Florida escape clears the cobwebs and crabbiness

palm treeSouth Beach is lovely this time of year, especially in that special residential anti-glitz, non-tourist world South of Fifth. Thank goodness for the generosity of friends. Cloudless blue skies, sunny days in the low 80s with low humidity, toes in the sand, dips in the ocean and laps in a pool really are restorative. Just being able to walk outside without shivering is an emotional high.

My snow bunny days are long gone if, indeed, they ever existed. Winter lost its novelty for me long before December 21 and hasn’t improved since. I feel for Danae in the comic strip Non-sequitur  who laments : This is March, and March is spring, and spring means no more snow, right?”  Yeh, right.

But live in Florida full-time? That’s a different story. Democrat Alex Sink’s losing the “bellwether” special congressional election in Tampa is already old news, but a disappointment in anticipation of next fall’s mid-term election. How about those Sunshine State legislators who gave us the stand-your-ground law? Now they want to allow teachers to have concealed weapons.  Better not use your cell phone in class; your teacher may be packing.  A gun, it seems, is the answer to everything.

They are dredging Biscayne Bay  to attract even larger cruise ships. And developers and marine interests are trying to loosen regulations that protect manatees, an endangered animal described as a “gentle sea cow” to which I can relate after a week of eating out at restaurants.

Seeing newspaper headlines last week, I wondered if we shared child welfare problems, a system that in Florida “has led to hundreds of child deaths under the state’s watch.” According to the Miami Herald,  477 children died in state care over the last six years.   There are now several bills to address  the matter, and even Gov. Rick Scott has proposed tens of millions of dollars to remedy the horrific situation. But the outcome is uncertain. [Scott is the Republican health corporation executive who spent $70 million of his own money in 2010 to run for governor and has been a staunch opponent to his state’s participation in the Affordable Care Act .]

As flawed as the Massachusetts child protection system is, we’d all be horrified at any comparison with Florida’s. And the list goes on.

Still, that weather is tantalizing, at least before summer’s humidity and hurricane season kick in. The worst day last week received a morning news  alert that it was “sweater weather.”  It was “chilly” at 69 degrees, but only until 10 AM.

I welcome your comments.

2 thoughts on “Florida escape clears the cobwebs and crabbiness

  1. Many years ago, a woman called the 911 operator in the Brighton area of Boston. The call was rebroadcasted a few days later on the radio, the woman was heard begging for the police to come. The phone went silent. When the police arrived, the found the woman dead; afterwards, a similar incident happen in Florida and that incident created the Castle Doctoring of Florida, known today as the stand-your-ground law. Since that day of rebroadcast of dead woman voice in Brighton, I ask people and police; what does someone do, during the response time after the 911 call to police headquarters? Here are some recent examples of non-victims of violence:

    1) A man was at home in West Pensacola, Fla. when he became alerted to an attempt to break into the home’s garage. The resident retrieved a gun, spotted the criminal and fired at him, striking the would-be intruder and causing him to flee. A short time later, the burglar checked himself into a nearby hospital under a fake name and claiming that he had been stabbed. Hospital staff and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office eventually got to the bottom of the criminals’ ruse, with the burglar admitting to his crime. (Pensacola News Journal, Pensacola, Fla. 12/13/13)

    2) A woman and her family were sleeping in the upstairs of their Fenton, Mo. home when the woman awakened to the sound of the front door being opened. The woman retrieved a gun and went to the top of the stairs, where she spotted to intruders. The woman then fired at the criminals, causing them to flee. (KMOV, St. Louis, Mo. February 21, 2014)

    3) A mother was at home with her children in Detroit, Mich. when three men, one of whom was armed with a handgun, broke into the house. The mother responded by retrieving a semi-automatic rifle and warning the intruders that she was armed. When the criminals persisted despite the warning, the mother fired at the home invaders. At first, all three intruders retreated outside the home, but the one armed with a pistol decided to try to enter the home again. The criminal’s reentry prompted another round of gunfire from the mother, at which point the armed home invader fled for good. Police captured the trio a short time later. (WXYZ, Detroit, Mich. 02/18/14)

    Many poor, but, good citizens of Massachusetts would not be dead or injured if they had the ability to defend themselves with a stand-your-ground-law. “Read the Book, Dial 911 and Die”


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