While my office was only about three miles from the ocean, for the first six months I barely saw it, buried in paperwork and issues that always involve representing a company taking over another one. Trying to bring a new culture to a “set in concrete” tradition is never an easy one, but after that trying period things got better. And with the end of the transitioning ordeal came my first Florida fall and winter and it was truly amazing.
We found a nice house within walking distance to the ocean in Ormond Beach, a really nice town. I enjoyed walks after work to the ocean, remembering my upbringing summers at Nags Head. And while the beach was nothing like that golden spot on the Outer Banks, the sea is beautiful wherever you go.
That first hint of fall came that year in the first week of October. It’s truly amazing, but like clockwork, the first real notice of weather change falls somewhere between the last week of September and the second week of October every year since. And this year was no different, because once Hurricane Michael scooted out of the way, the humidity dropped yesterday and so did the temperature last night. And now, on a Friday morning, it is delightful outside and the high will only by in the mid-80s with low humidity and tonight will be 56. It hasn’t been that cold since last March.
I no longer live on the coast, having moved twice, once because of business and then as I planned for retirement. Now living in one of the last vestiges of rural Florida below the Panhandle, I find the beauty of the trees, meadows and swamps compelling and when witnessing a cool, crisp morning as the rays of the sun just peak through, it’s a place where I can be close to God and turn my burdens over to him. I learned that as a boy on the beach at Nags Head and it developed my pleasure at meeting with Him regularly in a natural setting.
So, now we’re on to cooler weather and the groans and the sweat of feeding and caring for horses on a sweltering day will go back into the recesses of my mind for the next five months or so. And while I know those days will be back, I know that I will once again have to adjust to the heat for, after all, this is Florida and with the title of Sunshine State comes the heat, the humidity and the threat of dangerous storms. After twenty-three years, however, it is my home and I’ve lived here continuously longer than anywhere else in my life. Only in the Tidewater have a lived a longer total of years, but spread apart. And now I’m off to the horses and the joy of not having to break a sweat this morning. Happy days are indeed here again.