The Sunshine State.
No snow. No chilly, long, dark winter nights.
Yes, a majority of us who moved to Florida from “up North” came here in a quest for an endless summer. We did this six years ago and have never looked back.
But, in search for the endless summer, we can actually forget what season we are in. The usual identifiers of seasons are absent. There are no crisp fall mornings with falling leaves. There is definitely no snowy winter morning. And we are also missing the first promising morning of spring with a bit of sun peeking out behind a grey cloud. How do we tell the seasons apart (besides looking on a calendar and realizing “oh my gosh it is October already!”)?
No matter where you live you know it is fall when we see the Halloween décor, hear the sounds of college football on Saturdays, and even have Christmas trees out at the mall and home improvement stores. We definitely have the college football down here, but the leaves and autumn mornings are missing.
For Floridians a sure sign of fall is the arrival of out-of-state snowbird and vacationer cars clogging our roads. While we are wearing shorts and complaining about how hot it is (it was 85° yesterday, believe me we were all complaining), and how crowded the roads and restaurants are getting, we also look forward to the close of hurricane season.
Finally, we definitely know it is fall when we have the bizarre experience of eating Thanksgiving dinner in shorts on the lanai while we make plans to go to the pool or beach on Black Friday.
As Christmas approaches we are still in shorts. Sure, we are hanging decorations depicting traditional snowy winter scenes, putting lights on our palm trees and a Christmas tree on the lanai – but the overall feeling is far from winter! Without fireplaces to keep us warm in winter (who needs that!) we make up silly stories about Santa coming in through the lanai.
We find ourselves enjoying our only “snowfall” at Disney as we enjoy fireworks and holiday shows under the snow that seems to only fall on Main Street in Disney. Again, we experience this snowfall in shorts. Maybe we are wearing a light jacket if it is a chilly 60°-70°!
We experience the “cool winter” months at the beginning of every New Year. This is time we dig out jeans, long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts – and maybe even coats! Our days may be “chilly” to us and we might even get a cold snap of a few days in the 40°s!
We know spring is coming when we fight spring breakers for tables at restaurants, a spot on the beach, and space on the roads. We also find Easter décor in palm trees and prepare for Easter brunch or dinner on the lanai.
Spring lasts about three weeks for us where days are refreshing in the 60-70°s before we head into our true summer.
As quickly as they all materialize suddenly our snowbirds, vacationers and spring breakers disappear as temperatures and humidity rise in our tropical summer season.
Like winter up North where you hide in your heated house, the summer finds us Floridians hunkered down in our air-conditioned houses dodging rainstorms and hoping any hurricanes in the area pass us by. When we do venture out you’ll be sure to hear us talking (complaining) about how hot it is, or how wet it is. This is the time a lot of us head North on vacation to cool off while the Northerners are here enjoying a summer vacation in the sun.
Vacationers are also easy to spot in the summer. They are the ones on the roads with convertible tops down on their rental cars. All of us Floridians have our tinted windows rolled up tight and the air conditioning blasting in our cars.
Sure, we might complain about how hot it is, how humid it is, how it won’t stop raining, how we want to wear jeans, how weird it is to celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving in bright sunshine. But, we wouldn’t give it up for anything.
We not so secretly love sending pictures of sunny days to our friends and family up north when they are snowed in. We revel in the kitschy weirdness of Christmas in a tropical environment. We decorate palm trees. We put fake snow in the yard. We hide Easter eggs in the garden among geckos.
We might not have any clue what season it is, but we know it isn’t winter – and that’s good enough for us!