Christmas decorations are going up here in sunny Florida. The high temperature today is 80 degrees. It’s weird.
As I’ve said before, fall is my favorite season. After a long and torturously humid North Carolina summer, there’s nothing like the crisp air of autumn blowing in, carrying with it the toasted, earthy smell of dying leaves. I loved getting out my turtlenecks and corduroy jackets to pull tightly around me as I walked under a gentler sun and clear, azure sky. The deflated, anemic tomatoes disappeared from the farmer’s market to make way for apples, pumpkins, sweet potatoes. Pumpkin spice coffee and Sam Adams’ autumn brew started appearing on the grocery store shelves. We switched over to central heat, and the house was filled with the familiar, cozy smell of dust burning off in the ducts.
There’s almost none of that here. Today I’m wearing khaki capris, a t-shirt and flip-flops. Florida has very little locally grown produce, so all the apples are shipped from Washington. The palm trees don’t put on the blazing displays of brilliant color I’m used to. You can feel cool breezes but not crisp breezes.
I thought I would miss fall more than I have. Florida in November is…not bad at all. When I look out my bedroom window in the morning, I can see that the quality of the light has changed, and the air is cool and pleasant when I step out on the balcony. I can open the windows for most of the morning to let the breezes, softly tinged with the smell of the ocean, flow through the house. The other night, Evie was outside playing with Charlie, and I was chatting with his mom, Oolie. The wind was whipping through our complex, and the temperature was a bone-chilling 65 degrees. We shivered in the arctic weather and agreed that it was the coldest we wanted it to get.
And it probably won’t get much colder than that, especially during the day. I think I could get used to this. After enduring 34 years of North Carolina Januaries, I would trade every one of them for a November in Florida.