It’s August 29th and I’m Still Freezing

I knew that moving from Atlanta to northern California meant a climate change. I knew that gone were the soft southern nights–that some call ‘sticky.’ I knew that I would need jackets and sweaters and sweatshirts that I’d long since disassociated with summer. But I was told by my new California friends, not to worry–“the real heat comes in August and September and that’s when we have the nice warm nights.” I now believe they were just trying to mollify me–or perhaps they were hallucinating.

OK, it’s August 29th and I’m still freezing. When I ask some of the same forecasters of the warm California nights “What happened?,” they either say they have no idea–that this on-going chilliness is not normal, or they say, “Whoever told you that? We never have warm nights around here.” And I suspect the latter are the tardy truth tellers. My response? “So now you tell me.”

It’s not making me love California any less, I’m just having to adjust a little more.

August in California–at least the northern part–feels like August in Vermont–without any rain. Where I am, about 20 miles from the coast, we do have the non-Vermont aspect of morning fog. It’s nice. Keeps things calm and really cool for most of the morning, and it gives you that cozy feeling that you never get with bright sun–or any sun at all, for that matter.

I actually lived in Vermont–for 17 years–which is why I then moved to Atlanta. I needed to thaw out. Probably overshot the mark by a bit, but it was a welcome change to being too hot instead of constantly cold.

Yesterday I met a woman here in California who is contemplating moving to Atlanta. She couldn’t ask me enough about its weather, as for her, and as for me, weather is a prime consideration. She’s lived in northern California for 20 years, and it seemed she had no idea what she is potentially headed for.

I asked how she felt about close relationships with steamers and roasters–being in them, that is. She said she likes steam baths, but I could see by the look in her eyes that she didn’t get it–just as people who claimed to “love” Vermont–and then wanted to move there after visiting during its annual 3 days of heaven-like fall, didn’t get what it meant to endure most of January in sub-zero temperatures, usually hovering around -20…and then the following 3 months when things don’t notably improve.

As the would-be Atlantan’s move was at least two years off, and something she was vowing to “thoroughly research,” I suggested that as part of that research she and her family go there for a minimum of two weeks next July–and see if they were still breathing at the end of that time.

But who was I kidding? A mere two weeks would still feel like a vacation to a steam bath. After moving to Atlanta from Vermont, it took me a good two years before I had sufficiently thawed out to appreciate how hot the heat really was. And then I realized it was very hot.

It took spending a summer on the west coast of Mexico to realize that there was a place on earth where summer was hotter, more humid, and more relentless than Atlanta’s.

Meanwhile, having done the circuit from super cold to super hot, I have now arrived, I think, at the happiest medium available on this planet. I know about the winter rains here. I know everyone complains about them and that they go on for several months. I’m ready–I think. Even got two pairs of trendy rubber boots, one in red, the other in purple, just for the occasion. I can hardly wait to wear them.

I’m just wondering what in the world I will now ever do with my collection of warm weather stuff that I will likely never need again, at least for more than maybe one week out of each year. It took years to acquire, just as it took years to divest myself of all those Vermont woolies.

As fate would have it, I’m off to Vermont this weekend. What timing. They understand non-tropical, and they understand rain–of the cold kind. What a perfect place to re-vamp my wardrobe. Next year Ill be ready, Vermont style, now that I finally know the truth about these “warm” California summer nights.

Internet Explorer 6 or older browser detected. This website is functional only in Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 7+ and other internet standards compliant browsers. Please visit this site using a current browser.