It's times like these that I wonder why I leave my home in Tennessee to travel to our condo in Florida for the winter. I didn't wonder at it so much when snow covered the ground and winds made you feel like it was 20 degrees colder. I didn't even wonder at it when it was too cold in Florida to swim in the pool or go to the beach. It's just now, when the sun is shining everywhere, that I begin to question the reason to be so far from the place I love.
I can see my house sitting tall on the side of Lake Canterbury, all gray cedar with white trim. I can see the boats swaying on the tie-downs and the water birds swimming by. I can see the neighbors walking the roadside and know they are checking to see if I am home yet. I can see the herbs and groundcovers that grow between the stepping stones beside the front walkway leading to the front door.
Then I remember my brother who has a Florida place just seven miles from my condo. I remember when he is in Springfield, Illinois in his home, and I in Tennessee in mine, how far away he seems. I remember when my sister-in-law cooks one of her delicious meals and we all sit at her table decorated with china and glassware adorned with flamingos and palm trees how much I have missed seeing them. And I remember our friends who come to Florida from Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, South Carolina and Washington State and that I wouldn't get to see them if we didn't come here also.
I know why we come to Florida. It's not just that we have a condo, or we are running from the cold but it's more about getting to our friends and family who also come for the winter. It's our other home.