My favorite local band, the Copper Tones, released their first music video the other day. The song’s called “Home,” and the video shows the band and friends canoeing around mangroves, having cold beverages on docks and in general, being the Floridians they are.
The tune’s a kind of love song to the Florida that exists for locals; it also takes a dig or two at people who live here and can’t seem to do anything but complain about it. It might be my favorite song.
“Home”’s the title track on an album that’s on perpetual heavy rotation in my car. It makes me think of Fort Lauderdale, the place I’m from, a place that I try to be grateful for, although life gets busy and stopping to remember gratitude isn’t always easy.
Gratitude, like Publix egg nog, is something I always try to keep on hand this time of year. But some years, it hits a little differently.
This year, it hits a little differently.
This year I’ll take my daughter to see Miami City Ballet perform The Nutcracker at the Broward Center. I’ve always loved South Florida’s largest ballet company’s unique takes on the holiday classic. But until last year’s dark theater, I can’t say that I really appreciated it. Related to that is another place I’ve taken my daughter – a drug store on Federal. At just about the time this magazine is hitting newsstands, I’ll be taking her for her second dose of COVID vaccine. I took her for ice cream after the first one. I believe I will again after the second. She’ll be happy. I’ll be grateful.
I’ll also do all the usual things this year. Apparently I’ve made it as long as a parent possibly can without bestowing upon his child a games console of some sort, so I’ll be out pricing those. I’ll be sending season’s greetings to people I mean to see more and having seasonal after-work cocktails with people I mean to see more and dealing with a credit card bill I wish I could see less. I will comment, as I am required by law to do every time I am in there, on how much the Galleria has changed since I was a teenager.
The week after Christmas, I might head out to the hockey arena to see the Panthers play Toronto. You tend to get a lot of those blue shirts with the maple leaf on them at those games; as a local, I feel it’s my civic duty to head out there in my Panthers red. And reader, I’ll be grateful to do it.
I try to make that the theme every December; this year, I don’t think it will be hard. The little things will, I reckon, feel bigger. I’ll pour a little adult accompaniment into my Publix egg nog. I’ll attempt and fail to understand how a game works on my daughter’s new console. I’ll put on the Copper Tones and I’ll have a drink.
I’m home. And I’m grateful.