Dreaming of the endless summer
Feb. 23, 2015
by Ivan Raconteur

I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to all the snowbirds at whom I have scoffed over the years. I’m now prepared to admit they were right and I was wrong.

I love living in Minnesota, but as time goes by, I have discovered I like it more during some months than others.

Perhaps this change in attitude is a result of recently getting a taste of a different kind of paradise.

The temperatures on my tropical discoveries tour ranged from about 76 to 82 degrees.

It was extremely difficult to have to put on a jacket again after 10 days of balmy bliss.

Maybe it’s just the passage of time. I feel the cold now more than I did in the past.

The icy winds howling across the frozen tundra lately have all but convinced me to relocate.

I’ve been daydreaming about packing up a few belongings and heading south carrying an ice scraper, and not stopping until someone asks “What’s that?”

Minnesota is a beautiful place, even in winter, but I’m starting to think it is more beautiful on a postcard, or seen through a window while one is sitting in front of a fire sipping cocoa.

I’m finding it harder these days to see the beauty as I shuffle slowly out to a frozen car in the dark, trying not to break my neck as I negotiate the layer of ice that seems to have a permanent grip on the landscape.

It occurs to me that the early settlers to this part of the country must have arrived in the summer. Had they arrived in the dead of winter, the sensible ones surely would have kept moving until they found greener pastures.

That seems like a good plan.

I’d be willing to trade the frigid wasteland outside my window for sun, sand, and sea breeze.

I’m not sure what I would do if I lived on a beach, but I suspect the honest answer is “as little as possible.”

Until recently, I had never considered loafing as a viable career choice, but now that I think about it, it doesn’t sound all that bad.

I’m sure if I spent about half of every day in a hammock on a beach, I’d make a lot of progress on the backlog of books I’ve been wanting to read.

I don’t know what the current market price is for grass shacks, but I suspect it is reasonable.

I wouldn’t need much storage space. I’d sell my winter coats, hats, boots, and gloves before I left town.

I won’t be needing those cross country skis anymore, either.

I’ll be happy to part with my snow shovel and collection of ice scrapers.

Sweaters, scarves, and heavy wool boot socks won’t be necessary in the tropics, so those can go to new owners, too.

My wardrobe would be much simpler if I lived on the beach.

I have enough cabana shirts to swing it, and plenty of shorts and swimming trunks.

If I bother to wear shoes, my sandals will work just fine.

I could donate my eclectic necktie collection to someone who needs it more than I do. I’ll throw in some portly sport coats and assorted dress shoes, as well. No one needs wingtips in paradise.

Life would be simple if I lived on the seashore.

If I ever wanted a break from all the relaxing, I could form a bongo band. I’m sure my pal Ryan would we willing to join such an enterprise. He enjoys music and loafing as much as anyone, and he already has his own hammock and set of bongos. I’m confident he’d be an excellent wingman in the event we were set upon by a throng of tropical beauties in grass skirts and coconut bras, craving our attention.

I’d probably need to find some sort of vocation pay for my daily allowance of refreshing adult beverages.

I fear I’ve left it too late to find work as a cabana boy, but I might just be able to get a gig as a dance partner for wealthy widows. Contrary to popular opinion, I can still be charming if I really want to. It’s just that I don’t want to very often. Things would be different on the beach.

I could also seek employment as a tour guide at the local rum distillery. I have a fair amount of experience with various libations, and I’d enjoy sharing this information with the tourists – on a part-time basis, of course.

I wouldn’t want to work full time. That would cut into the more important things, such as lounging, tippling, and rehearsing with the bongo band.

I’d fit right in with the slower pace of life in the tropics. I observed a lot of the locals during my recent journey, and none of them seemed to be in any hurry.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea. Next chance I get, I’ll check out the transportation options, and get my affairs in order in preparation for the move.

Something tells me trading perpetual winter for endless summer could be the start of my next great adventure.

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