Yesterday, we had a heat wave…with a high 47 degrees. The good news is that the muck that fell Saturday began to melt. That, and a cute teenager in braces, a neighbor kid, stopped by and asked if he could shovel the driveway for $20. David finally acquiesced, and I said yes, of course After he uncovered the driveway, sidewalks and cars, we told him he could come back anytime it snowed.
Nothing does my heart more good than seeing a kid working for money. We live in a mixed race neighborhood the data firms label “Bohemian’ (although its changing). The kids who live here are good kids, taking odd jobs, earning good grades in schools, going on to college. We’ve seen this pattern repeated over and over with various sets of kids.
Often the parents move away after the kids are grown and leave home, or one of the parents eventually dies and the widow (it’s always a widow) moves, leaving her house behind. Then a new young couple moves in, gets married, has a baby, and the whole process repeats.
Demographers call this process succession.
Once upon a time, my children were the neighborhood kids, then they grew up, moved away and my grandchildren were the neighborhood kids. Now they are grown and moved away too.
View of the Canal from our balcony, Lauderdale FL, 1988
When I complain about winter, it isn’t the cold that bothers me, it’s the foul weather. We’ve had abnormally foul weather this year, breaking all kinds of records.
But don’t get me wrong, I love the cold. I sleep better when its cold, and I keep the heat turned off in my bedroom so its icy cold at night. During the day, when its cold, I layer, adding clothes. I’ve always looked better in tailored outfits, and love layering sweaters and jackets to wear with slacks.
I hate heat. I’ve hated heat ever since I was a kid and had chicken pox one summer when I lived in NC. Chicken Pox are bad enough but in the heat of summer without AC this is a miserable disease. And we lived in western NC where it was cooler compared to other parts of the South. Bathing in baking soda water helped for a short while, but those pox are with you for days and days and you can’t live in a bathtub.
One reason I was ecstatic about moving back to the DC area in 1966 after living in Tampa FL for three years, was because I hated the heat. Three years of living in humid heat and pregnant during one of them…Yuck. Most people who visit Florida and points South, do so in the winter months, often February. But I grew up in the South, and hated it. After a year back in Virginia, we moved to Hawaii where we lived for several years.
Hawaii was not as bad as FL. The trade winds kept the air clean and we had vents in our walls that opened to let the air come in along with the vermin of one kind or another. This was base housing on Pearl Harbor so it had no air conditioning, but I didn’t mind. The heat in Hawaii was nothing compared to the heat in FL.
When my then husband shipped out to Japan, I elected to move back to Arlington VA…my home. Later, he begged me to move to Japan, but I said no, so he accepted a reassignment to the Pentagon and moved back to DC which he hated.
Hawaii had seasons, but, I missed the fall and winter months back home. I like cold and I love the East Coast.
One February years ago, David and I visited Lauderdale FL where I gave a talk to a group of business people. (It must have been a good talk, because Amazon.com sold copies of it for years.)
Afterward, we had a pretty good time (David hates to travel), driving down to the Keys where my son was stationed with the US Navy, then over to the Everglades afterward. But it was February and the climate was serene.
This winter, we’re keeping the house warmer (68 degrees) because David who always loved the cold says he feels it badly these days. Perhaps when you are really old and thin the heat of FL summers feels good? David was born in Lakeland FL, but when I ask him if he wants to move back, he says NO! He’s done traveling!