South Florida readers, don’t hate me for this, but I have to enlighten you on one thing, and it is not about clothing styles, because I am kind of loving the freedom to wear whatever I please down here. No, I want to counsel you, instead, on this whole “I would love to live where there is a change of seasons” obsession. Please, you’re killing me.
Let us consider what you wish for, based on what everyone–those I work with, hand my dry cleaning to, live next door to, order coffee from, serve at at lunch, and watch on the local TV news–talks about ad nauseam (on Channel 10, Wednesday morning, the anchor gushed over a shot of fall color that was simply background to another story):
–Wanting a change in temperature, “So I can wear my sweaters.” Frankly, I have seen people wearing wool suits and boots and yes, the coveted sweater, since Sept. 5, when, I believe, it was 95 degrees. I know the AC is set to tundra in most places, but it’s still hot outside! Aw heck, wear the sweaters. You almost need one, inside–it’s cold in my restaurant!
–Yearning for a change in seasons, “So I can see the leaves change color and fall.” Leaves are fun to see from a distance, say, on a beautiful rolling hill. Maybe even on a tree lined street. Mostly, however, northerners see these leaves on their lawn, sodden with rain, which makes them impossible to rake up and bag, and the leaf collection is posted on the utility pole for tomorrow.
–Craving a raging snowstorm, “So I can curl up next to a cozy fire in the fireplace.” Dirty little secret about fireplaces up north, at least in D.C. We rarely use them, and when we do, it’s because we retrofitted them with gas logs and an on-off switch. We THINK we will use them all the time, but that means having to buy firewood from questionable characters who drive around in beat-up pick-ups and pound on your door to see if you’ll buy theirs and you are too scared not to, having to scoop up ashes if you are talented enough to get even a tiny fire going well enough not to burn out in 5 minutes, and then having to trudge outside again and again to get more firewood–when it’s so cold and wet from the raging snowstorm!
–Craving a raging snowstorm, “So I can at least see snow!” Right. It’s fun, for an hour. Then it means shoveling, and more shoveling, and then ice pack forming as melting snow refreezes into mounds of immovable glaciers that block street parking for weeks on end.
–Wishing for a discernible change in temperature, “Just because, I’ve never experienced that.” Really? Here’s what I have experienced, right here in South Florida in the past two weeks–a very obvious drop in temperature by about 10 degrees during the day and 15 degrees at night, and a cause-for-a-good-hair-day-dance drop in humidity of which I am still in awe. No one told me this would be the case. I figured it was 90 degrees and 90 percent forever. And I was okay with that because D.C. was built on a swamp, and brutal H&H goes with the summer territory.
But this, my new South Florida friends, this is sultry air gone good. This is a balance of hot and warm that is comfortable enough for jeans and even that sweater (a cotton one!). This is the weather I always knew I wanted to be MY change of seasons, my winter reality. This is the stuff that weather dreams are made of, and they tell me this is a dream come true for the next five months or so.
Okay, we had a few pesky water spouts today, but you still couldn’t pay me enough to pack it up and u-turn it north, at least during a rainy and chilly November, a frigid December, a bone-chilling cold January, an icy February, and a long-as-hell, still-cold March. Nope, this is all the change I need, and it is, indeed, perfect.