And It’s Still Alright

Nathaniel Rateliff

Two weeks along, I find myself unable to let go of Valentine’s Day.

Unable to let go of things I love.

Or maybe I’m just more appreciative than usual.

I’m writing this sitting in my backyard in Delray Lakes gazing out over a lake listening to Nathaniel Rateliff sing “And it’s Still Alright” and watching egrets wade into the canal on a beautiful winter day. Florida in February, when it’s right and today is right, can’t be beat.

The song is sad yet hopeful. It’s about the artist burying a friend and losing his wife. Heavy stuff. But it’s still alright. There’s hope in the darkness, there’s a path back from the sadness.

We have it pretty good here in Florida. We have it pretty good here in Delray Beach.

During the hustle and bustle of the week, I can sometimes lose sight of how good.

I sometimes forget to slow down long enough to absorb the sights and the sounds of life in what most people would describe as paradise.
But not this year. This year I am going to appreciate the little things.

A text from a good friend who says she is thinking of me and my family.

A call from a cousin I haven’t spoken to in awhile.

Watching my two dogs sleep and my birds sing (in between making a huge mess).

I scroll through social media and it’s an odd cross between a highlight reel and a hate rally.
People posting pictures of their weekend trips and outings and the usual suspects ranting on the political pages.
Today, I’m turning them both off.

I’m resolved to write more, to read good books, to listen to more great music.
I’m set on more drives on A1A, more trips to parks, more long walks with the love of my life and more time with family and friends.
More meaning. More good times.
Lord willing….it will still be alright.


Florida Most Stressed Out State? Really?!!!

Photo courtesy of Delray Historical Society.

Photo courtesy of Delray Historical Society.

It’ s official, Florida is the most stressed out state in America, according to a new study by the website Movoto.

Who is Movoto? We’re not really sure, but they do studies.

Florida came in at No. 1 on its top 10 list of the most stressed out states. The study was based on a set of six criteria that stress people out. Here are the factors:

• Percentage of population with a long commute (over 20 minutes)–they should talk to people in Chicagoland, LA, Northern Virginia, NY, etc. etc. 20 minutes would be a fantasy for them.

• Unemployment

• Hours worked

• Population density

• Percentage of income spent on housing

• Percentage of population without health insurance

The higher any of these was, the more stressful the people of the state are.

Movoto’s data is from the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey for 2008-2012.

The site, known for doing offbeat studies about places where people live, noted that Florida ranked as the third worst state when it came to both the percentage of the population without health insurance (25.8 percent) and unemployment rate (11.3 percent).

Here are the Top 10 most stressed out states:

1. Florida

2. Georgia

3. New Jersey

4. California

5. Nevada

6. Illinois

7. New York

8. Maryland

9. North Carolina

10. Arizona

And the least stressed? That would be North Dakota.

While we adore North Dakota, where would you rather live, the Sunshine State or North Dakota?

Sure, we don’t dispute that Florida has its share of stressors, but we cope by focusing on the positive. Such as:

  • Magnificent weather, especially the winter months.
  • Lots of things to do, year-round.
  • Palm trees
  • An ocean warm enough to swim in
  • No state income tax
  • A1A
  • Great college football teams
  • The Heat, yes The Heat, despite last night’s disappointment.

We can go on and on, but you get the drift. Movoto we urge you to take another look. Try coming back in February when the temps are below zero in North Dakota and see how stressed we are.