We have left 15 degrees in Carbondale, Illinois for 54 degrees at Miramar Beach, Florida. I texted Aaron that it was a little chilly here…and he reminded me that it was at home…also. It is all in perspective. We visited Winn Dixie this morning and I listened with great interest as the person on the intercom announced that you could get cocktails and wine in the Hospitality Room of the Supermarket…and carry your drink throughout the store as you shopped…again location and perspective. Snowbirds is a common term in this neck of the woods. I am setting on Ron and Ira Kayes’s balcony and looking out at the brilliant Gulf of Mexico…with the sun shining on it. A few people are walking on the sugar-white sands of the beach…where cares evaporate in the emerald green water of the Ocean. January is a peaceful time to visit Miramar Beach and Destin. The slow down of the frenetic pace of the area is a welcome respite. We snowbirds move rather slowly…but we move with purpose and vision.

We traveled to Mascoutah Wednesday afternoon to attempt to beat the snow that began later that evening and through the night and that could have halted our plans to drive to the Mid America Airport early Thursday morning. Allegiant Airline provides one of the easiest ways of traveling to Destin, Florida that we have experienced in our 12 years of visiting here. Mid America Airport is a 90 minute drive from Carbondale and the trip after that takes just under one hour and one half. Driving from Carbondale to Destin takes about 12 hours. I was distracted by several persons speaking Spanish. There is a massive construction upgrade going on at Mainsail.

Sadly…we discovered that our neighbor and friend of nearly 20 years, Ken, died at home earlier this week. Ken was my favorite neighbor. He never failed to wave at us both when we left our house and when we later returned. Weather permitting…he was in his yard attending to his flowers or chipping golf balls. Each spring he received a large truckload of mulch that was subsequently dumped in his driveway. He spent a month carefully spreading the mulch around his and Barb’s abundance of beautiful flowers. He did not have the mulch delivered the past spring or two. When you met Ken…you felt good about the experience.

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