Since we are on the topic, Florida is the only place I have ever been bitten by a mosquito while taking a shower. And if you have never been bitten on your derriere, well, it’s really a delightful experience...especially once it starts to itch. If you look in a Florida bird guide you will very possibly find another fabulous creation credited to God: the Toilet Dwelling Mosquito. Let’s just say there are far more awkward places to get bit than the derriere…and just for the record: Minnesota, you have NOTHING on Florida when it comes to Mosquitoes!
Florida is also the only place where, upon walking outside the other day, we were fortunate enough to watch the mating dance of a male peacock in the neighbor’s driveway. It was a show for sure. Also watching were a half dozen albino morning doves, the neighbor's ultra-fluffy, off-white cat, and the lucky female peahen who happened to catch his attention which of course had gotten him excited in the first place. And in case you have never seen this ritual, the male peacock spreads his amazing tail feathers and chases the peahen down, trying to corner her. Then he ruffles up his behind and starts rattling a second row of feathers behind the colorful display of tail feathers. It sounds like a rattlesnake and looks hysterical and apparently the peahen thinks he is ridiculous because she took one look at him and burst out laughing before walking away. Then she came back to mock him by ruffling some of her own feathers and walked away again. Of course, the kids and I and my brother and his wife thought the whole scene was great fun. I’d have gone over to give the peacock a high five for effort had we not, at that very moment, been chased inside by a bunch of free-range mosquitoes. (We were incidentally eaten by the house-pets instead.)
My parent’s neighborhood wouldn't be complete without the neighbors across the street who painted their house lime green before planting a 50 foot row of prickly pear cacti out front because you know, that is a sure sign of normal, welcoming, warm and friendly people. They’ve also thrown a tarp down around the cacti (and the ENTIRE front yard) on which we are guessing they may plant some rocks or mulch…I suppose that is one way to get rid of the crab grass and make mowing easier. SCORE!
But I think the people in Florida can be summed up with a conversation I had recently at Grandma's. We were visiting her house the last few days and my mom commented that that was the first time she had ever slept on flannel sheets. I remarked that normally flannel is used in colder climates not the heat of a Florida summer. That’s when Grandma said with all the seriousness in the world: “Oh Karen, it gets cold here too you know…. I mean, I can turn the air conditioner WAY down!”