I rode up in the elevator this morning with three other people bundled up with scarves, gloves, and hats… and the outside temperature was 50 F. But this is Miami, so it’s all relative.
Trust me, I’m not feeling any schadenfreude over those folks under the thrall of the polar vortex. I spent enough time — a total of 45 years — living in places where winter cold was not a joke. I also understand why some people like it, as opposed to the permanent summer we have here in South Florida. But I distinctly remember the first time I experienced a Florida winter. I was 13 and visiting a friend who had moved to Florida from Perrysburg. It was in March 1966 and I went from the cold and grey of Ohio to the lush sunshine and heady scent of tropical blooms in a day. I was hooked, and four years later, when I went to visit the University of Miami at the same time of year and walked across the campus in the bright sunshine (and saw good-looking men strolling around in cut-offs and tank tops), I knew I would end up in the tropics.
It took a while — almost thirty years and residing in Michigan, Minnesota, and Colorado — before the move was permanent, but I really like it here, and not just for the weather. Summers are oppressive with dense humidity, there are no mountains, and tropical cyclones are as scary as ever, but just as my friends and family in the north have adapted to their climate, I’ve adapted to mine. And six months from now, when the A/C is running full-time, the humidity is like a wet sauna towel, and the palmetto bugs are camped out in the garage and plotting their takeover, the folks up north will be enjoying the cool breezes of a Michigan blue sparkling day on the beach and wondering why I’m here.