On a Month Without

For us, January 2017 started with change questions. What would a month be like without ballroom dance, without handbells, without volunteering, without our friends, and without our normal routine?

Jan 1: We left Cincinnati on a cool, foggy morning for a day of driving, which included a light rain that occasionally became more – but not a constant rain. We noted the slow increase in the temperature.

Jan 2: The final 4.5 hour drive, again with intermittent rains of varying strength. Dry at the time of arrival, but the view of the surf while unpacking told a different story – the dangers of a nearby tornado – so down to the lower lobby we went. The evening storms off the coast provided an extraordinary light show that was worth watching – but the next morning would be a positive omen.

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Jan 3-5: Cool but comfortable days. Sometimes shorts, sometimes jeans, but always long sleeves and usually a jacket. Good enough to find our routine of breakfast, lounge, walk, lounge, lunch, lounge, walk, lounge, shower, dinner, cards/television, and sleep.

Jan 6: A stormy day that also brought falling temperatures – a good day for a movie (La La Land).

Jan 7-9: The northerly winds delivered quite the chill, yet no matter how cold, it was warmer than home. Walkable days, but shorter distances.

Jan 10-19: After the initial transition day, a string of days of sunshine and 15-20 degrees F (13-24 C) above normal. Perfect days to continue the routine. Days that would treat us to glorious sunrises, colorful sunsets, and brilliant nightly moons.

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Jan 20-21: Although temperatures remained above normal, unstable air delivered an angry sea and occasional storms – even tornado watches and warning severe enough to interrupt normal television. Good days for movies (Hidden Figures and The Founder).

Jan 22-25: The normal routine returns as storms are gone, but the above normal temperatures remain. It’s been quite a streak of warmth.

Jan 26-27: Normal temperatures finally arrive – 60 F (15 C) by day – 40 (4 C) at night. The breezes are cool. Sweatshirts and jackets are the order of the day. Some people in shorts, others not.

Jan 28-29: Noticing the temperature decrease during our return drive home – a home not along the sand and waves, but one of wonderful sunsets when the sky is right. Home – the permanent one, not the temporary. A home with colder temperatures and light snow in the air. Home – the place (while we were gone) that had 1 sunny day, 6 partly sunny/party cloudy days, and only 7 precipitation-free days in January (although overall temperatures were above normal). Home – the place for ballroom dance, handbells, volunteering, friends, and normal routines – just not the routine of January 2017.

That was our January in Orange Beach, Alabama. A time when we had a different routine – one of first-time snowbirds. A time when I drafted over 20 posts the old-fashioned way – on paper – so I now face the daunting task of getting them ready.

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46 thoughts on “On a Month Without

  1. So lovely to get away (even if it wasn’t all that warm, it was better than home).
    Though choosing a tornado-prone area? πŸ˜‰
    Hope you had a chance to regenerate, relax and enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merril,
      The second batch of storms caused havoc across the south, even killing 20 in Georgia. But our immediate area just more normal storms. But we had a relaxing routine of our time there to go along with the great weather.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Audra,
      A wonderful trip that was also very relaxing. Regarding using paper, I didn’t say it was easy! … but I see them as a start. Then again, how many will actually turn into posts is another story.


  2. How wonderful to have a whole month to really get away! I’m impressed that you took the time to compose posts the old fashioned way. I think I’ve just about lost the ability to write without a keyboard. πŸ™‚ My happiest moments are watching a sunset over the Pacific, but I would have loved to spend the first month of the new year on the Gulf of Mexico! Wonderful, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      Our first experience as snowbirds was a big success. With warmer weather further south, primetime in that area is actually summer – which also means prices are toward the bottom.

      The notebook has many scribbles, scratches, arrows, and associated markings. But hey – those are drafts. Of course pressure is now on to get them into electronic form, improve them, then turn them into posts. That’s a lot of work! For now, I’m in that process.


  3. Nice slides of various days from your journey. I notice that even a short vaca can help us appreciate the home we leave behind. I can’t recall when I used the old fashion pen and paper technique. What would I do without my spell check. 😁
    Have a good week aFrank.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isadora,
      Glad you appreciated the pictures of the various skies. As ab early bird, I began each day anticipating the grand display of the early sky. Meanwhile, I may have drafted posts on paper, but I didn’t say it was easy. πŸ˜‰ … but they will go through spell check once I transfer them into electronic form.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Robin,
      I got the impression that tornados are rare in that area this time of the year. That said, more rolled through the area today (New Orleans made the news). … Otherwise, yes … a wonderful trip! Glad you enjoyed the images.


  4. I can remember sketching out some posts on paper back in the day. Now I’m a prisoner to devices. I might just go “old-school” again soon just to see what it feels like to actually WRITE. Looks like a kite in the photos? Story behind it? You certainly had the weather at times for one. Glad it was a wonderful trip overall.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bruce,
      That is quite the kite. Not ours, but one we saw on the beach. The owner noticed me taking a pic so she volunteered that was a Christmas present from her mother. Meanwhile, try the old school thing. I simply did it to limit time on the computer.

      Liked by 1 person

    • CC,
      We went to this area because my in-laws used to go here for two months. My father-in-law hadn’t been back in 5-6 years, so we took him along.

      Meanwhile, the pen and paper worked as I have transferred many to electronic forms … and my drafts are current over 10! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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