Saturday, January 30, 2016

Stereotypical old folks

Why does being called a snowbird annoy me? I went to barbershop today and the barber made some comment about the cold weather. I explained that I was from Minnesota and I did not think 50s and 60s were that bad. The barber then said that I must be a snowbird.

I guess I do not think of myself as a snowbird. I know this is one of those terms that describe older folks from the north who come down to the south for the winter. I guess we are doing that but we are not spending the time in a rental or parking our rig in one place until it warms up in the northland. In contrast, we are taking a winter vacation. We intend to move from place to place exploring whatever we can find.

What would we be called if we did the same thing in the summer? I was visiting this exact location last summer (we took our extended family to the theme parks). Who can live with that heat and humidity? If winter visitors are called snowbirds, summer visitors should be called idiots.

Having said all of this about stereotypes, I must also admit that I have some stereotypes. However, my stereotype regarding snowbirds (those who move into one location for several months) is that they play golf (using carts) and shuffle board. Sure enough. Most of the sites around us sport a golf cart in addition to whatever car, bus, or truck moved the snowbirds here. We have had rain for several days, but today was a nice day. Again, just as the stereotype would suggest when I headed off for my morning shower the shuffle board courts (if that is what they are called) were already packed.

I wonder how much skill is required to be good at shuffle board. Do you have to spend time in the minor leagues to prove yourself before you can move up to participate with the serious players? Do they always heckle each other like that and are they placing side bets or are the league standings sufficient to maintain their intensity?

I have many questions about retirement.

[Panama City, FL]

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