Sunday Soundtrack: “Southern Accent”

It’s not a requirement to love Tom Petty if you’re a Floridian. It’s baked in. We absorb it from the sunshine and from the feel of our bare feet in the sandy soil. He may have spent decades on the west coast, but his true self was proclaimed every time he published a song through Gone Gator Music. Sorry, California. He’s ours and always will be. We’re just a little...
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Sunday Soundtrack: Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season

As a Floridian, it’s practically my duty to be a faithful Parrothead. Thankfully, I’ve happily kept my fins up for decades. Today, Jimmy Buffett seemed super appropriate since all of us are stuck in the house waiting for Dorian to arrive. It won’t be pretty—it never is—but we have each other, hurricane snacks, and great music. At least until the power goes off. Stay safe,...
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A House Is Not a Home

In February of 1976, after several years of living in the Carolinas and a memorable year or so in the midwest (a foreign country to my Southern sensibilities), my family finally moved permanently to Florida. We left our house in Westerville, OH and drove through a sleet storm until we crossed the bridge across the Ohio River into Covington, KY. The sun broke through the clouds for just a moment,...
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Cast Iron Chronicles: Black Beans and Rice

This Florida girl really feels sorry for non-Floridians who have never eaten Cuban food. Ropa vieja, lechón asado with lots of garlic, boliche, empanadas, maduros, dulce de leche, and, of course, pressed Cuban sandwiches with a side of black beans and rice. Although South Florida is best known for its vibrant Cuban community, we have pockets here and there in Central Florida and some excellent...
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Swamp Thing

  After a weekend in Sunny San Diego, mimi can’t begin to say how happy she is to be back in her Central Florida swamp. The first time I ever flew west, I spent much of the time with my forehead pressed to the window, watching the landscape change from brilliant Southern green to hard-baked desert brown. Florida and California may have palm trees and beaches in common, but that’s where the...
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