Grandkids now prompt the southward migration
It’s around this time of the year that folks start heading to warmer climates. Thousands who have lost their minds over the thought of cold temperatures take off for places like the Southwest, such as Arizona, or the Southeast, usually Florida. Now, Florida is known for its tropical-like lifestyle. It has those balmy breezes, the swells of the ocean, palm trees and drivers going the speed limit of the grand marshal of the Rose Bowl Parade. And that’s just backing out of the driveway. Then they can rev up to a whopping 15 miles an hour.
Most folks who head down to warmer climates are wearing white belts and white shoes, aka the Full Cleveland look. It has a calming effect, just thinking of escaping the horrible weather back home. It gives folks more time to step over alligators in the driveway, ward off snakes lurking along the sidewalk and hit rats the size of a Buick outside their front door with their golf clubs.
Now, I’m all for heading south. Last year I went down to one of these places in January for a brief respite. I flew into Orlando airport and discovered Orlando is the jumping-off point for Disney World. This is a kingdom run by mice, specifically Minnie and Mickey Mouse. Children love this kingdom. They really enjoy seeing their parents spin around in those teacups until they vomit. Children – and parents – will take away lessons from Disney World that they will remember well into their adult life, specifically the lyrics to, “It’s a Small World.” Even when you are in your 90s, you will still remember those lyrics (“It’s a small world, after all ...) running through your head over and over again.
The flight down was pretty turbulent; hey, it’s a lesson for a lot of passengers who don’t have their false teeth firmly cemented in as the ceiling of the 747 becomes like a magnet. Myself, I like the comfort of turbulence when I fly; it means there is air under the plane, which at this point in aviation history is huge!
There is no doubt that travelling is difficult and frustrating today. Many passengers debark wearing someone else’s shoes. Who can tell where your stuff is after the security check? But when the pilot gets off with shoes that clearly belong to another passenger, that’s when I’m concerned. But it’s too late at that point to worry about him wearing someone’s stilettos.
I take a small train to another part of the airport to pick up my luggage. It’s not that I have a clue as to where I am going, it’s just that airports are like meadows where sheep gather, and when one of the herd starts to move, the rest of the herd follows.
An announcement screams that a stop is coming up and for passengers to get off if they are going to; at that point the mike goes haywire and sounds like two wild pigs mating. Everyone hesitates, but one sheep moves forward, so we all do, since our hands and clothes are caught in the door anyway. The herd starts to stampede when they see the sign for baggage claim. It turns out whenever this sign appears there is either panic or a line will automatically start to form.
The herd moves in a solid mass and then we stare. This is called waiting for your luggage, while you watch unclaimed suitcases that have been on the carousel since Dewey beat Truman spinning around and around.
We take this journey and all that comes with it because waiting outside the doors are our grandchildren. The kids are wearing every item with an animal on it along with silver Mary Jane shoes. Honestly, any grandparent would grow their own wings to fly down for this reunion. The skies still are still friendly and warm. Stay calm and carry on, no matter where you land.