Florida: Two Things I'll Miss and Two I Won't

Friday, December 08, 2023

A Friday Hodgepodge

Each year, I take two or three weeks off from blogging around this time. This year, it will be at least three, but I may require four since this is when we finally move to Louisiana. Expect me back here as early as January 1, but possibly on January 8.

I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.


The pelican, which is the state bird of Louisiana, sometimes makes an appearance at the pond behind our house. (Image by Pete McGowan, via Wikimedia Commons, license.)
1. If I could take one thing from our home in Florida with me to Louisiana, it would be the pond behind our house, which is home to about a dozen beautiful ducks and serves as a fishing hole or migratory stopping point for all manner of fascinating birds.

This house has a huge sliding glass door with an unobstructed view of the pond, and spotting strange birds in the pond or in our back yard has been a near-daily occurrence.

I may be a bit odd in this regard, but birds often amuse me. There is something about the juxtaposition of beauty with they way they move while they walk or hunt for fish that makes me chuckle.

(My daughter may share my fond amusement at birds: She came up with a very funny imitation of the walk of a huge, ungainly bird that pranced across our back yard once.)

I like the new house, but it doesn't have a pond. I will miss the birds!

2. Ditto for alligators. While I suspect that Florida is more of a bird-watcher's paradise than Louisiana, both have plenty of alligators. Again, though, there is no pond behind the new house, so I won't as often get to see if there's an alligator lounging around outside.

People who are unfamiliar with gators are often a little bit alarmed to learn that basically any pond in the warmer parts of the South has them.

But gators -- unlike crocodiles -- are not aggressive, and will leave people alone unless they approach too closely and provoke them, or swim around them, or have a yipping, small, natural-prey-like dog in tow.

3. If I loved the view from our living room, I hated our kitchen sink, not-so-affectionately nicknamed "The Time Sink."

I never want to deal with a "farmhouse" sink again.

Clean, they look good, and are especially tempting to people like me who cook partly as a hobby. And, yes, it is easy to clean pots and pans in them.

But if you are busy and use your kitchen a lot, know that every time you are dumb enough to actually use that sink, you'll have to hose any and every food particle down a foot or so over to the disposal since the bottom doesn't slope.

If you don't do this, the sink will become gross even quicker than if you do.

Oh, and there's a grate over the bottom since it's stainless steel and will get ruined if anything scratches it. So that little chasing task either requires lifting the grate (which has to be cleared first) or spraying through it, which often deflects the water enough to send the food the wrong way.

And the flat surface gets filthy very quickly anyway in large part because things like milk don't drain completely unless you waste time chasing those, too.

The sink requires daily cleaning to shine, only a couple of days to look dirty, and only a couple more to look disgusting. After one really busy week, I realized that cleaning a toilet compared favorably because it is an easier chore with longer-lasting results.

We have a traditional sink at the new place. Hallelujah!

4. I will not miss Florida's ... challenging ... hurricane evacuation decision matrix and logistics.

Hurricanes are something to be aware of anywhere in the South, but it was ahead of sheltering in place across the state from Hurricane Ian that I realized how much worse evacuation logistics are in Florida than anywhere else.

Louisiana famously gets its share of hurricanes, too, but we will have friends or relatives only a few hours away in several directions if we need to evacuate, and while evacuations are never easy, deciding whether to do so won't be as complicated: There aren't as many people there, and they aren't all having to stampede through a narrow freaking peninsula.

-- CAV

P.S./Bonus: Just ahead of posting, I recalled us seeing a bird at an intersection which looked like a ball of white yarn supported on two toothpicks, and with a stray piece of yarn -- its (tiny!) head and neck -- swaying, snake-like above the ball of its body.

My daughter laughed and then said Awwwww!

So I guess she does share my amusement with/love of weird birds.

No comments: