Florida escape clears the cobwebs and crabbiness by Marjorie Arons-Barron

The entry below is being cross posted from from Marjorie Arons-Barron’s own blog.


South Beach is lovely this time of year, especially in that special residential anti-glitz, non-tourist world South of Fifth. Thank goodness for the generosity of friends. Cloudless blue skies, sunny days in the low 80s with low humidity, toes in the sand, dips in the ocean and laps in a pool really are restorative. Just being able to walk outside without shivering is an emotional high.

My snow bunny days are long gone if, indeed, they ever existed. Winter lost its novelty for me long before December 21 and hasn’t improved since. I feel for Danae in the comic strip Non-sequitur  who laments : This is March, and March is spring, and spring means no more snow, right?”  Yeh, right.

But live in Florida full-time? That’s a different story. Democrat Alex Sink’s losing the “bellwether” special congressional election in Tampa is already old news, but a disappointment in anticipation of next fall’s mid-term election. How about those Sunshine State legislators who gave us the stand-your-ground law? Now they want to allow teachers to have concealed weapons.  Better not use your cell phone in class; your teacher may be packing.  A gun, it seems, is the answer to everything.

They are dredging Biscayne Bay  to attract even larger cruise ships. And developers and marine interests are trying to loosen regulations that protect manatees, an endangered animal described as a “gentle sea cow” to which I can relate after a week of eating out at restaurants.

Seeing newspaper headlines last week, I wondered if we shared child welfare problems, a system that in Florida “has led to hundreds of child deaths under the state’s watch.” According to the Miami Herald,  477 children died in state care over the last six years.   There are now several bills to address  the matter, and even Gov. Rick Scott has proposed tens of millions of dollars to remedy the horrific situation. But the outcome is uncertain. [Scott is the Republican health corporation executive who spent $70 million of his own money in 2010 to run for governor and has been a staunch opponent to his state’s participation in the Affordable Care Act .]

As flawed as the Massachusetts child protection system is, we’d all be horrified at any comparison with Florida’s. And the list goes on.

Still, that weather is tantalizing, at least before summer’s humidity and hurricane season kick in. The worst day last week received a morning news  alert that it was ”sweater weather.”  It was “chilly” at 69 degrees, but only until 10 AM.

I welcome your comments.