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Florida has more than its share of seasons

Published Sep. 2, 2005

Some people have observed that Florida is without seasons. I would suggest that those people who make such a remark would not be very good candidates for the Sherlock Holmes School of Observation. There is certainly a great deal of difference between mid February and mid August in the Sunshine State.

Also, those people who like to wax eloquent about the glories of spring in their old home state forget to mention that the reason most of us former Northerners loved spring so much is that it followed a God-awful season called winter.

To prove even further that our state is multiseasonal, let me mention some other seasons:

+ Baseball leaving season: This part of our year is not celebrated when the spring training baseball camps finally break up and head to various parts of the country, but rather when baseball moguls play hardball with the cities here in Florida. This season usually happens in the winter, when baseball organizations lay down their demands to the various cities, threatening to leave them and seek a spring training facility somewhere else.

This is followed by much huffing and puffing by the cities, saying they have made their final offer to the baseball team trying to blackmail them for more and better facilities. But, in the end, the cities finally give in, justifying their actions usually by greatly inflating the number of dollars that spring training brings in to the city in the brief period in which they use the facility. The moral of this season is that when you go up against major league bigwigs, you always strike out.

+ Postsnowbird season: This is a springtime celebration which is characterized by many fewer people on the highways and a noticeably improved access to such people as doctors, dentists and other professionals on whom we all depend. Let's face it, we all love the folks who like to come down here temporarily, but there is just a little bit of joy in our hearts when we say goodbye to them for another year and things settle in to a little bit less crowded routine.

+ Let's mess with taxes season: Now this season does not happen every year, but it happens often enough to scare many of us who live in this generally low-tax state. Seems someone up in Tallahassee wants to stir up the ashes of old burned-out ideas to restructure the way we pay taxes about every other year. Usually there is a great stir among the citizenry, and then good sense finally sets in and the Legislature votes a zillion to nothing to leave things pretty much as they are. And if someone even whispers "state income tax," they are usually invited by the voters not to take part in this season anymore.

+ Hurricane season: It is rumored that this season lasts about six months, but from the hubbub caused by the weather people in this area, most people could swear that it lasts 12 months, 24/7.

Shakespeare said it best. It mostly is much ado about nothing. But that never stops the hurricane industry from grinding out literature and showing menacing news crawls on our TV sets warning us that there just might be or could be or maybe might possibly be something really bad coming our way. Too bad, too, because hurricanes are mighty serious things. It's just that it seems it becomes more difficult each year during this season to separate the boy crying wolf from the real thing. Just remember during this Florida season folks: Weather people are bored by good weather.

Well, there you have it, folks. All of those people who say that our wonderful state is uniseasonal should put on their thinking caps again and recognize that we have even more than four seasons. As Sherlock would say, "It's elementary."

_ Douglas Spangler is a writer and former university administrator. He lives in Palm Harbor.