September 19, 2011
It is amazing how you can acclimate to different environments. I met Charles in Texas while we were attending seminary in Ft. Worth. It was the coldest winter they had experienced in years. Snow, ice, freezing rain. I bought my first ever winter coat (hey, I grew up in Phoenix). It was wool and cute and I wore it all the time. It was cold. Charles and I started dating and he introduced me to hot tea and the fixing thereof. Kettle boiled only, no microwaved water, ready the mug with a Constant Comment tea bag, pour in the water and steep for at least 3 minutes, stir, squeeze bag and save it for the next cup (we were poor seminary students). Add 2 scant spoons of sugar and a swig of milk. Enjoy with cold fingers wrapped around the mug and your boyfriend right beside you. Nice.
From there we moved to a tiny town in Oklahoma....another 2 years of cold snappish winter for that area. Snow, smell of wood smoke in the air. Then to New Jersey for 10 years, where it is cold all winter long. Lots of snowing and freezing rains and lots of hot tea, winter coats and even boots. The fall there was amazingly quaint and fun. Pumpkin picking hayrides at local farms, mums (NJ is prime mum country!), Ivan's Spiced Wafers, canning produce and absolutely electrified fall colored leaves. It was beautiful in fall and very charming with all the farm stands and atmosphere.
We finally moved back to Arizona, but not to Phoenix. We lived in a small mountain town with a miniature ski area and again, lots of snow, short summers, quick falls and damp springs with all the snow melting.
In other words....to put it shortly....and sum things up....we have always lived (as long as we've been a couple) in cold climates. Brrr, hot tea, sit by the fire, wood smoke in the air.
Then five years ago, we moved to Phoenix, where the high temperature is not under 80 degrees until November. We keep the air conditioner on until then too. It's....different. Last year I had a hard time decorating for Christmas or getting into a holiday mood because it was still warm in late November.
Today is September 20 and the highs have dipped into the 90's for a week now. The mornings are a crisp 78. I have already baked ginger snaps and pumpkin bars. I have been cooking things like potatoes and I am looking up bread recipes. Today it slipped back up to 102 but I still stopped by the grocery store to pick up some more pumpkin and baking supplies.
The manager of that store must be new in town! I asked a worker where the canned pumpkin was hiding. She explained to me in detail how it was not the season for it and they will be carrying it closer to fall. Hello....it's almost October.
I think I'm re-climatized now....back to thinking like a Phoenician I guess.