It is that time of year again… time for me to vent about how uncomfortable and inconvenient the weather in Florida can be during the summer. Summer happens from May through all of October here, so I think I am entitled to rage against the rain. Last year, we had a relatively mild summer. I made it to September before I published my mandatory annual summer weather whine. I fear that will not be the case in 2021.
You know how people use all those lovely poetic similes to describe weather… a blanket of snow, a blanket of fog, a veil of mist, etc.? In Florida, we have a blanket of mug. For almost half the year, our air is too heavy to breathe. When I was a child in Southern California, there were sometimes smog alerts. We were encouraged to stay inside and to avoid breathing. Smog was nothing compared to the liquid-laden air we are expected to inhale in central Florida.
When I began writing this piece, on June 13, the summer mug descended upon us. I realize that the calendar says it is not yet summer, but someone forgot to tell Mother Nature. When I went into church that morning, it looked like a beautiful spring day. Some time during the service, a noise began to rise through the rafters of the church. At first, I thought it might be our air conditioner, which always starts with an overture. Soon, however, I realized it was the sound of driving rain whooshing through the atmosphere and pelting the roof of the church. God confirmed this understanding by sending several huge cracks of thunder bellowing through my cognizance. Then, lightning flashed through our stained-glass windows. It was a “thunderwower.”
It is now June 17th, and the rain has not stopped for more than a few hours since. The respite provided by those “few hours” is not all that relieving because the cooler air that typically appears when the rain cracks the humidity barrier is very short-lived. It is a constant unpleasant cycle of heightened heat and humidity, interrupted briefly by a thunderwower when the cloudburst cools things off and lances the boil of the water-heavy air, only to find the atmosphere building sog once again when the shower has passed. The weather teases in this way, making us believe that there is going to be a break but the discomfort marches on. The worst part is that it is already difficult to see the light at the end of the lightning. It feels like the summer weather will NEVER stop. I look at pictures of myself at Disney World last December wearing a jacket, jeans, and UGGs. I cannot quite believe that time will ever come again.
It is not simply the discomfort of the weather that is the problem. I am one of those people who genuinely enjoys planning the simplest of activities and looking forward to them. I am not really a spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment kind of gal. I delight in scheduling fun activities weeks ahead of time. I get excited as the appointed day gets closer. In the summer, planning and scheduling any activity is a fool’s errand. Obviously, outdoor activities are weather-dependent. Even indoor activities are iffy because it is common for the storms to be so bad that one cannot see the road in front of them when driving. I cannot even schedule a series of back-up plans because the weather is so contrary and unpredictable. We never know what the skies will bring even a day ahead of time. Plans are wishes and schedules are fantasies. This makes me fidgety.
I am afraid that I am not the most pleasant of companions from June to October. You know how some people have that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and need light treatment to replicate sun exposure? I have something like that. It is not so much lack of sun. After all, Florida is the “Sunshine State.” Why it is the “Sunshine State,” I am not sure, considering how much it rains. Still, there is plenty of sunshine… just like there is plenty of sunshine on Venus. It is more that the rain, humidity, and inability to look forward to fun activities feels oppressive to me. My mood feels as heavy as the air. I try to be self-aware. I try to force myself to be engaged and pleasant. Sometimes, I succeed.
Last summer, I think I was more tolerant of the wicked weather partly because the summer was milder but also because we were in the midst of COVID-19 lockdown. I could not go out and do things, anyway. It seemed churlish and insensitive to complain about my life being limited by weather when there was a much more serious limitation stalking all of us. This year, I am even less tolerant than usual. It feels like the world is finally opening and the weather is pushing the door shut again.
I know I am being petulant and whiny. I know that I made the choice to live in Florida. I know that I like living here for the most part. I know I am raging about something that would be no big deal to just about anybody who does not live in Florida. Frankly, it would not be a big deal to most people who DO live in Florida. I do not care. This is my blog, and I will cry if I want to!
What do you like or dislike most about where you live? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a whine-free day!