Snow or Surf

There is something beautiful about freshly fallen snow. Everything is white and sparkly. I’ve lived in snow country for my entire life although some areas received inches while other received feet. I’ve skated on ponds, sledded, skied, made snowmen, and loved the sparkly white flakes. As I mature, those interests may still be vibrant in my memory, but the body is not so interested.

This winter I’m residing in a condo in South Carolina where I hear and see the surf pounding. The sound and the visual are something quite therapeutic. It’s like doing deep breathing exercises when you are stressed.

A blogging friend and artist, Jaime Haney, asked me to write about being a snowbird. I certainly don’t have years and years of experience, but from my five-year perspective there are things that draw you to leaving snow country. The #1 reason is friends. We wouldn’t be here except for an invite from a friend, we then invited friends, and we’ve all made more friends. The #2 reason is the bitter cold and the physical effort required in moving snow, and #3 would be the option to be outside and enjoy nature.

Being retired has many benefits but it also brings about a time when many people move to be closer to their family, so friends come and go from your life and there are voids left. To be able to spend three months surrounded by people your own age and interact with them is priceless.

There are many beautiful spots in our country to spend the winter months including some with snow. If you are thinking about being a snowbird, start early by taking winter vacations and checking out the areas you think you might be interested in. Then there is the option of buying or renting and whether you want to be in a stand alone house or you want to be around people.

Covid is definitely affecting our winter experience. Wearing a mask inside, restricting the number of friends we are interacting with, cutting back on group activities, and take out versus dine in certainly puts a damper on things, but safe is better than sorry.

I’ve been lucky this past week with a stack of books from the library, two short trips to Brookgreen Gardens, stops at a lovely quilt store, and lots of activity right outside my window.

We also enjoyed a trip to a cookie store. They’re not cheap, four cookies for $14.38, but a chocolate splurge now and again is good for the soul and the taste buds or so I told myself as I handed over my card.

I hope you have a great week whether it includes snow, surf, or somewhere in between.

As I’ve mentioned before, several of our friends from NH, MI, New Brunswick and in between are not here this year so a message was written in the sand and uploaded to the Facebook group. It’s similar to the blogging community. When you’re not here, we miss you. ❤️

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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57 Responses to Snow or Surf

  1. Murphy’s Law says:

    It’s 16 degrees here Judy and I’m looking at your photos wishing I could be there! The “miss you” note in the sand is both sweet and sad.

    The photo of Brookgreen Gardens is awesome. Those cookies don’t look too shabby either! Bet you couldn’t eat just one. 🤗 That’s ok, because they ARE good for the soul. And your soul takes in no calories!
    Ginger

    Liked by 2 people

    • The ‘miss you’ note was definitely sweet and sad. The live oaks with the dripping moss at Brookgreen is just so beautiful. It’s a different kind of garden than most of us are use to visiting, but it has a boatload of charm in its own way. We split those cookies, and they were delicious. I’m going to remember my soul doesn’t take in calories. 🙂

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  2. Oddment says:

    So much here that I loved reading/seeing. Your thoughts about friends and the snow had me thinking about the winter of our lives, and your message in the sand speaks to a great deal of this time of life. Melancholy perhaps but it’s there in the soul, and that’s why cookies are essential. I love Ginger’s comment, and she’s right: calories don’t matter to the soul but cookies do matter! It will not surprise you that I laughed out loud at that last sentence of your first paragraph. Indeed, the body is not so interested in re-living those vibrant memories of sparkling snow! Your photos are wonderful — thank you so much for the therapy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right – we are in the ‘winter of our lives.’ I loved sledding when I was a kid, when my daughter was young, and when my grandkids were young. Today, ‘if’ I was able to get down on a sled, I’d need the local fire department on speed dial to get me back up. I’m never going to forget my soul doesn’t retain those calories, but I may need to walk the rest of me this afternoon, breezy or not, to work them off. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A long time ago I had a beach house. Technically it was two blocks off the beach and in NJ so not a place to be a snowbird. I remember how relaxing it was. There was a causeway I had to cross to get there and I would feel my shoulders dropping and stress melting away — the power of water. I could be a snowbird except for my cats. Enjoy your time in the sun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your beach house and the walk sound wonderful. There is a soothing power about the water flowing in and flowing out. Beloved pets do make a difference and impact our choices. At least this year you can console yourself with a gorgeous new kitchen to putter around in. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope you have a warm and wonderful time this season, despite the restrictions of Covid. I have to say, I’m a little dreamy looking at the photographs and my thermometer which just barely made it to a balmy 20 degrees and zero predicted for tonight.
    Listening to the surf really is like listening to the planet breathe!

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  5. Beautifully put, as always, and you make a compelling case. While I am one of those weirdos who loves winter, I certainly understand how as we age, the appeal of spending winter in a warmer place. The added bonus of connecting with friends makes it all the more appealing. Then there is that beautiful beach. Wowsah! Enjoy those cookies!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved winter too until a few years back when all I saw when I looked outside was work that was going to leave me with back pain for a couple of days. Being able to walk outside, see friends, and look at the beach is certainly nice. While I am typing this I saw a pelican coming in for a crash landing which always makes me smile. Oh, I did enjoy those cookies. They actually opened up one of those stores very near us at home. I will need to avoid it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s 24 degrees this morning, and our high will hit 48 if we’re lucky but, it’s going to be sunny! Actually I’m going to see my Grandson’s this week so it’ll be a wee bit warmer where they live than here.

    I love the idea of being a snowbird. There are quite a few of the opposites where we live…what’s the opposites name? They’re here in the winter where it’s milder than back east, but live at the beach or mountains in the Spring and summer months. So, they still like snow, but not tons, and tons of it. 😀 Having spent the majority of my life having 3 seasons I love living where there are 4. I wonder at what age shoveling snow is no longer doable for us and we move on?

    I love the Camellias. I miss mine as well as my Hydrangea. Thanks for sharing those. They made me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bikerchick57 says:

    Today, I wish I could be in a condo near you. Our wind chills will be around -20 to -25 all day. It’s been cold and windy here and I haven’t been outside much the last few days. I miss walking in the fresh air, but I will not go out in this. Soak in some of the South Carolina warmth for me, Judy, and enjoy your surroundings.

    We now have a Crumbl cookie store near our mall. My neighbor shared a few of her birthday cookies with me and I have to say that I still prefer my own (and they’re cheaper). I must be a cookie snob! Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lavinia Ross says:

    It looks beautiful there! In my part of western Oregon, we normally don’t see much snow. We did get some that lasted a few days, but we are back to grey and rain, punctuated by a little sun.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Su says:

    I could almost smell the ocean while looking at your picture of the birds on the sand. It’s -4F here in sunny (today, anyway) Minnesota, so I’m more than a bit envious. Enjoy your stay, and post more pics, please!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Judy, I understand the appeal of four seasons, but I could never live anywhere other than Florida. Reverse snowbirding is not likely in my future, although I do love short visits to colder climates in Fall and Winter.

    I think it’s great that you have a group of friends that travel to the same destination at the same time. I didn’t know that part of your snowbird story. I just assumed you met everyone in SC at one time or another throughout the years. Your beach photos are beautiful and very different from the Atlantic coast here. Enjoy every yummy bite of those cookies You can always walk it off on the beach!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve always lived where there were four seasons and never questioned it until, I ‘matured.’ 🙂 There are just wonderful folks here, and that is definitely the draw to make the road trip down. Well, the sun and the more moderate temperatures don’t hurt either. I walked the beach today with my winter coat and hood to balance out those cookies. 🙂

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  11. Ingrid says:

    I can totally relate to everything you shared in this post. Perfectly said! Enjoy your time on the coast and remember, chocolate is good for you, so indulge. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Angela says:

    You are spot on about friends. We have never done a whole winter away from home although we tried living in NC once. I’m afraid I didn’t do well being separated from family and the four seasons. But it would be fun to go someplace where the winter is a bit less brutal, if only for a few weeks, as we used to years ago. Enjoy your time, Judy, and thank you for sharing that beautiful photo of the Spanish moss. The Low Country is exquisite!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nancy says:

    Hello Judy! Great post!
    You know how I feel about cold weather as I am a snowbird. We are lucky… we have friends in both places. However, like you, some of our friends here in AZ have chosen to be closer to family no matter where it is. Some got nervous about Covid and wanted to be closer to their home healthcare (Understandable.) Some of them also have enjoyed making the financial profit/gain of selling as the sellers market here in Phoenix is something Sweet Man and I have never seen. It has skyrocketed and we don’t see it slowing down.
    We follow warmth and the sun. You love the ocean and it’s gorgeous beauty. We love the desert and it’s gorgeous beauty… we have lots in common. Although you can sew a lot better then me! 😃
    As for cookies and chocolate… Life is Short… enjoy them!
    Enjoy your week my friend! Happy Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve lost three really good friends who moved to be closer to family because of aging and Covid. Although I certainly understand and applaud their move, it is a loss you feel. Yes, it seems like the real estate market is crazy everywhere these days especially since a lot of people are able to work from home. Life is short, and I hope when I go, I have a gardening tool in one hand and a piece of chocolate in the other. 🙂 Have a good week!

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  15. Dan Antion says:

    Our temps are in line with Ginger’s. I don’t see us ever going the snow bird route, but I appreciate learning about our options from someone who has been there and done that. I love the pictures, especially the birds. Enjoy your time in the warmth – temp and friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We follow the New England news, and it sure is record cold up there right now. I sincerely hope it warms up. It’s cooler than normal down here, but I certainly won’t complain about it. I still need to walk the other way on the beach to be able to grab a shot of those cranes for you. The birds, seagulls, pelicans, and other little birds are certainly interesting to watch. They put on quite a daily show. Stay warm. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Eliza Waters says:

    Nice post, Judy! It speaks to the community we often develop as seniors. Truly, we’re living our golden years!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s nothing like a community. I do miss that in our neighborhood at home, but I don’t think the younger generations tend to value human interactions like they do online relationships. Here I am saying that as you and I exchange online comments, but I think you know what I mean. I remember the day when you knew everyone by the vehicle they drove and waved as they went by. I’m really dating myself saying that. 🙂 Hope you are staying warm because the weather sure looks wicked cold up there.

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      • Eliza Waters says:

        Hehe, I still live on such a rural road and know my neighbors the way you wrote of… you make me realize what a gift that is.
        Wicked cold, to be sure. It is going to be a very short and brisk walk today! However, the frozen droplets on the trees and branches left from Sunday’s storm are sparkling in the sun like a thousand diamonds, so beautiful!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Joyce says:

    Lovely pictures and description of your current lifestyle! Over here, in frigid cold and a dump of snow, I have to keep reminding my husband “YOU’RE RETIRED! You worked your entire life for this option. If you don’t feel like doing something today, DON’T DO IT!” It relaxed me to read how you’ve embraced that attitude wholeheartedly! I’m like that, too. Just wish I could get hubby to stop thinking of jobs he wants to do – and complaining he doesn’t always have the energy to do them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You brought up a very interesting fact about retirement, and that is that in our minds we still want to do all kinds of projects, but the mind and the body aren’t necessarily in sync and it is frustrating. A perfect example is anything that requires a ladder these days. I have a 7′ lightweight aluminum ladder in my garage that I can move around. If I can reach it with that, okay, but if I can’t then it either doesn’t get done or I need to call someone to do it. In my mind though, I can still dream of all kinds of projects that required the big extension ladder in the barn. 🙂

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  18. Although we don’t live where it snows so I don’t know for sure… but… I’m pretty sure we’d be snowbirds if we did. There are a lot of great choices for warmer places to spend the winter, but it looks like you picked a beautiful one. Questions: do you rent or did you buy? and, what is the average winter temps there? For some reason, I don’t think of SC as having a warm winter.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We rent because we want to walk in and walk out without any responsibilities. If we had started at an earlier age, we might have considered buying and renting during the summer season. The average winter temperatures run between 40-70. The sun shines bright most days so that is a huge plus from our very gray winter days at home. With the cold weather sweeping up the east coast, the temps are in the 40’s right now. It definitely is not as warm as FL so a person who wants to bake in the sun or swim outside should stay on I95 a little further. 🙂 You asked good questions, and that is definitely the research someone would need to do.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Ally Bean says:

    I enjoy seeing photos of beaches and oceans and flowers. I’m glad you are where you are, safely enjoying the world around you. It’s been a gazillion years now since I’ve been on a beach.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When we lived in the Midwest, we would take vacations to the beach. Even at home, we are about 20 minutes from the NH beach. We’ve always liked it so sitting here typing and looking out at the beach and the surf makes me smile. 🙂 What doesn’t make me smile is when I saw your comment, I visited your site to make sure I was getting your posts and I’ve been dropped again. So, I followed again. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. joey says:

    I’m more likely to flee the summer to cooler spots, but YES to the beach! The beach is so relaxing. Just the sound of it pleases me. I’m glad to know you’re having a good time despite the precautions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It makes me think of that over used comment – ‘it is what it is.’ We’ve done what we can and continue to do so, but we’re definitely not ‘all’ in this together. So, one makes lemonade. Hope life at home and at work is treating you and yours well. Just so you know, I see your name and think “____ bees.” That post was one of your all time best!

      Liked by 1 person

      • joey says:

        Haha! Thanks! Ain’t no — yellow jackets out there right now!
        Hand to God, one tried to get in my car with me in NOVEMBER, when I was heading home from work. They know, Judy. They know.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Judy it’s so interesting to hear about your transition to snowbirds. Thank you for writing this! You’ve given me some great ideas and advice. I hadn’t thought about friends leaving until just recently. So your comment about conversations with people your own age being priceless makes me think on it a bit more.

    In the larger town near us, there’s a Crumble Cookie place, too. I haven’t tried them yet but hear they’re wonderful. We also have an equally calorie infused donut shop called Parlor Donuts. I’m desperately trying to avoid them.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. germac4 says:

    I enjoyed reading about your winters back home, and, what a difference it makes when you get older! Extremes of temperature are much harder to bear as we age. You seem to have the perfect mix right now, and I absolutely agree with you, it is wonderful to have friends in the same age bracket, so much to talk about, so much to compare and so much to laugh about.
    I love your beach photos…. best wishes, and enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. You’ve got the best of both worlds Judy, for winter and for the rest of the year. It’s my belief that there are no calories on holidays so you are free to consume as many delicious cookies as you want. It might be a good thing they’re a tad pricey! 🙂 It’s neither snow nor surf for us at the moment. We’re staying put at home while Omicron rages here, so it’s the garden, our laptops, my crafts and Mr ET’s hobbies, and some good viewing on the streaming channels. Oh, and isn’t retirement the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’m glad those cookies are pricey. I can now remember how good they were but avoid stopping. 🙂 Omicron is raging here also, but we don’t exactly respond as responsibly as you do. I’ll leave it there. 🙂 All the things you mention certainly keep us going as we try to avoid meeting up with Omicron. Stay well, and we will try to do the same.

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  24. Eilene Lyon says:

    I love your message in the sand! I don’t know if I’ll ever become a snowbird – at least as long as we are able to ski. But you’re right that there are many lovely places to do the snowbird thing in this country (or Mexico perhaps?). Enjoy your Carolina stay. Looks lovely there.

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  25. BERNADETTE says:

    Being able to go out and about without worrying about the weather is very good for your health and enhances your well-being. Enjoy every day.

    Liked by 1 person

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