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Florida Snowflakes?

bigstock-Surfing-Santa-2283863How many Christmas movies end with the miracle of snow? I mean, according to the Hallmark Movie Channel, Christmas isn’t officially Christmas until you see the snowflakes falling in the landscape lit by the full moon.

Growing up in Florida, I felt cheated of the miracle of Christmas snow. In fact, I’m past the half-century mark, and I’ve never seen snow on the ground. I saw flurries twice, but in both instances, my husband packed us up and got out of Dodge.

Still, it would be nice to look out a window one Christmas in Florida and to see snow falling. We did come close one year. The day was December 22, 1989. The temps dropped to fourteen degrees.

Why do I remember the exact date? That date is my anniversary. My husband and I eloped to Kingsland, Georgia, where you can fill out a marriage application and get married on the same day, which we did. However, on our way home to Central Florida, cars began to pass us with snow on them.

For those who don’t believe that is a miracle, let me explain. In Florida, you can count on one hand the times that it was cold enough for snow to remain on anything, let alone a car with a hot engine.  We nearly had highway pileups because of the shock to Florida motorists. You must understand that in Florida when the temperatures get down into the forties, it is a major news item. When they dip to freezing, it’s a natural disaster. Really. They almost call out the National Guard.  Why? True Floridians are never prepared for winter. We seldom see one.

On December 22, 1989, winter arrived. It near rivaled the winter in the early 1900s when it is said that the good folk of our hometown swore that the temperatures dropped so low, the sounds of orange trees on nearby Merritt Island, their branches freezing in the cold, resounded with pops and cracks throughout the city.

As we drove home from Kingsland, officials were closing bridges in Jacksonville because of the ice. We squeaked by and made it out of Dodge to arrive home safely where we spent the Holiday in a house whose heater stopped working when the temps dropped below forty degrees. We later learned that the thermal strip was put on upside down. A cruel joke for that one in a hundred chance that the temps will fall that low.

Ice formed on trees. I believe we had ice hanging from the rafters. We stayed huddled in doors. For the first time in my life, I layered my clothing and topped it with a ton of blankets.

And as I recall, by Christmas we had a tropical heat wave.

So much for the miracle of snowflakes.

A Ruby Christmas FRONT COVERA Ruby Christmas

Ruby Joy Buckner, cowgirl, has never left the Lone Star State, but at her father’s request, she takes her faithful canine companion and travels the world in search of Nativity pieces. As Ruby collects the pieces, she also collects a few unexpected surprises, including an awareness of the beauty in other cultures, and quite a menagerie of new friends, thanks in part to Yippee Ti Yi Yo who charms everyone they meet.

Ruby’s budding awareness of life outside Texas opens her eyes to a world of whimsy, and the Nativity pieces she collects are unusual. Will her father approve her eclectic collection … and the changes that travel brought to Ruby’s life?

My chapter of A Ruby Christmas  is posted on the Write Integrity Press blog today. I hope you’ll stop by and meet Jonathan Swain. We hope you’ll also take part in our Altered Photo Contest. See the details below.

Last year’s Write Integrity Press novella: The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt is also available on Kindle.

Surfer altered (2) Check out the unaltered photos posted each day on the Write Integrity Press blog and then visit that day’s author’s website (Today all you need to do is glance to the left) for a look at the altered photo. Keep a list because on December 13, we’ll ask you to send in your list. Those with the most correct answers will be eligible for a drawing. The prize? A bundle of all of our books in PRINT and DIGITAL (for giving and/or keeping) formats. The winner will be announced Tuesday, December 17, but rest assured, the books will be shipped in time for Christmas. (Continental U.S. Residents only for print books. If an international winner is chosen, they may receive two sets of digital books for gift giving).

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