The Lights On The Palm Trees


A few minutes ago, I was driving along Summerlin Road to get to the Java Coffee Cafe before they closed.  I don’t normally drink an iced coffee at 6:10 pm on a Sunday night, or any night for that matter.  I really came here to use the stronger WiFi signal that the Outlet Mall provides for free.  You see, at our RV Resort (Siesta Bay), we have no signal at our site (#143).  The “strong signals” are either in the library or the breezeway, which is located near the showers and the pool, which is next to the Shuffleboard courts which are between the mail boxes and the tennis courts.

The library can get kind of lonely.  Only a few residents here are avid readers.  And, sitting in the breezeway will only get your ankles bit by tiny things that leave marks on human flesh.  And the signal isn’t that strong anyway.  So, here I am at the Outlet Mall.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a mooch.  I shop here.  Just yesterday, I purchased a light cotton pull-over at Tommy Hilfiger (the first time I’ve ever been in a Tommy store, I think) and the other day I bought a shirt at G.H.Bass & Co.  So, I’ve paid my dues.

But I digress.

I was driving along Summerlin listening to my favorite country radio station.  The song that was just finishing had the line:

“Somewhere tonight, he’s a live wire”

It was followed by:

“I know what I was feeling, but what was I thinking?”

Just as I pulled into my parking spot, my current favorite song came on:

“I’m messed up in Mexico, living on refried dreams.”

Some songs will always be classics in the songbook of my life.

My point here is that between the country songs, and the mall background music, I have never heard more Christmas tunes in my life.  (I had to endure that dreaded Chipmunks song twice today.)

And that is a good thing.  I’m out of my element (the cold North Country) for the first time in recent memory.  For a New York Stater, this is alien territory.  I’ve written before about the juxtaposition of palms trees and sand with lights and Santa lawn ornaments.

But, here’s are my final thoughts on spending Christmas in the Sunshine State:  It’s rather nice.  I’m sitting outside the Java Cafe right now in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt.

In the end, it doesn’t matter where you hang your tinsel, as long as there is love in your heart and you do something, anything, to let your cup of joy spill over, like a leaky dam, into the lives of those around you.

There are lonely, hungry and lost people all around you.  The users, the drifters, the two-time losers…they all need a little snowflake, real or plastic, in their lives.

Our time here in Southern Florida is running out.  We will drive away from Site #143 on the morning of December 30, for parts west.

Into the setting sun.

Away from the waves of the Gulf of Mexico.  Away from the alligators, the insects, the spectacular sunsets, the country songs, the Everglades.

I plan on posting a final farewell to Florida blog after Christmas.

Meantime, you don’t need me to remind you that it’s time to raise your glass to the Spirit of Christmas.  Have a Happy Holiday and…


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