Snow or Sand?

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Having lived in Florida since I was the ripe old age of 5, it’s easy to guess that I tire of the relentless Florida heat very easily. It’s not my number one choice by any means. In realizing this, I set out to find out to talk to native (or nearly native) Floridians and newer Floridians to see whether they preferred the snowy winter months or the sandy shores of Florida.

Snow 1Husband and wife Louis and Bertha Mead are New York natives, but they make the trip to Florida each year during the winter months if their health permits. “When it’s cold in New York, it is cold,” Mrs. Mead adamantly declared. “It’s so cold you can feel it not just on your skin but also in your bones.” She went on to explain that the cold can especially affect the elderly or those suffering from arthritis or other joint problems. “I’m no spring chicken anymore, and the cold really seeps in. It’s a nice excuse to go to Florida; besides, our daughter and two grandkids are there.”

So clearly, Mrs. Mead prefers the more balmy temperatures; although, she made it clear she wasn’t a fan of the extreme heat that a Florida summer can bring. Then again, who is really?

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Certainly not Dan Bryant who moved from Rochester, NY, to the Tampa area a couple months ago to help plant a church. “When my pastor came to me with this idea to start a church down in Florida, I jumped on the idea to escape the brutal cold that I knew winter would bring. Now that I am here, a part of me misses the cold just a tad, but anything beats having to shovel snow!”

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For those who have just moved to Florida or those that escape the snowy months of the northern states, it is easy to understand why the prefer Florida. However, the snow birds never have to experience the sizzling heat of summer, and the newbies will be beckoned by the beaches and will fail to mind the heat. Those that have been in Florida for most or all of their lives or even several years can relate with others like them who would love to see snow.

“I was born and raised in Florida,” Summer Cortez said. “I had never seen snow in my life until this past Christmas when we went to Colorado for a family gathering. There was no humidity, no heat, just dazzling white snow. I loved it. As soon as I graduate or can afford it, I am moving. I would have chosen a school in a colder climate, but financial aid is better in-state.”

Most of the Floridians I know prefer the states in between the north and the south. States like North or South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia seem to be popular choices for native Floridians.

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“I escaped Florida when my job at the YMCA offered me a position in Cornelius, North Carolina,” gymnastics coach Erik Walsingham said. “I’d lived in Florida several years, but I was ready for a change and for cooler weather! The move to North Carolina was perfect. My wife and I still come back to Florida every few months to visit our family and friends, so we don’t miss it too badly.”

Towards the end of our interview, Mrs. Mead remarked, “It is not whether you prefer sand or snow that is the issue; the issue is striving for contentment wherever you are. As long as you have people you love and care about around you, it won’t matter what the thermostat says.”

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