(I am stealing writing assignments from my sister; I'm not sure if that's proper blog-etiquette or not!)
The weather. Ah, the weather. It's always a safety-net topic to end uneasy silence, but I always cringe when someone does that. I'm embarrassed about the obvious message it sends: "I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY." But I am digressing.
How does the weather make me feel? The weather has helped me soar to the highest heights and sink to my lowest depression--and everything in between. Sometimes the warm sun will give me a much needed pat on the back when I'm feeling lonely and other times it's like Mother Nature is flipping me off with a hail storm that nearly shatters my car's windows.
We were married in Wareham, MA in January of 2002. The snowstorm held off until the reception and I adore the romantic backdrop of a snow covered world in my wedding album. The day after our wedding I moved out to San Diego, CA to live with my husband. Now it may seem certifiably insane to complain about the always perfect weather that San Diego has to offer, but it just made the change more drastic for me. I felt like I was bobbing in the wake of all these monumental changes in my life and the 80 degree sunshine in January made me feel even farther away from home than I already was...and I knew there was nothing I could do about it. You can have your perfect weather, California! I want my Dad...and Mom...and brothers, and sisters, and friends...and NORMAL highways! Ah, the freeway is the scariest place in the world for a timid driver!!!
Between my episodes of homesickness, I really loved the fun-loving energy that San Diego's weather gave away. Everybody there was outside, energetic, going to the beach; even the homeless people were content (and WICKED tan)! The carefree attitude of the general area could get a little creepy at times. One night we were enjoying some drinks at an outdoor restaurant. We asked our waitress what they do when it rains. She just smiled and said, "oh Dudes, it doesn't rain!" But it did rain a couple times during the three year period we lived there. My guess is the restaurant staff was so laid back from overdosing on sunshine that they didn't really care.
Then we moved to the Gulf Coast (insert sinister laugh). We were actually excited for some good thunderstorms. Oh, we were so naive. The first "good" storm we got came with a small tornado and colossal hail storm. Did you know that Florida is the state that has the most annual tornadoes per 10,000 sq. miles? Neither did we until after this terrifying storm we weathered in the parking lot of the 'Piggly Wiggly' in our Saturn Vue. Ever heard of hurricane Katrina? While we were fortunate enough to not get hit directly we were on the dirty side of the storm and got some vicious tornadoes thrown our way that night. Suffices to say we left the Gulf Coast wondering how people can actually live there forever...and it was because of the vicious weather they have.
Our next move brought us to America's heartland: Chicago, IL. I thought I knew what cold was; I did grow up in New England after all. We closed on our new home on November 17th. There were many conversations between my husband and I about how great it's going to be to finally enjoy some snow for the Christmas season! Oh boy. I never knew what the other side of zero felt like. The weather was so oppressively cold (did I mention 20 below zero for a WEEK straight?) that we went into what locals call "Midwest hibernation." You don't leave the house unless it's absolutely necessary. That is not easy to do with three children under the age of four, a puppy...AND a living room that you mistakenly painted the most putrid shade of gold: think honey mustard.
Now, in walks Spring. Oh I have NEVER appreciated spring and all her gorgeous glory until I endured that bitter Midwest winter. Neighbors came out of hiding, trees began to bud, the flute-like fluttering of birds filled the floral scented air, and since it was our first spring in this new house, the flowers sprouting up in our yard were like presents! We couldn't wait for them to blossom and let us know what kind of flowers we have! We were ecstatic about reuniting with our beloved friend, the Sun. The weather has never lifted me up so high. No friends? No family? No problem! It's sunny and warm and I can take my puppy for a walk without wondering at what temperature eyeballs freeze! Good to be alive.
So after the honeymoon phase of springtime I start to get a little itchy. No, it's not the mosquitos. This weather...there is something this beautiful weather is doing that is really getting on my nerves. It is reminding me of those gorgeous summer days I knew growing up. I grew up on Cape Cod, went to college in a coastal CT town, lived in San Diego, CA, and then the gulf coast of Florida. How far away is the closest beach? OH NO! So when the sun rises on yet another cloudless sky I can't help but wonder if the weather is mocking me; the gentle breeze whispering "it's a perfect beach day, isn't it? Ha ha ha ha!"
A sunny day can take me back to the lazy San Diego beaches where I learned how to surf, or remind me of those humid air-conditionless nights as a kid in my parent's house. I think I'll always find New England's weather to be what suits me best. And unless we ever get the opportunity to live there again, I bet the weather in all these other places will find a way to make the pains of missing family and friends ache a little more.
****The pictures I added are all taken in our newest home in Illinois. The second picture I took because the winter sky made a mistake and let the sun shine through our window. Everybody was fighting for a spot in the sunshine. It's amazing how much the kids and puppy have changed in a mere7 months!****