Thursday, October 22, 2009

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BY SUZANNE WILLIAMS

If there is one thing I could say about my home state, it's that the sunshine is consistent and the heat always returns. Here it is October and it's been unbearably hot. Others in more northern climates are experiencing crisp fall air and the spectacular colors of autumn. But here just two days ago it was in the 90s (F). We did finally have a cold front sweep in during the night which plunged our temperatures down to about 66(F) this morning. Yes, I said "down to".

Despite what you might think, we do get to have a fall season...in December and January. And we have trees that turn amazing shades of yellow, orange, and red with leaves that fall. The main difference is you will not see them in such masses as you do further north.

Halcyon Days, Red Maple
Halcyon Days, Red Maple

What we don't get much of is winter. Our lowest temperatures are usually in the mid 20's (F), but they tend to level out around 50-55 (F). Personally, I like it that way, but then I was born here.

I have seen snow twice, once in Florida when I was in elementary school and once on a trip to Arizona in December with my high school marching band. There we stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon, watching the snow dust the cliffs like powdered frosting. That was amazing.

We had also stopped in a field of it on the way up to throw snowballs at each other. There we were a bunch of silly Florida teenagers making snow angels. That is where I learned the biggest thing about snow - that it's wet. Some of you are laughing at me right now because you see so very much snow, but it was a shock to discover that an hour in the snow outdoors meant being very, very wet and cold when we remounted the buses!

Iced Layers, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Iced Layers, Grand Canyon, Arizona

We do like to experience autumn. Most years my family packs up our few sweaters and jackets as well as our long pants and drive to the Appalachian Mountains for a week in November. We want to feel the cold and see the rolling hills. My week this year is coming up. I am looking forward to it and will have photos to share with you when I return.

But, you know, I am always so ready to come home at the end of it - home to the Florida green with humidity that curls your hair (mine is curly anyways, so you can imagine how THAT goes!) and causes your shirt to stick to your sides. Home to brilliant blue skies, afternoon thunderstorms, and year-round flowers. You just can't beat that with a stick in my opinion.

Cloud Dreams
Cloud Dreams


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