Monday, November 9, 2009

November in Florida

Photo take by me in our front yard yesterday

While our Northern counterparts are getting their first snows (or maybe more than first) us sun bunnies are still melting in the heat. Coming into the second week of November, when people start preparing for the holidays that are synonymous with cold weather, some days we're still stuck in Summer. AC blowing, flip flops on, iced tea in hand. The winter beds in the garden are more like a second try for the year than bedded down bulbs. Honey bees are still buzzing even if the mosquitoes have slacked off their swarming. Snow birds are coming to roost.

I wasn't always a Southerner (and Florida's even further south than most consider "down south"). Nope, I was born in the sticks of New Hampshire. I vaguely recall non-flat land and snow drifts taller than a man (when you're five, that's really tall), crisp first days of school and wearing layers under Halloween costumes. Trees that boast colors other than grass green or dead brown and crunch beautifully under foot. When it's a high of eighty-three two weeks before Thanksgiving my bones ache for those blustery days.

In all honesty, I have absolutely no idea what snow is like for an adult. I've never had to shovel, plow or drive it. Heck, when it was too high I probably got carried so I didn't even have to walk it. I never have to think about preventing frost bite or stocking oil for the winter. Coats are used for more than a handful of weeks and boots, hats and scarves are survival tools not fashion accessories. I don't have to function under the bulk of gloved hands. Burst frozen pipes are almost an old wives tale; something that happened to someone else a friend of yours once knew. We have no snow tires or tire chains or need for remote starters. 

It's a little embarrassing to admit really. Waking up before the dawn, shivering and huddling under the blanket then getting up and the thermostat reads a balmy, (really not that cold) sixty-eight. Sometime during these few decades in the sultry heat of the south, I lost my natural ability to fight the cold. My body just doesn't like it anymore. Then again, it doesn't care for the blazing heat of the summer either, where if you're not getting burnt to a crisp in the sun, the mosquito swarms are eating you alive. When walking to your car leaves sweat marks on your clothes and opening the front door requires a good dousing of OFF. 

I'm not sure there's a place in the world where the weather is always that gorgeous spring day or that delicious autumn night. I suppose we have to take what we get and make the best of it. If it's not cold by turkey day, maybe we'll blast the AC and bundle up and pretend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I lived in Central Florida for a few years as a kid...moved there from Tucson, Arizona (in August, no less!). Now that was a shocker! I remember the skeeters and the humidity quite well. I spent most of my childhood in the Midwest --translation: four seasons. And my college years were spend in Southern California. I must say, as far as weather goes, you can't get much better than SoCal. Yes, it gets toasty in the summer, but it cools down at night (not so in the Midwest where it can still be in the 90s at 10pm)..."winter" is a bit wetter than the rest of the year, but certainly not cold, uless you go up to the mountains. (How cool to drive to the snow, go sledding, and then come back down to your spring-like backyard all in one day!) Still, I prefer the four seasons of the Midwest particularly since they come without smog and traffic. :-) If you get tired of the weather, just wait a few days and it'll do something new!