The Grandma in South Florida

Grandma in South FloridaIt is November.  The television newscaster just said, “No coats needed today,” and went to pictures of areas of the country with snow, cold, wind, and gray skies.  If it were not for the South Florida newscasters to remind us daily, we Grandmas who live in South Florida would not remember winter.  Thank goodness.

This Grandma moved to South Florida in her twenties as part of a large migration of young professional families who made South Florida their homes, escaping harsh winters and expensive living conditions.  I  do believe we were among the early sufferers of the SAD disorder (seasonal affective disorder or “winter blues” where you are depressed from late fall until spring), and need sunlight to thrive.  The sun and surf were worth leaving the cultural north.  Our children were born here, raised here, and left for college up north and never returned.  Who knew we would be the joke: the Grandma in South Florida.

For a long while in the recession, South Florida lost more population than it gained.  But here we go again.  The Sun Sentinel, November 8, 2013, had a headline in the local section, “Fort Lauderdale Still Solid With Retirees.”  The author, Larry Brszewski, tells us:

If you’re wondering if you made the right decision to retire to Fort Lauderdale, Money Magazine says you did.  The magazine named Fort Lauderdale one of its Top Ten places to retire for 2013.  The city and St. Petersburg were the only ones from Florida to make the list.  Other locations included Raleigh, N.C., Pittsburgh and Boise, Idaho. 

Fort Lauderdale’s attractions included “no state income tax, amazing weather, abundant health care, and a bustling city center” –and you’re never far from the water, either.”

Money Magazine forgot one important thing.  Grandchildren love to come to Florida.  Disney.  Universal.  Busch Gardens.  Everglades National Park.  The Keys.  And more—and amazing weather and the sun and the surf.   Fort Lauderdale has developed into the type of location that has many child attractions within a short drive of the city center.  Those of us “70s pioneers” who have lived in South Florida for forty years promoted culture, theatre, and arts and fabulous restaurants and we now have those too.

This Grandma believes she lives in the best place to live in the U.S.  I consider Fort Lauderdale number one.  After all. . . .Fort Lauderdale or Boise, Idaho?

Please, though, do not tell too many others.  We hope too many people do not take Money Magazine’s advice.  We welcome our seasonal tourists, but love our wonderful South Florida sun and surf year round.  Shh.  It is cooler in Fort Lauderdale near the ocean breezes in the summer than in the “climate changed” Northern and Midwestern summer stifling heat!





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