Wilton Manors, FL. 6AM December 25, 2013.
All is silent.
No, really. Silent.
This little quirky island is never really quiet. Not the kind of quiet I'd get when I would roll out to the New Jersey Pine Barrens, shut off the motor, and hear nothing but winds blowing through the pine trees.
Here I can hear traffic from sources as far away as I-95, two miles away.
At that time in the dog walk I heard something I hear rarely. Crickets. As Rack and I walked past the little M.E. DePalma Park, the loudest sound I heard were the crickets that flocked there to live among native plants. It's a little urban oasis that has a distinctly different sound and smell than the usual grass that is planted everywhere here.
You walk past the tall grasses waving their purple heads in the breezes and you smell hints of oregano. There are a couple different plants that grow wild that smell like that, it just makes me want more pizza.
But the thing is that the crickets were usually mostly drowned out by the traffic on Dixie Highway or Wilton Drive two blocks away. This morning I could hear the crickets that were away from the park in people's yards which I can't usually hear.
This morning, nothing. No Traffic.
Repeat after me... Ahhhh....
Living in a resort town, you get used to the ebb and flow of visitors. This is the beginning of Snowbird Season. I've heard more than once "If this is Snowbird Season, what can we hunt them with?". My normal response is "your businesses and not your shotguns, thank you". So we're used to having crowds in February, and not so much in August despite the fact that it's typically cooler in Ft Lauderdale on the hottest week in August than it is in Philadelphia, Chicago, or Dallas.
That Ocean is a wonderful thing. Those breezes are a wonderful thing. No, don't move down here, it's a crowded place, you wouldn't like that... no really you wouldn't.
Ok, that didn't work, in the time it took for you to read this blog article, we gained another snowbird or two.
On the morning of December 25th, when the Long Winter's Nap is just ending, you lot are not on the roads. It gives my quirky little resort town and many other quirky little resort towns a ghostlike silence that you only hear on the morning of a holiday.
With people beginning to wake up everywhere and shell their presents of the wrapping paper, they just aren't outside making a racket. It was a cooler morning so the air conditioners weren't running. You can tell when Florida is cool because the AC is off.
This day being what it is, even if you aren't with family at that time of day, you're typically not going to be in your car going somewhere unless work requires it. Because, just because. That's why. Everyone deserves a day off.
I'm glad you took that morning off. Even the airplanes weren't flying out of the airport, 8 miles to the South. It was appreciated.
The world will have a slack week this week, maybe getting back to work sometime later in January. But it won't be quite as silent.
Now... when's the next major holiday? Oh yeah, New Years....