Welcome, readers, to 2024, and welcome back to my still-new column here at Port St. Lucie Magazine. As some readers may hopefully remember from the Fall 2023 issue, I moved here in mid-June with my partner and our delightful dog, Bailey. In the months since, we’ve happily gotten acquainted with the people and the places around the Treasure Coast. Of course, as a resident of Port St. Lucie, I’ve been especially keen to learn first and foremost about my new home city.
After moving up from Broward County, little did we know how perfectly the timing would coincide with the onset of the winter holidays. Yet, that’s exactly how it panned out, because, after six months, I had become familiar enough with PSL to focus on the season — and family and friends. No longer a total newbie, I still regularly go on outings to familiarize myself with the area. Recently, I visited neighborhoods decorated for the holidays and, I must say, the original city planners broke PSL up into a lot of neighborhoods. I’ve really enjoyed learning about them all, and checking out some pretty kitschy and fabulous decorations. I mean, where else can one see a flamingo with a Santa hat? People down South know how to celebrate the holidays even when temperatures belie the season.
There have been many holiday events in PSL and around the Treasure Coast hosted by our municipalities, civic organizations, nonprofits, even by private businesses and individual citizens. The holidays tend to bring out the best in people and generosity abounds. If only those tendencies could be sustained, this world might become a little bit kinder.
I’ve found Port St. Lucie to be extremely community minded year-round — a feeling that is only amplified by holiday-time sentimentality. That escalation has made my heart swell and my soul sing. Again, I hope it can endure into 2024 and beyond.
During my explorations, I’ve done more than find my bearings. I’ve met loads of likable locals as I’ve pursued my perpetual goal of patronizing as many shops and restaurants, peppered throughout this pretty place, as possible. Let’s not mention this small detail to my boyfriend — although I’m sure my middle sis would be proud.
I do have one “complaint” to register. Though complaint is a rather harsh word, I’m at a loss for a better one. The problem is that, while I’m a native Floridian, I am also a recent transplant from New York. After 28 years living in the Hudson Valley, this was one of the first holidays in many, many years that I awoke with my Menorah aflame and my Christmas tree aglow — yes, I celebrate both holidays — but with no fluffy white stuff that had fallen the night before to cover the ground and provide the essentials for a nice, rotund snowman. I had even bought some fresh carrots for a nose and brought out some old buttons for eyes, though I couldn’t get hold of any charcoal. That was how wistful I was to build my snowman.
Yes, snow is the one thing I’ve found to be sorely lacking in Port St. Lucie and the Sunshine State. Now, I’m not faulting anyone. Certainly, it’s not the fault of PSL, its residents, its lawmakers, the powers that be or even the local meteorologists who I am willing to bet face a deluge of complaints when the weather turns south — or doesn’t — depending on one’s outlook. That must be difficult; those constantly chipper weathercasters always seem to take it on the chin when we’re dissatisfied, poor things. Despite the lack of snowfall, my first holiday season in PSL was wonderful. This season can be a time of stress for many of us, which made me even more appreciative to be with loved ones here in our new hometown — together, focusing on what counts.
I hope those reading this, likewise, had a joyous and memorable holiday season, whatever holiday they celebrated. Best wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy and safe 2024, filled with love and good tidings — and, of course, many more issues of Port St. Lucie Magazine.
Have suggestions for where I should explore next? Email me and I’ll do my best to stop by during my travels.
Jan. 7, 2024