January 25th, 2022
Winter has arrived here in Florida. Do you know how we are certain of that fact? It has nothing to do with the calendar. I was wearing shorts last week and all of the windows in the house were open with fans running. It also has nothing to do with the number of tourists in town right now. Well okay it is true that we have more tourists in our "winter" than other seasons BUT we do have tourists year 'round. So the mere existence of tourists in and of itself is not the answer either. It's not even that I was given to understand that yesterday in the town of Brooksville Florida which is roughly two and a half hours north of us, snow flurries were reported. Come on, this is Florida we are talking about. Weird stuff happens here all the time!
The way we know that it's winter here in Florida, right now, is that yesterday Tim closed the windows and used his phone to switch the thermostat, which 'til now has been firmly set to AC, over to heat. Yup that's the real true indicator of winter here. It doesn't happen very often let me tell ya!
When we got up yesterday the thermostat said it was 41 degrees but the weather guys said that the "feels like" was only 36. 36 degrees is brisk. And on tile floors it's downright cold. We slept with the windows open as we always do when it's no longer summer. And we slept pretty well with that chilly air around us snuggied down into our nice warm nest. So throwing back the covers and emerging into that ice cold air was a surprise. Instant Awake! Hah!
My hot shower was especially welcome and I dressed in layers with one of my few leftover Colorado sweaters as the top layer along with long pants, warm socks and closed toed shoes. Even once the house warmed up from the introduction of HEAT I was still uncomfortably cool.
Tim of course was still wearing shorts and a polo shirt but when we did the noonwalk, we did bring along a lightweight sweatjacket, just in case. I was chilly and I know that sounds silly coming from a person who lives in Florida but doggone it, cold is cold! At least I wasn't bundled up like other folks were. Some people's internal thermostats are so well adapted to Florida summers that they just cannot get warm on a cooler day. We see them everywhere here on a non-hot day with their coats and hats, wearing gloves and scarves. I call them the puffy coat people. You know the coats I mean right?
Every time we are out and about on a day that's really nice, which means any day where we turn our air conditioning off and open our windows, we begin to count the puffy coat people. That doesn't necessarily mean that the thermometer is reading in the 30's or 40's. It could be 60 degrees out! That's when the puffy coats start to emerge.
And this is not a judgement, it's merely an observation. If you are cold, you are cold. I'm with you. I hate being cold. So yes I absolutely salute you, puffy coat people. But I'm also going to count you. Especially at the beach. Puffy coats the beach crack me up. I don't know why really. I guess it feels kind of anachronistic? It just seems so wrong .......
But I get it. If you came here on vacation from somewhere cold you were probably anticipating some really warm weather and a lot of beach time. That's why people vacation here. And if it's too chilly for a bathing suit, well, dress accordingly and still for heaven's sakes, get out there and enjoy the beach! It's what I would do. Heck I have done it, come to think of it!! Well I don't actually own a puffy coat, but you get what I mean.
Today it's better. It's not even 9 o'clock yet and already the temp is up to the mid-50's, but it's cloudy and grey, rain is anticipated so I don't think it'll get too warm. At least not today. The rest of the week however, the mercury will gradually crawl back back up into the very comfy zone. Windows will be open and the heat will be off.
At least until this coming Saturday when we the temps are supposed to dive once again into seriously cold levels. And then it will warm up again. That's how it works here. Like a very strange yoyo. Winter isn't really a season, it's a day here and a day there. Not a big deal, just a little reminder nip now and again of what it's like to live in other parts of the country in weather that is not summer.
And honestly, that's also why we didn't get rid of ALL of our sweaters and jackets. And it's soo tempting every August when the AC blasts 24/7 and just stepping outside in as few layers of clothing as is possible without being arrested still doesn't keep you from instantly breaking into a sweat. It's hard to remember, in September when the temperature is still in the 90's and the humidity matches it, that it's not forever. And that one day soon I will be complaining instead that I'm uncomfortably cool, that I will want Lots of layers of long sleeved, fuzzy, cozy clothing instead of cottons and linens that are so thin they are nearly transparent. Hard to recall wearing thick socks and shoes that lace up on purpose while sandals feel too constrictive.
But it happens. And it happens every year like I said, chilly days hop scotching across the calendar, sneaking in between two much warmer days or following a string of gloriously perfect days, just to keep us on our toes. Explains why Joy and I haven't seen very many birds on our hikes lately. They are snuggied down in their nests staying warm. Smart birds! Though you will never see one of them in a puffy coat.
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Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.