West Virginia snow and sleet, February.
North Carolina on a rainy warm day, February.
South Carolina in January.
I have not written in a while, because I have been travelling. I spent a week in NC with family, followed by a week in WV getting ready to move out of our house. We left WV last June, and have been living in the warm state of SC, where we have enjoyed sunny days, heavy rain and wind, mosquitoes and extreme heat. We left a lush green state and a house surrounded by green hills, and mountains. Now we can enjoy water and marshes every day, but the grass and the pine trees are of a different shade of green, and the only hills I see are the bridges we cross over the wide rivers or onto islands. The landscape is very different, but it is that very difference that causes me to enjoy and see the beauty of each place.
The biggest difference is the weather. One January day here I took my daughter to the beach so she could swim. It was chilly and cloudy, but warm. The water was cold but my crazy child jumped right in, waded out into the waves and stood hip deep. I was only able to enter the water ankle deep, and I was cold. She screwed up her courage, dove under water and swam for a few feet. She came up shivering, but the warm air cheered her, and she dove again. This time she swam nearly a lap of a standard pool, then came out to stand by me. We watched dolphins swim by, and then walked back to the car. Her legs were red from the cold water, but she was energized and alert. We stopped for coffee on the way home, and she talked a mile a minute about how good the water felt. In WV there was snow on the ground.
Last week, February, we drove to WV to pack and to visit with friends. It was a warm day here in SC although cold was coming. While we were gone it got down to the low 30’s. Heading north, we drove through snow, ice, and mist to get to our house, and in the morning we woke to a snow-covered yard. My son had to scrape our car to go to church. Later in the day I needed gas, and I stopped at a station to pump. It was 19 degrees with a strong cold wind that was felt all the way to your bones. I could not stand outside long enough to fill the tank. I was all the way back to my house before I was warm again. I remembered how I enjoyed drinking hot tea, and sitting under blankets on the couch in the evening. I missed the electric blanket that was already packed, and I piled on the comforters at night. But I really enjoyed watching the snowfall, and driving through the mists and seeing ice covered trees. When I returned to SC it felt great to be able to wear light jackets, and not to worry about gloves, scarves, hats, and heavy coats. As I write this it is warm and extremely windy, 72, in SC, and raining and 39 in WV.
On the social media, facebook, I see every day someone complain about the weather. I have friends all over the country and in several different countries. Every day it is too hot, too cold, too rainy, too windy, too much. Sometimes people will say, “what a perfect day.” That translates as warm but not too warm, sunny, and perhaps a light breeze. That is a perfect day. To me, I enjoy every day that has weather, all types of weather, even the cold that can be so difficult day after day. I love the wind, when the buildings shake and rattle, trees bend, and a wild roar fills the air. That gives me a feeling of adventure. I love the heat, real heat such as above 90 and 100. That heat can sap energy, but it warms the bones and kisses the skin. I like walking in the heat, then coming home to a cool house and a tall glass of water. I love rain, especially heavy rain that fills the air, turns the sky a dark grey, and roars as it falls. Too much rain can make you feel moldy, and listening to rain fall for 25 days in a row can make your head ache and ears beg for silence, as I found out once in Costa Rica. Even cold is good; I really enjoy a brisk walk when it is cold, and the ears and nose stings. The best part is coming back inside, drinking a mug of hot chocolate and enjoying the warm house. All those extreme weather days can make a warm breezy sunny kind of day better, more enjoyable, and not dull. I am grateful for weather, cloudy days that make the sky interesting, dark and grey days that are special and cozy, and cold days sitting by a fire. Different landscapes, different weather, we need them all. I am going to miss the snow now that we live in the south, but I will enjoy other types of weather. I have to admit though; I will not miss having to take 10 minutes to put on hat, gloves, scarf, heavy coat, and boots, just to go outside. But the joy of spring, warm days and green misty rains, all this is enhanced by the memory of the cold. Never take the weather for granted, always enjoy each season, and know that if you don’t like today’s weather, just wait for tomorrow.