That’s Fall in Florida

I realized this week that the last time I wrote an actual update about our family was July of 2019. Yeesh. Here we go.

Since nearly a year and a half is too much for one post, I’ll just tell you about what we did last month.

Let me back up first to give some context.. 

When Emily and I collided with that big old semi truck almost eight years ago, we were on our way to North Carolina, where we were going to spend a few days with my folks before heading down to Disney World in Florida. Obviously that trip didn’t work out the way we’d planned, but God’s timing is always perfect.

In the space of time between when we tried to go on December 26th, 2012 and when we actually went on October 19th, 2020, a lot of things changed the way that trip would look. Since that first attempt, the Bargeron family has added four extra tickets (our two kids, my sister Meili who was adopted shortly after Nyra was born, and my brother’s wife of two years). Outside the extra tickets, there was everything associated with my injury (which, on the plus side, allowed us to skip to the front of every line), and some sort of virus you may or may not have heard about that required us all to wear masks…

It was a fantastic trip, the first time at Disney for my wife, kids and sister Meili. We packed in the rides, junk food and souvenirs. 

Now before we went to Disney World, we spent a relaxing four days at the beach in Saint Augustine, where we enjoyed as much time as we could with my beautiful southern belle of a grandma. She and Jackson had yet to meet, and the other three of us hadn’t seen her in four years. This time together was long overdue and we enjoyed the fire out of her. 

Nyra’s highest desire on our trip to Florida was not to see Mickey, meet Elsa or even to swim in the ocean. No, my daughter’s singular goal for all her time in the Sunshine State was to catch a lizard. That’s right. If you were raised in the South like I was, you know lizards down there are about as common as squirrels anywhere else. But my adventurous and ever-curious girl had her heart set on capturing one and claiming it for Michigan. She did catch one eventually (her uncle may have helped a little), so she came home a victor. 

Jackson for his part was the constant entertainer, just like he is every day here at home. He learned (or at least practiced) a few words down there, and they’ve been a regular part of his vocabulary ever since: “Mickey”, “boat” and “train” (or, as he says, “traint”).

Coming back to snow from 80° weather was a little bit of a rude awakening, but I think there’s a reason Michiganders don’t generally move to Florida for good. One evening in Orlando my dad and I were sitting together watching my siblings play with my kids, when he looked over at me.

“Feel that breeze, son?”


“That’s Fall in Florida.”

My father should know, he was raised in northern Florida. Born in the swamp, as he (half) jokes. As much as I enjoy being below the Mason-Dixon line, this is an especially good time of year to be in the Midwest. It’s been snowing off and on as we’ve been putting the Christmas decorations up this week (shh, don’t tell my mom we started decorating before Thanksgiving).

Thanksgiving and Christmas this year will look a lot different for countless people in the midst of this pandemic. Many won’t be able to visit loved ones or celebrate certain family traditions. And just like every difficult situation, these big holidays seem to exacerbate what we can’t have or do. I’m certainly more conscious of my own disability when I have to watch my wife carve our turkey or ask my little girl to help me open a gift.

But while I won’t pretend to understand or compare my difficulty to yours, I will rest in the fact that God has been in control of this moment since before time began. For that, I am grateful. May we all look to Him in the easy and the hard.

Happy Thanksgiving!