Florida Lessons

Here are a few things I learned at the 25th annual Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Society Conference:  The farther north you go in Florida the more southern you are. The proper way to introduce my mother-in-law, Grandma Joanne, who winters here in Ocala, is "My husband's mother." (A sharp-eyed tiny white-haired lady told me this. She said, "Mother-in-law is such a hard word dear, always, always say, 'my husband's mother', it is much softer, don't you agree?") I also learned that Florida has 19 million people but you can still be eaten by a dinosaur (that would alligator) if you fall into a pond on the golf course, which comforts old-time Floridians, and that Majorie typed like I do, almost, with just two fingers, except she used two fingers on each hand, rather than two total. If I learn how to do that maybe I'll win a Pulitzer Prize? Or at least double my output? If you have not read any of Marjorie Rawlings' books lately, or are unfamiliar with her, read her essay collection Cross Creek first. You can go on to The Yearling, South Moon Under, and Golden Apples  after that. (Also, on a technical note, I'm not sure I'll be back here until after I return to Haines on Friday, as old-time Floridians prefer real paper letters posted in the mail to this style, and wi-fi is hard to find in these parts, as are ebooks. Heck, a paperback seems rare. There is much to love about this place.)



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