Signs of the Times (of life)

Signs – they tell us where we are and where we are going. They can also give us clues about the make-up of an area. For example…if you are in a farming community it is common to see billboards for crop services or tractor supplies, stores that sell Carhartt work clothes or John Deere tractors and farm equipment moving down the highways.

In a college town you might see signs for nightclubs, youth clothing, coffee houses and thrift stores. In a factory town you may see bars open at 7:00am or fast food restaurants located near places of work along with other support businesses.

So what signs would you see in a winter snowbird destination town like Gulf Shores, Alabama? Apparently the town size doubles in population during the winter when over 10,000 snowbirds come to visit. Most of them are in their retirement time of life so the average is the mid-sixties…and up.

Signs that remind us we are in Gulf Shores with an older population are not always the billboard variety.

One sign is the unusual number of ambulance and emergency service vehicles we hear. Virtually every time we are out we see at least one ambulance blasting through the intersection on its way to help someone.

Another sign is the result of a large number of fender-benders. Walk through a shopping center parking lot and you see your share of Buick’s,  Lexus and various SUV’s with a scraped fender or dented side panel.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign.