Singer Ann Murray had a hit record in the 70’s titled “Snowbird” where she sang about a migratory bird that left the snowy, frozen meadows of the north for warm sunny skies. “Snowbird, take me with you when you go to the land of gentle breezes where the peaceful waters flow…” or something like that. My diagnosis of suffering from an unconventional form of cold-induced asthma, battling an asthma-induce URI since early October, and the opportunity for my husband to transition into retirement brought us to the sudden decision to spend the winter in Florida.
This introduced a series of rapid life changes! I gave notice at my job just prior to Thanksgiving, he applied for retirement,and we spent the month of December breathing life back into our ancient (22-year-old) RV after ten years in dry dock.
Christmas was a whirl-wind of family parties, rapid packing, and a departure for the sunny south before the New Year with an ice storm nipping at our heels.
We are unconventional snowbirds; most of the folks we have met are truly retired and maintain a home in the north where they live during the summer, and spend the winter months in luxurious RVs with multiple rooms that “bump out” when they settle in for the winter. Our little rig is only slightly larger than the dorm room I had in college! (As a student, I would have loved a dorm room with its own kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedroom.) All the comforts of home are here, including a small flat-screen television. But, my husband is still “working.” He has an office area set up in a corner of the RV as he transitions out of his current career by satellite remote. I have my “office” on the dinette table where I write and attend an internet class I am enrolled in. And, we share our little space with two cats!
Boots, our 18-year-old tabby, spends most of his time curled up next to me on the dinette bench sleeping. Buster, the three-year old Maine Coon, spends his days leaping around the dashboard chasing birds and squirrels. The cats are loving all of the attention and “people time” they are receiving from such close quarters.
Because of my husband’s job, we are “tethered” to a site during the week and are limited to traveling only on weekends. Consequently, we have rented a monthly slot at a Florida campground where he can commute by internet. We are close to the well-maintained showers and laundry room, have a concrete patio and little picnic table, and are surrounded by other monthly lease campers. The park is its own little community of friendly people, with pre-planned activities if you choose to participate.
As I walked the mile circle around the park this morning, feeling the warmth of the sunshine on my face, I was overwhelmed by the blessing of being outside and able to breathe the air. This transition from Michigan feels as if it happened rather quickly; we like to plan our life and work our plan. But we serve a God who specializes in “Suddenlies.” He cares about the details of our life, and directs our paths. He will guide us as we listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. Because of God’s direction, we are “Suddenly” Snowbirds.