30 December 2004
Oh Florida, oh Florida, how lovely are thy palm trees
Corey's blog inspired me. I started thinking about all the beautiful, cold-but-not-really-all-that-cold winters of my childhood. We would freak out if it got down to 50 degrees. Or if the water in our dog's bowl froze overnight. The cold was something of wonder. Something magical like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. True cold only happened once or twice in the winter and we would wait for it, asking our mom how cold it got last night, our eyes wide and eager. We were in awe of nights that dared reach 50 degrees or below. I honestly thought 50 degrees was "freezing." 32 degrees? You must be kidding, that's like Alaska weather. The song "White Christmas" held no meaning for us. Of course we had to wear coats (jackets really), but we thought anything below 70 degrees was super-chilly. There were those rare cold fronts that rendered us prisoners of the indoors, days when it was 40 degrees during the day! The first time I ever experienced snow was when I was 14 and I traveled to Fredericksburg, VA to visit my cousins for Christmas. My brothers and I never wanted to go inside because there was so much sledding to do. We could hardly believe how very very cold it was, but we loved it. Most years, our Christmas mornings consisted of opening presents, eating breakfast, playing in the yard (in our sweats cuz it was cold) and then taking our traditional drive out to New Smyrna Beach. We would pack a picnic and at the beach we would fish, build sand castles, and wade in the water up to our knees because it was too cold to swim. I went through beach withdrawals when my family moved to the Rocky Mountains when I was 16. I still miss the beach at Christmas time and when spring comes around, my heart aches for the ocean. Next Christmas I hope to be back in the land of "soft sands and balmy breezes." I know my heart will be.