Winter in Florida is a strange thing. After a lifetime of Missouri winters, complete with mud, ice, snow, freezing rain, bone-chilling cold, and winds that near pick you up off the ground, Florida winters just don’t seem…wintery. Florida winter is a token attempt at a seasonal weather change in a land of perpetual summer. It is a pale, tepid excuse for winter. Not that I’m complaining…that much…
When I was a little girl, my brother and I would bundle up in our double-layered socks, long johns, sweat suits, Carhartt coveralls, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots to go play in knee-deep snow. We would wander the frozen creek, breaking the ice and building snowmen until we couldn’t feel our hands or feet, then go inside to peel off all the layers and bask by the wood stove. In Florida, my children bundle up in shorts and t-shirts to go outside and ride their bikes on sunny 60 degree days.
Sometimes I miss the snow – I miss the memories of sledding, snowmen, and snowball fights. I miss looking out the window and watching the snow fall. Then I remember the rest – getting up an hour earlier so I could shovel the driveway and de-ice the car before going to work, driving at put-put speeds hoping not to slide off the road, and watching the snow turn brown and slushy. I remember the power outages because of ice on the lines and the time a tree fell on our back porch because of the weight of the ice it held.
I remember, and then I feel better about these Florida winters that aren’t.