My name is Bobbi. I live in the tourist-friendly state of Florida, nicknamed The Sunshine State for good reason. Though we have more than 200 days of sunshine per year, on average, we are also ranked first in the country for the number of deaths and injuries caused by lightning strikes, an interesting combination.
Our state is also known for its incredible natural beauty, such as the sandy beaches along the coastline as well as swampy areas like the Everglades, that attracts tourists from around the world. We are surrounded by palm, orange (and other citrus), magnolia, pine, crepe myrtle and oak trees. Many of our trees are covered with that air plant found only in the South, Spanish moss, lending its own kind of beauty to the landscape. Gorgeous plants and flowers abound; azalea bushes fill the city with their springtime clouds of pink, white, fuchsia and red blossoms. These puffs of color contrast nicely with the light and dark green of leaves and new grass.
Dangerous creatures live side by side with the beauty, including black bears, alligators, snakes, fire ants and odd-looking bugs that will sting or bite you without a second thought.
The towns and cities that make up this beautiful state are as diverse as the wildlife. Filled with historic significance and sights, St. Augustine and the Village of Mayport are two of the oldest places in the country. Orlando attracts tourists to its amusement parks, and Key West is its own small island.
Florida is more than just “life’s end zone” for retired people. There are those who call themselves Native Floridians (born and raised here), snowbirds who winter here and summer in their home states up north, gray-haired retirees, and people like me who moved here as an adult. One important group that should never be overlooked is the Native American tribe called the Seminole Indians. The tribe now owns quite a few casinos that are frequented by citizens and tourists alike.
It was into this land of contrasts that my husband and I moved some years ago to raise our two children. He grew up here while I grew up in the Midwest, which is where we were living before coming to this great state. What a culture shock that was for me! I had been surrounded by huge fields of corn, soybeans and milo in the summertime and those same fields were covered in white during the winter months. A person could walk for miles without worrying about being attacked by wild animals. After all, the only animals in the country were cows, pigs, horses, cats and dogs.
My husband and I decided not to send our kids to traditional schools, public or private, but to educate them at home. We are very proud of their achievements, our daughter having just graduated from a major university in May, and our son will graduate next year.
We have been married for over 30 years, have lived in several states, moved more times than I care to remember, and met a lot of people who are blue and white collar workers as well as professionals through our jobs. They, as well as family members and friends, have been an invaluable source of advice. I guess you could say I have quite a few life experiences to share with those who are willing to learn.
My purpose in writing is to help others learn some of life’s skills from people with experience, allowing them to avoid many of those “hard knocks” that are waiting for them around every corner. My hope is to make the reading and learning enjoyable, too!