So it’s official, ladies and gentlemen – I’ve now been down here residing ever-so-tropically in the ocean-front city of Tampa, Florida for an entire year. Ok, well, technically “gulf-front” if you want to suddenly get all crazy about semantics and whatnot, but let’s not kid ourselves…you knew what I meant…

And let me tell you, so far the stay here has been absolutely fabulous! The people are friendly, the scenery is divine, and unlike other cities that I’ve lived in over the past 24 years, there are actually businesses that stay open later than 8:30pm around here! I might also mention that not once have I had to spend the better part of an hour clearing snow out of my driveway after a long day, nor have I had to whip out the old tire chains to avoid going 90 mph down the freeway backwards in the middle of January. Of course, I could go on and on, but my guess is that the bulk of you already know where I’m going with this one!

If you haven’t already made the assumption, however, I ask that today we officially mark on the record that I absolutely love this newfound lack of snow in my life and, just between you and me, it wouldn’t really hurt my feelings all that much if I never encountered the stuff again another day in my life. It’s nothing personal, really, but I figure that after a couple of decodes worth of not seeing eye-to-eye, there just really isn’t much that can be done to salvage my relationship with that white, powdery doom. I hope that this perspective doesn’t make it sound like I’m out to get Jack Frost or Frosty the Snowman or anything, it’s just that I think one day my shovel finally hit its breaking point…ironically after spending most of my Saturday afternoon relieving our deck of several hundreds of pounds worth of wet snow…and I finally decided that I was going to need a warmer climate very, very soon…and we’re not just talking about the sunny paradise that we’ve all come to know and love of Ohio or Illinois, either!

Nope – an entire country’s width is what I was looking for in this massive relocation…1382 miles or so, if you’re keeping track. And the moment that I pulled into town down here, I felt the difference almost immediately. Off came the thermal underwear and away went the scarf & mittens that Mom had packed – never again would I find myself being required to wear multiple pairs of socks in an ever-so-vain attempt to “keep my toes-ies from falling off at their joints!” My ice scraper having been deposited soundly in a rest area garbage can at the Florida Welcome Center, I proudly took my place in a city that owned not a single plow truck and had never seen a snowball fight once in its existence.

Simply put: I don’t really mind so much missing out on that whole wintery season!

Of course, lest we not forget that there are many other non-blizzard-related reasons about why I’ve found my calling here in the south – palm trees and coconuts, deep-sea fishing that can produce Jew Fish bigger than your little brother, and long walks on the beach as the sun sets just to name a few…however, none are as rewarding as waking up each and every morning to think, “Eh, no snow to worry about today!” Ya gotta love living in Florida…

My name is Scott Sevener, and I’m now an official Floridian with one year under my belt and many more to come…these are my stories.