We Floridians invent ways to experience fall. We hang wreaths of bright maple leaves, pile pumpkins on our doorsteps, fill vases with sunflowers, and walk outside in flip flops to 90-degrees of humidity. We break a sweat putting on jeans, not just because of the sultry temperature, but also because clothes you haven’t worn for two or three years tend to fit a little more snuggly.
Today, I walked into our kitchen, where my sister, wearing gray workout shorts, was heating up milk on the stove. Surprised and curious, (I wasn’t aware she knows how to turn on the stove. Her greatest culinary achievement is buttered toast.) I asked what she was making.
“At 9 o’clock in the morning?”
“Yeah. Can you turn up the air conditioning?”
Every year, my family travels to the Northern Ice Lands (i.e. Ohio) to celebrate Thanksgiving with Dad’s side of the family. Dressing for the long drive up is always perplexing. In Florida, if you wear jeans and long sleeves, you’ll roast long before swapping the land of citrus for the state of peaches. We usually make our annual grand entrance in jeans, a tank top covered in a hoodie, and flip flops. Throughout our stay in the Winter Wonderland, our thin hides are covered in enough goose-bumps to imitate a gaggle of ganders. (Of course, the geese are busy sunning by the side of our pool.)
So when we return to the Sunshine State, how do we attempt to convince ourselves that while we are beach bumming, somewhere, people are wearing jeans and hoodies?
In my family, we watch movies – the same movies every year. October, we heat up apple cider and watch Halloween movies. In November, we strategically place candles in the fireplace and watch Thanksgiving shows. In December, we cover our bare legs with fleece blankets while we watch White Christmas.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (a very green Christmas – even if it doesn’t feel like it).
Deck the halls. And crank up the AC.