Miss me? Or perhaps you thought Town&Style decided it was time to leash Patty. Nope, I just took a few weeks off for health reasons and am now back to make you laugh each issue.

So, what have I been up to? Avoiding winter. Yes, my husband and I drove the 20 hours from St. Louis to the Florida Keys with two dogs in the car. Our marriage survived, as did both dogs. For those of you who ever drive that route, can someone tell me who designed the traffic flow in Atlanta so that no matter what time you arrive, you crawl through that major metropolis? Seriously, it is the most congested place in the country, and everyone who is trying to drive looks like they have smoke coming out of their ears from frustration like cartoon characters. Who knows, maybe we are in some bad Where’s Waldo? game and are never meant to find the end of the puzzle.

As you drive south, a change starts happening. I am not talking about the accents, but rather the number of gas stations that serve food. No, not just Hostess cupcakes but fried chicken, ribs, you name it. Stop and fuel your car and your stomach. I, however, am still too scared to try and eat any of the food. I think your system needs to build up a tolerance before you attempt such a feat. Let me know if you ever tried the food. I am always looking for a challenge, and this month, we are going to be heading home the same route.

Florida has been great and chilly nighttime temperatures have sent iguanas falling out of trees at least twice. It is quite a sight. You can spend your entire life without seeing it, but if you do, well, you laugh. It is also fun to watch the native Floridians get out their polar fleece and Uggs while I am still in my shorts. This year, I made myself promise that I would venture outside at least once a day and not spend an entire twelve hours watching the latest series on the 1,000 streaming services I signed up for. Finnish TV anyone? I really do need to trim back that list.

Hey, did you see that Back Talk has returned? After seven years of not giving needless advice, Raschelle Burton and I are ready to tackle all the tough issues in your life. Friendship problems? Etiquette questions? Or perhaps you are just looking for two snarky responses that will make you laugh. We are ready for you. I beg of you please send in your questions. If you do not, we will not have a column, and well, I will have one less writing gig. I need all the practice I can get so when I finally write my first ever book it will be award winning because my writing skills will be superior.

I have a big year planned for us. Actually, I don’t. I have no plans, but I am open to any suggestions you might have to tell stories about people and cool places in St. Louis. I read your suggestions and do my best to cover topics you find interesting and, more importantly, funny. Welcome to 2024 my peeps.