There's nothing like spending time in the wintry north to make you appreciate coming back to a warmer climate. Yes, I do realize that's phrased a bit...dramatically...since my family does NOT live in, say, the North Pole...or, um...Buffalo...or the like. It's only Maryland, for crying out loud, but I shivered my way through my 4-day visit anyway. (Says the person who dons a sweater until the thermometer reads about 80 balmy degrees...hey, I'm just practicing for when I'm a little old lady, and I'll be rocking the fleece jackets in July...)
Fortunately, I haven't forgotten how to pile on the clothes, so I brought toasty warm undergarments and sweatshirts and a coat and gloves. (I don't do scarves, since it bugs me to have something around my neck...and hats are just right out, with the double issue of "flat hair" and "bangs in my eyes". Oh, and I have a habit of delaying the wearing of ANY items on the short list of Johna-approved-cold-weather-gear for as long as comfortably possible, preferring to live in the happy-but-chilly state of...Seasonal Denial...until the last minute. So yeah, my concession to Winter is pretty limited, as a whole. And by the way: wow, do I know how to digress, or what?) But all of the...sartorial complications...notwithstanding, I have to admit that I did enjoy the picturesque quality of a light dusting of snow on the ground--probably all the more because I knew I'd be getting the heck away from it very shortly.
Then I returned to North Carolina--where we've only lived for about 5 months now, thus we have not yet experienced firsthand what the frosty months are like around here. Longer-term residents assure me that while the temperature does drop overnight, it creeps back up to a reasonable level during the day (that ever-so-magical 5-0). More importantly, the cold snaps that do occur don't tend to linger endlessly...and I'm promised that occasionally, random 70* days just pop up, which keeps the frigidity from becoming too monotonous. And what do you know: I was welcomed back (yes, ME, personally) by a pretty nice Sunday, followed by a spectacular 72* Monday, December 1st. I'm talking about driving with the car windows cracked, opening the house for a few hours to allow some fresh air to waft in, wearing shorts and tee-shirts (well, you know, for the male creatures in our family...I went with "lighter pants and a long-sleeved running top"....I'm not gonna get all crazy and whatnot...but at least I ditched the second layer, right?)
The boys jumped at the opportunity to shoot some hoops and run football routes in the front yard--and I think Riley even rode his bike for a while--all things they do year-round anyway, but this time without worrying about the tingling hands and potentially-frostbitten ears they normally have to manage. Husband and I both took the opportunity to go running...and here's where it got a bit...strange...for me. I waited until late afternoon for my training session (as is my custom, since my body seems to prefer that point in the day, at least when it comes to pounding the pavement). So, then I queued up a festive, boppy holiday playlist on my phone...and took off through the neighborhood...not quaking with the cold, but rather, working up a pleasant sweat in the evening air. The final element in the surreal scenario was that--because darkness crashes down so early in these last few weeks before the solstice--I got to be entertained by the sparkly, twinkly December decorations turning on all around me, activated by their sensors picking up the fading light of dusk.
Yeah, it was definitely not what I'm used to, given the fact that almost every Winter prior to this, I chose to take a hiatus from running when the mercury dropped below my comfort level (and yes, I readily accept that "Anything less than 50* is too cold" makes me a super-wimp...and I'm totally okay with that...). But that's one reason we moved here, for the milder Winters, so I can absolutely get into this groove. (And...run with it....hahahaha! Sorry...) For now, I've relegated my coat and gloves right back into the hall closet....with glee...and plan to ignore them until my fingers are numb and my teeth are chattering. (Of course, knowing me, this could be tomorrow, but we'll see...) As long as this weather sticks around, I plan to make merry in the extended Fall conditions, and do all my fa-la-la-ing...parka-less! (Well...maybe just a light jacket....)