I never thought I’d be happy living in a place with little or no winter. I’ve always liked the cold. Or rather, liked that I could hole up in my warm house in front of a fire with a warm drink while the cold raged outside. Not that Dallas has bad winters. But it has a fairly consistent winter. Much more so than Austin, three and half hours to the south. Here we have a week of winter, not a season. Maybe two—an early winter and a late winter. But for the most part we enjoy days in the 60s and 70s, mostly sunny, sometimes cloudy.
And that kind of weather is important for me in an urban environment. I mean, if I have to walk to the grocery store, it is certainly more pleasant in temperate weather! It also means that lunches and dinners and coffees on patios are a pleasure. That a walk around Lady Bird Lake in the afternoon doesn’t require bundling up. Quite the opposite, actually, since I rarely even wear a jacket over my sleeveless shirt.
In fact, this glorious December, January, and February weather has been drawing me outside much more than my normal inclinations. I can’t help but want to be out in the sunshine, the quick warmth of an afternoon on a day that began in the 30s or 40s. I’ve gone out walking—watching people, listening to music, writing, reading. And suddenly I don’t miss winter so much anymore. Of course when it does get cold—for a day or two!—I miss my fireplace. But I still have coffee and comfy blankets to wrap up in, so not all is lost. And then it’s back to spring-like temperatures, the only indication of winter being the barren trees that line the paths.
And that is why I think I’m okay living with intermittent winter—because here an autumn day slides easily into what is essentially a prolonged spring, a respite before the baking hot of summer days, a time when I prefer to watch the world go by from the windows of my air-conditioned sanctuary far above the street.