Today it is about 70 degrees, and I can feel a little nip in the air because a cold front is coming. While the grass does not grow as fast as it usually does (which my husband is very thankful for), the foliage is still green. It is February in Florida, and it is a beautiful day, a day that epitomizes why I have chosen to live in this state.
I was four years old when my parents relocated to Florida because my father got his dream job as a NASA engineer. That was over 40 years ago. I can’t say that I have traveled widely; I have been around a good portion of the US (especially out West), taken a dip into Canada and Mexico, briefly visited the Bahamas, and spent a week in Jamaica. Except for a Christmas spent in Colorado when I was about 12 and a November 4-H trip to Chicago when I was 14, most of my travels have been during the summer when the weather was warm. So my northern cold weather experience is limited, but the little that I did experience was enough to determine that it was not for me.
I remember one afternoon during the 4-H Chicago trip. I was in the infirmary. I don’t know exactly what was wrong with me other than I had a headache that would not go away, and when I went up to the infirmary to ask for an aspirin, the nurse insisted on taking my temperature and would not let me leave after that. I was stuck in there for a few days. This was about half way into our weak-long trip, so I had already been outside a fair amount as we were ushered from one place to the other. I was shocked at the horribly cold winds and the dead trees everywhere. It seemed the like gloomiest city in the world to me.
On this afternoon, it had started to snow, so the Florida 4-H group was out running around like crazy kids in the snow, as most had never seen it before. I watched them from an upper floor in the infirmary, and my 4-H leader, Mrs. B, had stopped by to check on me. As we both watched them, I asked her, “Why do people live here?” She was originally from the area, so it seemed like she should know. She replied, “Because they don’t know any better.”
This memory emerged today as I was walking around outside. I often post on Facebook about the great weather, and it is taken by some of my FB friends as an “in your face it’s better here than there” comment. However, it really isn’t meant that way (at least most of the time In fact, one FB peep posted recently how much she loved the snow and did not want someone from the South commenting back to her about how warm it was where he/she was. She hated hot weather, so there!
It is funny how passionate we can feel about where we chose to live.