Before we moved last year my mother asked me if I was concerned about missing the seasons. At the time, that was so far down the list of possible complications that the question annoyed me significantly. Also, because I had lived in warmer climates before, I didn’t expect an issue, and simply missing the cool autumn air seemed like a silly thing to worry about given everything else on my plate.
Now that we’ve lived in Florida a full year, I have a few thoughts.
First, for the most part, 360 days, give or take a few, the Florida weather is a source of great joy and relief. No more snow boots or bulky winter jackets, no more bone-chilling cold that only thaws after twenty minutes of scalding hot water, and no more spending days or weeks inside with stir-crazy children who lost interest in the snow fifteen minutes after it started falling (the first time).
Second, there are some days, like the week before Christmas, a few days in October, maybe a day or two in late March or early April, when I miss the cooler weather. Sometimes it’s refreshing to feel a cool breeze, and sometimes the cold weather makes the warm weather easier to appreciate.
Third, more than liking or not liking the warm or the cold, the difficult part has been keeping track of time. Last year I tried to embrace the Florida weather in its entirety. Watching football in 90 degrees didn’t feel right, so we only caught a couple of games late in the season. But it was a strange feeling, like somewhere in my mind or body I was waiting for something to happen or change, but it never happened. We decorated for Christmas early, like we’ve done the past four years, but it felt very strange. Not exactly like something was missing, more that something was off.
This year I’m going to try to do things a bit differently. I’m going to watch football and make chicken soup and lasagna in October, at least once, and we’re going to carve pumpkins again. Last year we took the kids ice skating a couple of times, and I’m going to do that again, especially over Christmas break. I’m also going to try to slowly incorporate Florida into the change of the seasons. We try to eat locally as much as possible, so in addition to making our traditional seasonal dishes, I’m also going to try to add in some local dishes so that over time, hopefully we will all start to substitute in the new routines. I’m also trying to pay attention to the sun and when it sets and rises based on some advice from a knowledgable source.
All of this is really about two obvious conclusions that are sometimes less obvious in practice. Change can be difficult and takes time, and sometimes the challenges come up where you don’t expect them.