So, it's the first day of the kids' loooong Winter Break. (2 full weeks, this year...is it just me, or does that seem kind of, I don't know...crazy-excessive? I mean, I know they work hard at school, blah blah, blah, but do their brains really require that much of a rest? Ohhhh...maybe it's the teachers that need a well-deserved breather from our little darlings...never mind, that makes perfect sense...) And would you believe, it actually FLURRIED here this morning, to mark the occasion? Mind you, not even long enough for me to photograph the situation to prove that I'm not making this up, so you'll just have to take my word for it.
Just 24-hours from the solstice, it feels authentically cold, damp, and raw outside...fortunately, this seems to be the exception, rather than the rule. So far the extensive climate intel I gathered prior to making the big move has held up. Specifically, the temperatures drop overnight to within a few degrees (plus or minus) of the freezing point. (Thus I throw on a light coat when leaving the house for my first round of errands...and whatnot.)
Then by about 10 a.m. it has warmed up to 50* or more, (meaning my jacket takes its place on my passenger seat, where it remains until I hang it back up at home again...) where it remains fairly steady until the sun starts to set. There was even a day last week when I drove someplace, parked my car in a sunny lot for a couple of hours while I walked around and took care of what I needed to, then had to roll down the windows when I returned, because it was too warm inside. (This is NOT a complaint....it was a rather delightful surprise for mid-December...)
Some people might scoff at this mild version of the traditionally frosty season...and as far as I'm concerned, they're perfectly welcome to all the snowy, icy, blustery...stuff...they can handle. Call me a Weather Wimp (sure, go ahead, I won't be offended...because it's totally TRUE...see how I even capitalized it, like an honorary title...or some such nonsense?) but I'm much happier consorting with Old Man Winter's kinder, gentler persona. The great outdoors has definitely assumed the visual characteristics of December--barren trees, shriveled lawns, remnants of shredded leaves still scattered over the ground. It's just...not so frigid as we're used to from our experiences in Maryland.
And I'm not the only one appreciating all the non-arctic...ness, let me tell you. Husband took a hiatus from his late-morning meetings a couple of days ago to go running...in shorts. When he came back, he was both sweaty...and gleeful. Even Derek (you know, the one who was most opposed to being dug up and transplanted) admitted that it's nice being able to play outside while not only forgoing outerwear and gloves, but wearing shorts and tee shirts...with the added bonus of NOT having his hands flake and peel like they used to when constantly exposed to cold, dry air.
So I suppose we're about to officially enter into our third season, and first Winter, as North Carolina residents. People who have lived here longer than us claim that some years, the weather begins a warming trend as early as February. Furthermore, they tell us that sometimes the Spring-like pattern just...decides to stick around...once it shows up. Now, that's the kind of meteorological miracle I could firmly get behind. Forget the shortest-day-of-the-year, let's start the Countdown to Spring, right now! (Okay, right, maybe AFTER Christmas and the New Year...but definitely then! Whoo hoo!)