The seasons here in North Florida are different from other parts of the country, or the world for that matter. We have summer and winter, but spring and fall generally happen over the course of a few days. That means the other two seasons tend to feel longer.
Winter is now looming large on the horizon. I’m not a fan of cold weather. I grew up in South Florida, on the beach, and I prefer warm weather, warm water, and the smell of coconut in the air. Winter down there was nice, temperatures maybe hitting the low 50s (F), but still tolerable.
My first experience with real winter weather was when I was about eight or nine years old and I spent a Christmas on my uncle’s dairy farm in northern Wisconsin. While it was fun for a day or two…you know, sledding, snowball fights, building snowmen…the cold got old. It was like I could never really warm up no matter how many clothes I put on or how long I sat on the floor vent. Plus, getting up early in the morning and shoveling our way to the barn to feed and milk the cows was adding to the unpleasantness. Oh, and shoveling out the manure troughs. Big fun.
Here is the big city of Tallahassee, winter runs from around mid-December until mid-April, give or take a few weeks. And it can get brutally cold. We’ve had a bit of snow every so often, and I had the pipes under my house freeze on one occasion. Luckily, those hard freezes and snow days are rare and don’t last more than a day or so. Just enough to remind me of that one winter vacation in Wisconsin.
The thing about the cold is that it makes me stay inside the house, wrapped up in sweaters and sweat-pants, and drinking cup after cup of tea or hot chocolate (where’s my Bailey’s Irish Cream?). It also gives me the opportunity to write more frequently. I mean, it’s not like there’s anything for me to do outside besides rake up leaves or clean pine straw out of the rain gutters. Or play with my dogs because the cold weather gets them frisky. I don’t mind that part.
I was smart last year and bought a pair of fingerless gloves, so I can still type on my keyboard while keeping my hands relatively warm. Now that I’m prepared, I plan to get back to that draft novel that’s been patiently waiting for me, and I hope to have it wrapped up come spring. Of course, it’s not the only thing I’ll be working on. There are still a dozen short stories in various stages of completion. But since I’ll be holed up in my house for the next five months or so, then I expect to burn through all of these projects.
I’m hoping the heat from all that writing will keep me warm. Wish me luck…