Sunday, October 19, 2008

Snow Bird Migration

Snow Bird
O wide vagabond upon the southbound lanes
Pull portly into The Flying T RV
When daylight wanes
And expel thy good wife
From the driver's seat
‘Tis time to fill thy tank with gas and eat

Whit Waltman - Poet Laureate of the AARP

They're heeeere! It's that special time of year when the senior citizens of Canada and the northern United States slip into the drivers seats of their Winnebagos and clog up I-75 from Mackinac Michigan and parts south.
The first signs of their arrival are a sprinkling of massive RV's, each with an auto in tow and 2 three wheeled bikes strapped to the roof. They drive 25 MPH in a 55 with their left turn signal flashing away.

Then you begin to spot signs of Mercury Grand Marquis parked in eclectic positions in the general direction of a parking space.

When you are completely surrounded with Mercury Grand Marquis with out of town license plates you know you're in for a long winter. You'll see out-the-door lines at every Denny's, Red Lobster and Sam Seltzers. But since you'd never step foot in any of those restaurants you're safe.

Signs start popping up - things to do and places to go at special senior citizen prices.

Your own favorite ethnic restaurant will start advertising tantalizing blue plate specials.

And fashion takes a giant leap backwards

Go to your polling place on November 6th at 6:25 AM in an attempt to avoid the crush and get to work on time and these two will be in line in front of you. They've already stopped for breakfast and they've done a little shopping at the 24 hr K-Mart. They'll be back on the road in time to clog up rush hour traffic.

Another sign of the arrival of the snowbirds is abandoned shopping carts. The senior gentleman pictured above wearing the ever fashionable sandals with brown (or black - or taupe) dress socks will walk to the grocery store, purchase 1 box of chicken soup mix, a tangerine and a small jar of instant coffee. To save himself from exhaustion he - or the Missus- will snag a shopping cart, take their purchases most of the way home and then dump the cart. The following morning, they will walk past the abandoned cart, on their way to the grocery store where they will buy 1 box of prunes, a pear and a tin of Pringles. They will then follow the same procedure as the previous day. They leave them....





Leaves on Grass

by Whit Waltman

When autumn leaves doth fall to lie

sprightly on yon grass
then I shall get my a**

to Pinellas County by and by


smilnsigh said...

-giggles- But I'm not quite sure exactly how you feel about these Snow Birds. Would you please be more clear? >,-)

One Jan., Feb. and March, when our daughter lived in FL, we _flew_ down. Rented a tiny condo and borrowed their old van to drive. I. hated. it. there.

Couldn't wait to get back up north, even though they had the worst snows up here that year, in ages. I still wanted to trade in the endless sun, endless palm trees, endless hibiscus flowers {nothing but hibiscus flowers!}, humidity, needing a vehicle to go anywhere, no Main Streets {Jupiter area}, windy/hot beach, etc., etc., etc., to get back up home.

So, your FL paradise is safe from me, Hon. Never again. Never again. :-)))

I'll live with snow and cold, up here. Because down there, one has to have A/C on, so... it's a toss up.

But many people love living there, year round and winters. Good for them. To each his/her own, and my own is up North. :-)

Miss Mari-Nanci

steviewren said...

So does this mean I'm not welcome in Florida anymore?

Debby said...

Stevie - I think it depends on whether you can shop for three items without a shopping cart...

Muse? I'm confused. Why would anyone pay $15.95 to wash and vacuum a senior? Or why anyone wants senior citizen roast whether it be Monday - Friday or Saturday and Sunday. Ew. But if you're roasting seniors, I do hope that they're washed and vacuumed first....

MuseSwings said...

Oooops - just stating how you can tell the snow birds have arrived. You're always welcome! It's good for the economy and good for the folks coming to stay in the sunshine. So come on down - just don't leave your shopping carts in the middle of the street.

Miss Mari-Nanci - I like the west coast of Florida much better than the east. We have several other flowers growing over here along with plenty of hibiscus.

Stevie Wren - you are welcome any time - give me a holler when you get here!

That's a lot for a wash and a vacuum, isn't it Debbie. I myself prefer a cut and a blow-dry. That other sign didn't say how much the roast Sr. citizen is - maybe it's "market price".

willow said...

Oh, I needed these chuckles today!!! This post is just too cute!

I enjoyed your lovely autumnal poetry post card, Cynthia. Thank you! :^)

MuseSwings said...

Thank you Willow! Did the postcard come to you in the wonderful mailbox pictured on your postcard?

Betsy said...

Oh, this was hilarious...funny and true! I do love to watch older people in the grocery. They are so cute...when they aren't in line in front of you! :)

Lavinia said...

Cythnia I'm puzzled. I mean have we or have we not 'wintered' at Flossie's place on the French Riviera for the past 8 years? Someone must be giving you all this information about the snowbirds. By the by, I am acquainted with a few and they tell me that everyone in Florida is on the make. Hmmmmmmmmmm

Sounds like a clash of cultures but before a culture war erupts lets just toss everything in our Vuitton valises and hightail it to Monte Carlo. The ARch duke is saving your usual place at the casino for you, at the Baccarat table....

Pat said...

Hello Cynthia!

This post is hysterical! My sister lives in AZ and snowbirds come down there too -- she said they all drive 35 miles an hour on the freeway!

I received your very lovely post card yesterday! Love the poem and the 3-d autumn leaves -- it is so framable! Thank you so much.

MuseSwings said...

Betsy - I love watching them too - a few weeks ago after exchanging pleasantries I told a little tough old cookie she's my role model. She loved it.

Lavinia, I've not told you this before, but Flossie's coterie on the Riviera refers to us as volaille neige. However, given the Archdukes kindness at saving a table we must fly to his side immediately. Make hast and gather your gowns together. And don't forget to toss in those emeralds we "liberated" from the Countess and Willow's gala. My currency is nearly WORTHLESS! Worthless, I say!

Pat, I'm so glad you like my postcard! This exchange has been quite a creative adventure.

Blicky Kitty said...

So how do they catch the seniors for the roasts? Do they tell them the pot is a nice hot bath like in the cartoons?

soulbrush said...

so they wash and vacuum senior citizens for just $, i must hurry on over...

Shellmo said...

I'll be glad to have I-75 in Michigan back to myself to travel to my log cabin! And yes - they do always seem to travel at the height of rush hour...never understood that....they aren't working so can't they drive in off peak hours....Same for the bank - when I used to go on my lunch hour for work - I'd be behind 20 retired senior citizens....
Okay - done griping. One day I will be one of them - but I will not drive nor go to the bank in peak hours! A promise!

MuseSwings said...

That's a thought, Blicky - They perhaps lure them in for that wash and vacuum and then invite them for "dinner"

Been there a couple of times, Soulbrush - it's almost as pleasant as a pedicure. Quick way to get clean, fluffed and sparkly in time for the early bird bingo.

Shelly - I AM one of them. But since I am quite adept at being a hermit I don't bother the whippersnappers all that much.

Margaret Ann said...

Hilarious....they are BAAA...AACCK out here in AZ, but in smaller numbers...although our big rush comes in January! :)

MuseSwings said...

Margaret - they probably start diving to AZ in October - it just takes them till January to get there.