Some clusters of civilizations are the pulse of a territory where others converge with starry eyed aspirations. Other composites provide lush amenities available to the upper echelons of society. Lastly, there are Holiday or Resort Towns, where groups of visitors flock in for the prime seasonal climate. The populations can triple overnight, inflating the town’s economy for a short duration, only to leave in a puff of smoke of more palatable temperatures. Each region has monikers for these migrating inhabitants who visit or live in the area seasonally. For the Southwest, the polite term is “Winter Visitors.” The vernacular dubs them as “Snow Birds.”
Anyone who resides full time in such a place, knows exactly what I speak of. The influx of traffic, accidents, activities, and prices all soar when the Northerners come to town. Do not, misunderstand me, the year-around residents appreciate their business and the Northerners are awful nice. Many travel from Alaska, Canada, Washington, and Oregon (my grandparents were Snow Birds, who decided to stay). Quite a few people from Ohio and Iowa also make it to our door.
My sadness does not steam from their visits, but from their departure really. Once the summer months turn the Southwest temperature into various levels hell, the Birds depart and the town shuts down. Truly. It appears, 90% of offered activities decline, stores have very limited opening hours, services drop (although prices also drop) . . . it makes me feel for the residents who live here continuously. The whole community is centered on the visitors that it sometimes seems it neglects its own. Thusly, I find it imperative to offer businesses, resources, and services to the local residents so they do not feel abandoned and give them an incentive to stay and feel proud. Maybe one day, I will not feel so conflicted about the Snow Birds . . . or maybe I never will . . .