Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Things I Never Considered When I Lived in Florida

Things that I had never considered or even realized people might have to do when I was growing up in Florida and complaining about the occasional cold day, but which have become a part of my life now that we live up north:

  1. Using a hairdryer to try to dry out the inside of an 8-year-old’s snow boots because she got a little overenthusiastic the day before while playing in the snow mounds on the way home from school and I didn’t realize snow had gotten inside the boots and the insides actually got wet and now it’s frigid and we have to leave for school soon and I don’t want her to have wet feet on the way to school. 
  2. Finally giving up because my hairdryer is overheating and inserting the rack in my dryer so I can put the snow boots in the dryer and hope I don’t have it set too hot for them.
  3. Waking up to a weather forecast that says, “Feels like -7˚ F” in NOVEMBER. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet!
  4. Wondering why my strange neighbors next door have their window open when it feels like -7˚ outside and I am standing in my kitchen freezing with the storm windows closed and the radiators on all the time. Seriously, I’m not kidding, my neighbors’ open window is one of the things that plagues my curiosity. I’m not trying to be overly nosy, it’s just so….odd. They’ve had it open every day since the snow started. I would not want to have to pay their heating bill.
  5. Checking the various websites and my text messages every so often, hoping school is closed or at least delayed due to snow or cold. They really take school seriously up here. Tons of snow, arctic temperatures, no snow day. Our last city where we lived for the past four years got snow days when there was even a hint that snow might happen, and 1-2 inches meant at least two snow days. Not here in the snow belt.
  6. Wondering since they didn’t grant us a snow day when we had lots of inches on the ground and snow was still falling or when we dipped into negative temperatures, yet I know they did have some snow days last year, how bad, exactly, is it going to get here? 
  7. Feeling grateful for snow plows and salt on the roads.
  8. Counting shoveling snow off the driveway as part of my exercise routine. 
  9. Actually putting ‘shoveling snow’ into my fitness tracking app so I can count the calorie burn.
  10. Remembering when I thought 60˚ was cold, and it really, really was cold, because I had never lived up north.
  11. Being amazed at how the body adapts to real cold and that what used to be, not just feel, but actually be, cold now is something I long for as a ‘warming trend,’ and realizing just how self-centered I am. Cold is cold, wherever you are, and when you’re used to warm all the time, and you don’t have cold-weather clothes, it takes a lot less time to feel cold in Florida than it does where it gets colder and we’re expecting it. It’s not a contest. Perspective, I guess. 
  12. Eagerly anticipating snow because I just love it and it is so pretty, but dreading it at the same time, because driving in it is not fun. Pretty snow is great when all you have to do is sit and watch it out the window. I love that. But when you have to get out and function in it, not as fun.
  13. Buying several different coats, and not really being satisfied with any of them, because I grew up in Florida and am clueless about how to buy and dress for winter. Wishing I had a personal clothing buyer who could just shop for my winter wardrobe for me and say, “Here, this is exactly your size and it will look just right on you, and we were able to do it on a budget that didn’t break your bank.” Actually, I need one of those for every season. I do not like to shop and I’m not very good at it.
  14. Finally relating to those Calvin and Hobbes cartoons where he always seemed to have the snowiest winters. That’s not imaginary. There really are places that get that kind of snow. I’m living in one this year. In fact, I found out recently that Bill Watterson actually lives around here somewhere. Now I know where Calvin is from.
  15. That I actually have to tell a kid to go back upstairs and put on a coat, a sweater just isn't good enough when it's this cold. Don't they feel cold??
  16. Not being able to feel my legs after walking outside for about 5 minutes.
  17. Slipping and falling on the icy sidewalk on the way home from taking my daughter to school, being thankful nothing is broken just a little sore, deciding to walk the rest of the way on the street since it isn't a solid sheet of ice like the sidewalks are. True story.
  18. That surreal feeling when you are falling that feels like time sort of stops or slows way down and you have all this time for random thoughts, but in reality it is really only a second, you know you are going down, yet there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop the fall, and all the odd thoughts that randomly flit through your brain as it happens. That is one of the weirdest feelings ever.
  19. Being very thankful for a heated house. And boots, oh the joys of a comfy pair of boots!
  20. Learning to really love the change in season. For all the whining, I have loved watching the beautiful leaves this fall, and the novelty of learning to deal with snow is kind of fun....well, it's an adventure, anyway. And freezing in the winter just makes the warming trends of spring that much sweeter. Besides, after how swelteringly hot it was here with no air conditioning in the house when we moved here in the summer, I said I wouldn't complain about the cold. Apparently I lied. It just doesn't work that way. Remembering the heat doesn't make it any less cold today. :-)

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Stay warm!

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