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A Farewell to Winter

a slightly overdressed William Allen McRae, 1870-1943 (photo courtesy of Florida Memory)

Below is a timely reminder at the edge of winter from Florida Commissioner of Agriculture W.A. McRae, waxing more promotional than agricultural (his son, as it happens, later served as Chief Justice of the U.S District Court for the Middle District of Florida, appointed to the bench by President Kennedy):

When the North is wrapt in snow and ice, the ground frozen rough and jagged, the howling winds sweep across the plains and pour through the crevices of the house with a shivering moan, when stock must be housed and fed to keep them from freezing and clothes of an oppressive weight must be worn to keep warm, it is pleasant to dwell where summer-weight clothes suffice and the tepid sea waves invite the pleasant ablution.

When food in the North must be bacon, dried and canned fruits and vegetables, it is pleasant to have fresh fruit from the tree. When in the North trees are bare and vegetation has left no trace behind of its presence or intention of return, it is pleasant to recline in a hammock beneath live oak, palm and pine draped as a bride on nuptial day and drink in the beauties of tropical verdure, while fanned by balmy breezes from the bosom of the Gulf Stream.

c. 1921

Sho’ nuff. It’s been pretty mild in a lot of northern climes this year but let’s face it — they ain’t going to the beach in Delaware yet and if they do, I dare ’em to get in the water. So change out those light sweaters and shorts for t-shirts and swim trunks, ’cause spring’s a-springin’ baby, and there’s nothing the snowbirds can do about it except go home. I can already feel the roads de-congesting and my sinuses re-congesting!

Au revoir wintertime, we hardly knew ye.

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