CHRISTMAS IN FLORIDA
My first experience with Christmas in Florida was 1964.
I was a “Newbie” as they called it in the Air Force. I was assigned to my first Duty Station, Homestead Air Force Base in Homestead, Florida. I was fresh out of training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. I didn’t really know where Homestead was until I looked at a map. I had mixed emotions about everything. My life seemed to be out of control, my life had a life of its own.
I don’t remember much about my first few days in Florida, but I do remember one of my first nights. I was assigned to a security gate. Looking back on the assignment I realize now it was a very low profile gate. It was Christmas eve no one was anywhere in sight. I had been dropped off by a dark blue pickup truck and told to check credentials if anyone needed to enter the gate. But of course, they put me on a gate which would have zero activity all night. I was there by myself. I was alone, really alone. I remember the night like it was yesterday. I’m standing on post with a 38 caliber pistol on my hip, and a carbine on my shoulder. It is very dark, except for the street light over my head. The speaker system on base is playing Christmas music. I’m alone for the next eight hours with my own thoughts. What have I done? How did I get here?
It was a very long night. I don’t mean to dramatize the night but, I still remember it to this day.
So, let’s fast forward to 2016. Yesterday was Christmas. My second Christmas in Southwest Florida. You might ask me, how do you handle Christmas without snow, without cold, without a fireplace.
I’m not sure if you grow up with snow at holiday you ever get over Christmas without a little snow. With the annual movies on TV like “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Story” and all the others movies where cold and snow are an integral part of the story, I guess truthfully, snow will always be missed at Christmas
So, let’s turn now to the annual Christmas cards. It’s time once again, for a look at the Christmas cards received this year. Plus, I thought I would sprinkle a few photographs of the Christmas light on the palm trees here in Magnolia Landing where I live. My first photograph is not Christmas. It is my view looking over my laptop screen from the Lanai as I type this message. Merry Christmas.