Well, I’ve been in South Florida for a week, and I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed my time here. I can also say with complete honesty that I’m looking forward to returning home. However, given the nature of my return journey, I can also say that there may be some “complications.”
Even though it’s October, it’s been over 90 almost every day that I’ve been here. I’ve been working outside, doing some yard work that my aunt and uncle needed done, so I’ve had a chance to fully experience the sub-tropical heat. Most days I feel like Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbes) on the day that was so hot he evaporated. One of the great things about where I’ve been, however, is that I’m never more than 75 feet from a pool. Anytime I feel like I’m about to dissolve into steam, I can run and jump into six feet of cold, clear water and cool off.
I’m going from warm, sunny, sub-tropical, Southern Florida to North Carolina. In October. I know, it’s not truly cold there yet (I’ve been in Carolina since I was transplanted 16 years ago), but it’s going to feel like I’m constantly freezing after being in 90 degree weather every day.
Now before I go any further, I need to clarify something. I love brisk weather. When the days and nights start cooling off and it’s time to break out the light jackets, I am one of the first and most excited about it. However, going from Florida to North Carolina is not something I’ve done before at this time of year, and I’m sure I’ll be slightly less than enthused about it. I’ll probably end up like one of those people who can’t believe that anyone else can feel anything other than hatred for cold (okay, cool) weather.
I’m sure my friends will look at me as though I’ve lost my marbles when I stride into the coffee shop wearing my leather jacket and blowing on my hands as I holler out, “Large cup of coffee with an extra shot of espresso…quick!” They’ll shake their heads sagely over their lattes and murmur to one another in demure tones, “There goes another Floridian.” Snickers. “Pro’bly ha’n’t seen snow ever. In his life.” More snickers. I grab my tall coffee and bolt to my car, slam the door, crank up the heat full. Full-blown laughter at the tables.
Eventually, someone will get up the courage to confront me, most likely on a cold night after midweek prayer meeting when the antifreeze has frozen in my radiator. I’ll be under my Beetle with a butane torch, trying to thaw the blasted thing out, and he’ll be there in his shirtsleeves, preaching how I need to get back on the cold weather bandwagon.
“Open your eyes, man,” he’ll hold forth, “it’s only October, and it’s going to get colder before long. November’s coming!” He pauses for an answer, but the only sound is the arctic wind howling and the hiss of the torch. I’m concentrating hard, because the ice is finally starting to melt, and the drip is hitting me right below the chin, adding to my joy. “You should take a trip up to upstate New York this time-a year,” my friend continues as the arctic blast threatens to divest him of his T-shirt. At this juncture, the drip hits me in the eye, overwhelming the last vestige of my patience, and I leap to my feet and chase my friend across the lawn, yelling like a maniac and waving the still-burning torch.
Yes, I know that it’s not really all that bad in North Carolina in October. Still, going straight there from a week of 90+ degree weather, I’ll feel much differently about it this time around. Still, it will be wonderful to get home to the great state of North Carolina.
I’m really looking forward to all of the wonderful things about fall…the cooler weather, the changing leaves, the bonfires, the bountiful harvest from the fields of home, the hot chocolate, the toasting of marshmallows, and everything else that autumn weather brings with it. All too soon, winter will be here, the weather will grow colder, and the wonderful time we call fall will be gone. But for now, it’s here…so enjoy it while it lasts.
Hooray for fall!