The Snowbirds: An American Phenomenon

Global warming may be an acknowledged phenomenon but it has yet to pierce the frozen shield of a northern U.S. winter.  As this is written, it is early morning and 5 degrees outside — thank heaven for central heating.  The temperature, by the way, is Fahrenheit and equal to minus 15 Celsius.

So who wants to live in the freeze!  Cars complain as humans do.  Doors and wipers freeze if one has not prepared them.  Engines groan and car batteries refuse to cooperate.  Again preparation is the key.

It is no wonder that a new species of humans has evolved — the snowbird.  Many retired Americans refuse to be tied down to a place of abode.  Some might move to sunnier climes like Arizona or Florida.  Others buy motorhomes and travel with the weather.  That means winters in the South and summers in the North when southern heat becomes unpleasant.  Although one should add, the weather lately has not been entirely predictable.

None of it matters to the snowbirds.  They just drive off to another location in the direction of favorable climes.  Yet man being a creature of habit, it does not take long for favorite camping grounds to evolve.  Soon our snowbirds have made friends with others of similar likes and it becomes a home away from home — generally more than one, for summer, winter and bad weather in between.

On the road, one can feel an occasional tinge of envy, as when the driver is being handed a cup of fresh coffee by his better half as he ambles leisurely along in the slow lane — a sight of domestic tranquility at 55 mph.  Cup holders, thank God, are of course a standard feature in motor vehicles these days.

So, it is not impossible to imagine Joe Biden at the wheel and Jill bringing him that cup of coffee.  Our government seems to run itself and Congress supplies the funding.  There might be a trail of Secret Service cars but what difference does that make.  Any papers to sign can be delivered to the camp ground ahead of his arrival.

Joe will be happier; Jill will be happier, and, more so, Kamala Harris will be the happiest of all.  She would love to have Washington to herself representing the president.  Best of all, foreign leaders would love it.  Nothing like meeting the president by a campfire, grilling steaks together.  Putin will naturally do his thing … take his shirt off and display his well tended and muscular torso.  No fear of war when we are chatting by a campfire possibly reliving our youth … and Ukraine would be soon forgotten — except by the EU and the Ukrainians.

Life will go on, as they say, but at a more congenial pace — thanks to the snowbirds.

Dr. Arshad M. Khan
Dr. Arshad M. Khan
Dr. Arshad M. Khan is a former Professor based in the US. Educated at King's College London, OSU and The University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research. Thus he headed the analysis of an innovation survey of Norway, and his work on SMEs published in major journals has been widely cited. He has for several decades also written for the press: These articles and occasional comments have appeared in print media such as The Dallas Morning News, Dawn (Pakistan), The Fort Worth Star Telegram, The Monitor, The Wall Street Journal and others. On the internet, he has written for, Asia Times, Common Dreams, Counterpunch, Countercurrents, Dissident Voice, Eurasia Review and Modern Diplomacy among many. His work has been quoted in the U.S. Congress and published in its Congressional Record.