Watching the news and weather reports here in Florida was quite an eye-opening experience for me. I was used to hearing information regarding how the weather was going to affect crops as well as the prices of corn, wheat, and soybeans sold by the bushel.
For those of you who have never been to America's Heartland, I will attempt to give you a glimpse. There are vast, wide-open spaces where you can literally see for miles. These spaces are either filled with acres of crops, fields that are lying fallow, or grassland that may or may not have herds of cattle grazing in them.
Compare that to Florida which is basically flat land but instead of acres filled with crops, there are acres of mostly tall, slender pine trees. Most of these are grown on tree farms so they are evenly spaced apart. This makes looking off into the distance impossible. There are crops, such as strawberries and potatoes, grown here in different parts of the state.
We also have many bodies of water including the ocean, rivers, lakes, streams, and swamps. This is probably why our reports include the time of day when low and high tides are expected, how high the waves are going to be, and the difference in temperature between the beach and inland areas.
Every now and then, a story is reported on the news about someone driving off a pier or into a water-filled ditch and drowning. We also hear about people getting killed or badly injured in boating accidents.
I appreciate the advice my kids' pediatrician gave parents about teaching children to swim. If you're going to live in, or travel to, Florida, learn to swim. Good point!