We live in a beautiful part of the world here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
For those of us who are cold-natured, the weather is perfect two-thirds of the year. While I complain about cold days in winter, the weather soon warms up and gets rainy. Indeed, there are many days from October through February which require the air conditioner be turned on.
There is beautiful vegetation everywhere we look. The combination of heat, rain and a long growing season gives us a variety of gorgeous trees with lush undergrowth. Flowering plants such as azaleas, camellias and gardenias surround us. Every small town has a farmer’s market with fresh vegetables.
There is a down side to living here, however. Keesler Air Force Base and the Naval Construction Battalion Base (SeaBees) bring us wonderful Americans from all over the country. These folks give our entire area a cosmopolitan feel. As they bring their pets to us, or adopt pets from our shelters, we get to know them and learn about other parts of the country we’ve only visited.
Every two to six years the military decides their presence is needed somewhere else, or they retire, or just separate from the military when the first “hitch” is finished.
We get attached to them, their children, their dogs and their cats, then they’re gone.
Such is the case with Neena. She and her family are moving so that Dad can further his Navy career. These wonderful, interesting, devoted pet lovers will leave and others will take their place.
These departures don’t always have sad endings. Sometimes the Navy or Air Force sends families back here and we have a joyous reunion. After 30 years in practice it’s sometimes the children in these families who come back as adults to participate in the reunion.
As Jimmy Stewart said, “It’s a wonderful life.”
We are blessed to get to live it on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.