Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Do you remember that commercial--I think it was for hair coloring or something--where the model looks at the camera and says, "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful." Yeah, that always annoyed me too. While you don't need to worry about getting a line like that from me (unless there's a big laugh attached to it) I guess I could use my own variation of that line.

Don't hate me because I live in Florida.

Through November and December, our weather is mostly clear, sunny and in the seventies. Most Floridians say "This is why I live in Florida" when discussing the weather this time of year. Some friends of mine (waving at everyone in Alabama) are in the South, but they're still further north than I am. They're dealing with cold weather and snow and sleet. I was raised in the Midwest. Snow this time of year seems normal to me. We lived one year in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. By December 1st of that year, we'd already had a record 107" of snow.

We don't get snow in Florida. We don't get freeze warnings in Florida, usually. But last night it did dip down into the upper 30's overnight. Even that wouldn't be such a big deal, but we didn't have the furnace on. I think we ran it twice last year. This year, so far, we've just thrown extra blankets on the bed and probably slept better for the cooler weather. It still warms up around seventy during the day. This morning when I got up, it was quite chilly inside the house. So I finally turned on the furnace. I'm writing this while inhaling that wonderfully burnt smell that you get the first time the furnace runs in the winter.

It's funny to watch people that have lived down here for a while. Anyplace else that I've lived in the States, sweaters don't come out when the temperatures are in the seventies. But they do here. Some heavy jackets come out when we hit the upper fifties or lower sixties. This year, I wore a sweater when the temperature was in the low seventies. I think I'm getting conditioned to the more tropical weather. I'm cold this morning--I even put on socks. But I also know that I'll be able to run around later in the day without a jacket or coat. I used to think that was horrible. I loved the cold weather. Now I love cool weather. Cold weather bites and stings you. Cool weather is pleasant. I like not having to bundle up in scarves and hats and mittens. In fact, some people here just throw on a scarf with their sweater.

So don't hate me because I live in Florida. Just think about next summer. You might be enjoying warm weather, while we'll be sweltering down here. The humidity will make it feel like it's raining--even inside your clothes. We pay for all this pleasantness now. We pay for it next summer. But for those of you in cooler climates, remember this: you can always layer on more clothing, blankets, coats, scarves, etc. In the summer in Florida, there's only so much you can take off!

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