocated to South Florida along with her husband and two small sons in the early 70s. Eda earned her BS in Education from NYU and her Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist at Nova University. After retiring from teaching, she dedicated her newfound free time to writing and spending quality time with her family and friends. Recently, Eda and her husband moved from the home where they raised their family to a very active Seniorville in Palm Beach County.
When Eda Suzanne announced she was retiring from teaching, her friends warned her she would be a nobody without her job. In Retired NOT Expired, Ms. Suzanne shares her hilarious experiences as she paddles upstream, reinventing her new eclectic life and proving the naysayers wrong. Her book is available in paperback, so it’s a perfect gift for any boomers on your Christmas list, especially if they’ve recently retired or are thinking about it.