Last week was decidely hectic, but we wanted to squeeze in one more lunch with a couple who are living their golden years in a manner that we enjoy observing, and I may do a post about that at a future time. Since they were preparing to leave the Keys and head back to upstate New York, the conversation naturally turned to climate. They are in an area that gets lake effect snow as well as regular snow and can expect 100 to 200 inches per year. While the very thought of that made us shudder, the comment was, “You prepare for it and really, you have the same issue in the opposite way with the heat.” Having both grown up in the deep South in the days before air conditioning, my husband and I did understand and it does raise an interesting point.
Let’s do snow first. Our friends actually have an RV and so rather than “move to Florida” to escape the cold as so many people do, they ride out the winter and then hit the road in the RV during March and April when it can seem like lingering snow and ice will last forever. They are retired now and therefore no longer have to be out for the daily jobs. They have the equipment to handle snow as well as enough indoor interests to hunker down during the worst storms.
As we were growing up in Georgia and Lousiana respectively, my husband and I knew that you simply spent part of the year sweltering. It’s that old saying of men sweat and women glisten. And in truth, when I left the house the other morning for an 8:30 appointment and it was already 78 degrees, I knew it would be a hot day. It actually didn’t get over 90, but it is still just May. The real heat is coming and yes, in the midst of the summer, there are plenty of people who “hunker down” in air conditioning and only emerge in the late afternoon and early evening hours. The intense heat and humidity (we’ll set hurricanes aside for the moment) is often misunderstood by people who visit Florida only in the winter. My husband and I have hats, sunscreen, and we hydrate a lot, but the truth is that we also sweat a lot from May through September and it isn’t the life for everyone. Rather than having to bundle up against the cold, we have lightweight clothes and sandals, as women try to avoid pantyhose and men try to avoid ties.
Fortunately, in this country of entrepreneurs and inventors, there are always new gadgets coming onto the market to help with overcoming these inconveniences. Radiant heating for floors in cold climates and misting systems for hot climates come to mind. I suppose in the end, it depends on what your preference is, and understanding that there just aren’t many places with a perfect climate. On the other hand, that is also why the “second home” idea is such a popular concept.
Our friends will arrive home to buds beginning to burst out in color as we say goodbye to strawberries, tomatoes, and corn that can’t tolerate the searing summer. The pool, however, will get more use than it has for the past few months. Snow and heat really are two sides of the same coin.