|Actual temperature out on my patio yesterday.|
I have some new neighbors down the street, moved in around October. They came from Massachusetts. All winter long they sat outside and every time I walked by they seemed to be enjoying themselves knowing that those they had left behind were being pummeled by snow. They seemed so happy.
I was the same way when I first moved to South Florida twenty six years ago. I came here in March, 1989 and for a few weeks it was like paradise. While the folks up north were still living through the last chill of winter, I was floating around in my swimming pool. I still remember when the first warm weather of summer arrived. I had never experienced a Florida summer. I simply assumed that it would be a continuation of the pleasant weather. It wasn't. One day it turned hot and humid, and I thought, this is pretty much like a heat wave back in Chicago. I knew that heat waves never last, so I sat back and waited for the weather to change. It never did. After a month of relentless heat the rainy season started. At least once a day rain would fall in amounts that I had never seen before. You couldn't tell where the swimming pool ended and the rain started. raindrops the size of baseballs with less than a quarter inch between them, falling as if shot out of a fire hose. The nice thing about the summer rains is that when the rain stopped the air would be a bit cooler, so I would throw open the windows. Unfortunately, within five minutes of the rain stopping the sun would come out. Now I don't know how this is possible, but the sun in Florida is much, much closer to the Earth than it is in Illinois. So close that you could probably light a match just by holding it above your head. I would no sooner open the windows when I would have to run around and close them again as the humidity and heat built to intolerable levels.
Here is what you get when you move to Florida. Mildew, mold, and rot like you have never seen before, and not just in your underwear. Patio furniture doesn't even last a year before turning pale and crumbling. Wood trim on the house starts rotting from the moisture, with voracious termites moving in to finish the job. Gigantic cockroaches find their way into your house to escape the heat and rain where they skitter around the place all night in some kind of bug orgy that leaves them wasted in the morning. Honestly, almost every morning you will find a few of them, on their backs, wiggling their legs as if still experiencing orgasm. I have to admit, I do get a kick out of the popping sound they make when I step on them.
I still remember when I realized that Florida summers last over seven months. I specifically remember saying, to no one in particular, "I can't live like this. This is crazy." Yet here I am, twenty six years later. I don't know if my new neighbors from Massachusettes have realized it yet, but summer has started and it isn't going away. Well, not unless we have a hurricane. The breeze from that will cool it off a bit.