19 – Snowbirds

Read more about snowbirds in the links below the last video.

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like walking on the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Summer is primetime along the Alabama coast followed by spring and fall. Its winters do not provide the regular warmth and sun of central and south Florida – but it is warmer than home in Cincinnati – or the homes of visitors from Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, the Dakotas, Canada, and the rest of Ohio.

Locals call us snowbirds – people from the north going south for the winter. Without the crowds of summer, the vast majority of visitors are snowbirds. Some younger faces from the region join the mix on weekends.

Compared to summer here, occupancy is comparatively low – and that also means reasonable rates – a month in the winter for about the same as a week during the primetime of summer – plus warmer temperatures than home.

As I walk, people pass by. Most acknowledge our presence with at least a nod or a smile. Some even add a verbal salutation. Yes, the power of acknowledgment.

Sometimes I wonder: Who are they? Where are they going? Who are they meeting? Where are they staying? Oh – they look familiar, but from where?

People display personal identifiers through hats and shirts that may spark conversations – signs of home, places visited, colleges, or sports loyalties. Other Cincinnatians spot my University of Cincinnati hat, then identify themselves to me – as do other Ohioans and others from rival schools.

Many times when passing fishermen monitoring their poles, I would ask about their catches of the day. Most are willing to talk about their craft. I am not a fisherman, but we would watch with anticipation as they reel in their catch.

No matter where, every person that I pass every day has a story. Each person is a walking history of joys and sadness, successes and failures, pride and shame, and more. All people have many good things in their history – but they also have worries, fears, and troubles – some even health concerns.

These people come in a wide assortment of personalities and traits – the tall and the short; the old and the young; the successful and the not so; the caring and the selfish; the extroverts and the introverts; the thinkers, dreamers, doers and so much more.

Today I think about the different people I pass on any given day. People – the plurality of persons. People – the individuals who make up humanity. Yes, it takes all kinds of people to make the world go around. Besides, I’m a believer that the majority of people in the world are good.

Even though people are complex, thinking about them as I walk. After all, I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.


See what other bloggers have posted about a variety of snowbirds

Next walk: Adaptations – Thursday 10th December @ 1 AM (Eastern US)

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95 thoughts on “19 – Snowbirds”

  1. Having been a Floridian for someyears before returning to Virginia I had never heard the term snowbirds before but remember how different things were when they arrived each year. The normally quiet little town where I lived had traffic jams, crowded malls and beaches and everyone would say “can’t wait until the snowbirds go home”. I never really felt like that – there’s always solitude to be found – at the beach or anywhere else OR you can meet some most interesting people by just saying hello. Before I left Florida I came to learn that “snowbirds” were just people enjoying the beauty of the beach – like I did.

    Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Interesting … and thanks for sharing a bit of your personal story. The summer is prime-time where we go, so snowbirds do give the area a different feel. Of course, the locals have their share of snowbird jokes. On the other hand, snowbirds are their spending money. But like you said and just like the locals, they love the beach. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I suppose any place that gets tourists has a love-hate relationship with them. But yes, all sorts of people enjoying the beach whether they are native to the area or not. On my almost daily walks at the park, I’m alone for most of the time, but there are a few people who are also there nearly every day, so that I recognize them, and they me, and we say hello and sometimes a few words more. I don’t know their names or stories–only that they love the river park, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My aunt was a snowbird, going south to Florida every winter after she retired, visiting her sisters who lived there year-round. I never realized that Alabama was another snowbird hot spot until I started reading your blog. I agree with you in thinking that most people are well-intentioned and there are so many different ways to live a life. Different doesn’t mean better or worse, variety is the delightful spice of life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara,
      I love your final sentence – “Different doesn’t mean better or worse, variety is the delightful spice of life!” Perfect. But along with the differences, there is even more that is in common. For winter, the northern gulf coast is not the warm fun in the sun of central and south Florida. I think of it as autumn weather with temperatures ranging from cold to hot – but no matter how cold it gets, it’s warmer than home. The northern gulf beaches are also very beautiful and great for walking. Oh – and because it is not prime time – the rates are great!

      Liked by 5 people

  4. It is our diversity that makes us so interesting, so rich. People fascinate me, their stories, their desires, their opinions. I too believe there is more capacity for good than evil. Sometimes it’s easier to see one than the other.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is an enjoyable read. Mick wanted to eventually become a snowbird, which was not high on my list at all. Especially not to go to Florida or anywhere else in the States, for that matter. Or rather, not return winter after winter to the same old, same old. But those who love it, more power to them, I say. That’s what makes us all different and more interesting. As your choice of song states so well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dale,
      No question that not only is snowbirding not for everyone, but there are different ways to snowbird. I imagine there are also people who intentionally spend their winters by taking an extended stay on a cruise ship! I think about several of my neighbors – one who is an Ohio resident who also owns a place in Florida where they return to several times per year. Another who is a Florida resident who comes north for late spring, summer, and fall. Another has an RV and they own the “space” in Florida. Others are like us who rent. … yet others want to experience a variety!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We love our snowbirds! I moved to Florida from WV 36 years ago and my hubby moved here from KY decades ago too! We’ve both traveled and worked over the whole country, but always happy to be home in Florida! ❤️🦋🌀

    Like

      1. We have lived in St Petersburg and Merritt Island (on each coast of Florida, but now we are in north East Florida, between St Augustine and Gainesville. My home in WV was across the Ohio river from Marietta OH (oldest city in Ohio).

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Aww, yep! Fenton Art Glass! One of my first blog posts was about them (scroll all the way down or use the archive to find it on sheilamurrey.net)
            They closed the factory and tore it down a few years ago. It was sad. Had been burning the furnace to make blown glass for more than a century!! Kids don’t care about that kind of stuff anymore.
            I still have a few pieces myself. Treasure my memories of home. Thank you for asking and bring this to my mind today!
            I don’t know if I have ever been to Meigs county… I have wooded property in Braxton and Wirt counties though.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. As a beachside resident, we would welcome the snowbirds known as Winter Texans. Some were better than others.(Like most people) The one thing I couldn’t get over was the habit of Northern fishermen filleting their catch and leaving the heads and bones on the beach. I suppose they thought the seagulls would eat them, but no self-respecting gull would touch them. So they became so much garbage on the shore. Fine post, Frank.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I know about snowbirds, having visited parents who have lived in Arizona for well over thirty years. In winter, the size of their church swells; in summer, it declines as people go back to their Midwestern, Canadian, or other homes. I know what you mean about acknowledgement. I see some of the same people on my walks. Sometimes we just say hello or wave, sometimes we engage in a bit of conversation. I love having my walk to myself, but I don’t mind sharing, at least sometimes. 🙂

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Janet,
      Oh yes – your region gets its share of migratory humans. People we know in Alberta told us they will be missing their time in Arizona this year because they can’t cross the border. But, it is what it is. As you know, snowbirds impact the local economy. Meanwhile, thanks for sharing, and enjoy your warm weather!

      Like

  9. thank you so much Frank. The Robert Palmer video…and your post…just what i needed to see today.

    Cincinnati holds a special place in my heart…was like a message from my dad this morn. So many if your posts seem to touch me in just the right way in the moment i make it to reading them.

    loving your blog (i believe you came to cross my path through Dreamwalker Jan).

    wishing happy happy holidays, and of course, happy happy 2021 to you, your loved ones, and all of us!

    tia shurina

    On Tue, Dec 8, 2020 at 1:03 AM Beach Walk Reflections: Thoughts from thinking whi

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve been on the beach both in summer and in winter, and you’ve captured it well: there *are* lots of differences! I love the warm sand between my toes, but I can do without all those people; something almost holy in a solitary walk along the shore! Thanks for another outstanding reflection, Frank!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debbie,
      Thanks for reinforcing my ideas. Although many snowbirds go to the northern gulf coast, not all go to the beach because of various concerns. Some sit on their balcony or by the pool – which means fewer people on the beach! I like the solitude of the walks. One of my favorite days is walking 5 miles … have lunch … then 5 miles back.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Aaahhh … yes, aFrank, the snowbirds are visitors of my Southwest Florida too.
    Sadly, due to COVID more and more are moving here because the medical is less
    overloaded then where they are living. In the next year, there is a plan to build housing
    (condos/small housing) for those who wish to move to sunny paradise. My small two lane road is being changed to a 4 lane with turning lanes to accommodate the traffic that will be expected. Change she is a-coming.
    The snowbirds will be flying in and staying. Let’s hope they don’t discover my secret little beach. I so love it when it’s isolated. (no pun intended) LOL
    Be Safe
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isadora,
      Because you are a south Florida resident, I appreciate your response. People keep coming to your state. Friends of ours here left earlier this year to make Florida their permanent home. A long time friend did the same last year. But with like you mentioned, that impacts a lot at your end. Thanks for sharing … keep staying safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Snowbird means essentially the same around the country – persons who go somewhere else during their area’s colder weather. However, I noticed a regional difference in your post on pricing of rentals & services etc during the Snowbird season…Where I’m from in the Western States and SW (tho we currently reside in the SE) Snowbird season is not the off-season! Especially in AZ where the heat in the summer keeps many ‘tourists’ and locals away! To that end, rentals are definitely higher in the Winter than in the Summer. Interesting…
    Thanks for the weekly ocean vids.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura,
      Absolutely agree. For the northern gulf coast, summer is prime time – even though I’m told it is still quite warm. However, it’s cooler than central and south Florida! So yes – I am fortunate to be able to take advantage of off-season rates, but I do it at the expense of not having as warm temps and blue skies as central and south Florida. But I’m OK with that because no matter how cold it gets there, it’s still warmer than home. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Resa,
      We’ve been WP buddies for a while, so you know I’ve stated that mantra on multiple occasions. Meanwhile, thanks for the news about the Canadian snowbirds. 🙂 FYI: Typically, many Canadian snowbirds travel through Cincinnati on their way south = probably getting stuck in traffic.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I would love to be a snowbird, but maintaining two homes takes a lot of time, energy and finances. We have several friends in Central CA who have a home at the beach that they use occasionally. Unless you inherited it, that is not possible for most middle-income class people. Now, living in Prescott, this is a summer home for many who live in hot Phoenix. They go home in the winter. I think what we need to do is trade spaces for short periods of time.

    Like

  14. We in Southern California regularly engage with visiting Snow Birds, Frank. I always recognize them, especially when we’re near the coast and beach areas, because I’m still wrapped in a heavy sweater or even a blanket, and they are walking around in short sleeves and shorts! To the visiting Snow Birds from colder climates, we must feel nice and warm. I like that we can share in our experience. I assume, but don’t know, that some of the “regulars” may have passed on their visit this year. Things are a bit different this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra,
      I enjoy getting the perspective from the locals – but I laughed with your description of their dress compared to yours. Yes – this season is going to be different – but time will tell how different. We are still planning on going, but realize our snowbird life will be different. Time will tell.

      Like

  15. My maternal grandparents spent winters for many years in Arizona and Southern California, but it might not be fair to call them snowbirds, because they lived in Portland, Oregon, where it practically never snows! Should they be called drizzle birds?

    I enjoyed the Robert Palmer video, though the tune doesn’t do much for me. It’s good to embrace the broad spectrum of humanity – and all life on planet Earth in its vast variety. (And maybe the universe?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eilene,
      “Drizzle birds” … gotta love it. 🙂 Interesting how our country is large enough that snowbird migration occurs in different areas. After all, I seldom see a license plate from west of the Rockies, let alone meet the people. … and yes … Embracing a broad spectrum of humanity is not only good – but also important.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. You sound like a people-watcher, Frank. 🙂
    I used to ‘people-watch’ when my children were teenagers and I would take them shopping. During many shopping excursions, I would pass away my idle time, waiting, watching people, and wondering what their stories were.
    Oh, and thank you for sharing a Robert Palmer video today. He’s one of my favourites. Gone too soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marina,
      This is so true because (typically) snowbird season is a time when families don’t vacation at the beach. That said, many snowbirds have left by the time spring break starts in March. The crowds of summer are another story. Knowing you like your solitude, I think you would enjoy this place (although it is not perfect solitude). Yamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. We don’t get snowbirds in Great Yarmouth. Indeed, until this year with C-19 at least a handful of Yarcos would regularly flit their wings to southern shores (Spain mostly). But we do get fishermen. Since Covid, it’s become quite the thing. Something to do with their days. I pass them on my walks along Breydon and always stop to ask after their catch.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi – love the way you led into the Palmer video – and this post reminded me of how truly diverse we are and could see/feel the “nod” and some times verbal exchanges while
    walking on the beach

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I enjoyed your beach reflections, Frank. Snowbirds are back in Florida for the winter season. Our club car park is of course more full than usual, but it’s nice to see people back again., even though we’re now all wearing masks. Robert Palmer is new to me but I quite liked his voice. Have a great week. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sylvia,
      As a Florida resident, I know not only are you aware of snowbirds, you have to live with them. Although they are arriving, I wonder if the majority arrive before or after January 1st. Then again, I know some who go south in November/December, then return for a brief stay for the holidays before getting back to the warmth. Glad to introduce you to Robert Palmer, an English singer who left the world too soon. Hope you are dealing with the usual cold weather.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I totally agree with you on the verbal salutation, the power of acknowledgment. We never know what huge difference simple gestures might make to a heart perhaps aching within or not. I too have often thought of how profound each story is, of each person in this sea of humanity. When I travel back to Mumbai in India, it literally is a sea of people from so many different walks of life on the crowded streets and I often go beyond my mind just trying to see the heart within as many I can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PD,
      No matter if one is on the beach, traveling, or in the grocery store, the “power of acknowledgement” .. perfectly stated. I also think about those who don’t, including those that look miserable – but that doesn’t mean they are miserable, sad, or even mean, Although everyone has a story, they could learn from the power of acknowledgement. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. those that look miserable – but that doesn’t mean they are miserable, – exxactly! I have learned many a lesson in this regard and written quite a few posts on this. It is very humbling to learn these lessons from personal experiences.

        Like

  21. When I read this . . . .

    “Sometimes I wonder: Who are they? Where are they going? Who are they meeting? Where are they staying? Oh – they look familiar, but from where?”

    It brought to mind the Chicago song, “Saturday in the Park” for some reason. That’s a big compliment, just so you know, seeing as it’s one of my favorite songs. And speaking of favorite songs, the late great Robert Palmer . . I miss him.

    Like

  22. I, too, believe the majority of people in the world are good. And am remembering walking on Fort Myers Beach and wondering where everyone hailed from. It was an added bonus when they wore a hat or shirt that gave a hint.

    Like

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