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Cathedral of Palms

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Before the arrival of central air conditioning, folks tended to be more connected with the outside. For most of the year the jalousie windows that wrapped around our house in St. Petersburg were left open to let in the light and air, but keep out the blazing summer sun and the rains that passed through nearly every afternoon. Inside the fans whirred on high speed and outside we sucked on popsicles and played in the garden hose. The corner stores had wide open air fronts as did all the fruit and vegetable stands. Often the inside and outside simply merged together.

Just outside my bedroom window towering ominously was a gigantic sabal palmetto. Lying in my bed at night I could hear the large fronds as they rustled soothingly with the breezes that blew in from the bay. But I knew a horrible truth about that dreaded palm. It provided a haven for the common palmetto bug and my mother cursed that tree often. Now a Florida roach is horrid enough, but one that could up and fly directly at you when it was disturbed scared the living daylights out of me. So I avoided going near the tree when I played outside and tried to steer clear of the dark, damp places I knew the huge brown bugs liked to hide. The day my mother had the palm cut down, I rejoiced the fall of that horrible palmetto bug kingdom in the sky.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 21 March 2010 18:58 ) Read more...
 
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