Okay, look. It’s April now. I’m pretty sure it should be spring. I realize that the past few years living in Texas have – dulled our acquaintance somewhat, but I’ve seen it before. This is very nearly the farthest north I’ve ever lived (I thought it was the northernmost home I’ve had, but a quick search revealed it to be one measly degree south of a previous residence), but it’s been a long time since then. I’m cold. We don’t have central heating, and you would really be surprised at the difference that makes. We’ve had friends on base say that they hardly ever turn their heater on anymore because it just doesn’t get that cold, and let me tell you I was shocked at how cold it was in our house when we moved from billeting. Sometimes it actually feels colder than outside! I mean, it’s not that bad really, and we’re all delighted (well, I’m not sure how the boys feel about it) to be able to wear sweaters, and use blankets, and eat soup – we’ve missed those things. It’s just that we don’t really have that many warm things (for use in the house, I mean. We knew we’d need coats and boots and things). I have the only pair of house-slippers in the family – a pair of fluffy blue ones with chicks on them that one of my sisters gave me years ago that have seen next-to-no use until now, their moment to shine! – Charlie steals them from me all the time and shuffles around the living room in them, bouncing gleefully. So many things have been like that, forgotten for years and now gratefully pulled from the boxes to be useful again.
That picture’s for you, Mom – click to make huge. Thanks for those. I suppose we could go and buy things like that, but the shopping here’s a bit weird and we’re not used to it yet. The BX doesn’t always have what you want, we don’t usually carry enough yen for more than lunch and a few small items, and aside from the fact that it’s difficult to find clothing for the tall or large of foot (we are both) the sizing is different. None of this would matter, of course, if we were determined to acquire these things, but we have a bit of a mental roadblock that I lay squarely at the feet of Texas.
We don’t believe it’s going to stay cold.
I remember several times over the last few years that I woke up, assessed the temperature outside, and selected a sweater or long-sleeved shirt as appropriate attire for the day. We had breakfast, went out on some errands, and halfway through the morning broke a sweat on the gentle walk between stores, or returned to the car to discover it was an oven. (Sometimes my mother’s voice clunks around in my head, saying practical things like ‘Wear a t-shirt under your sweater, then if you get hot you can just take it off…‘ ignore the voice at your peril, my friends.) We laughed when the news reported that Target had sold out of space heaters in a frantic run on the store because the temperature had dipped to freezing and the population of the city feared death by hypothermia. It was not uncommon in December for us to walk by someone in gloves and a heavy coat while dressed ourselves (quite comfortably) in jeans and a t-shirt – sometimes even shorts. As I read yesterday on a forum board (I cannot at this moment recall which), “Winter in Texas is beautiful – and if it falls on a weekend, even better!”
The snow is gone – for weeks now. Winter is over. To us, even though we barely realize it, that means that any day now it will get warm enough for us to go outside – if not in shorts (intellectually we know that of course, it’s colder here) – then at least without a jacket. It doesn’t help that spring here looks so much like winter there. Except for the rain.
Have I not mentioned the rain? I vaguely recall rain being a hallmark of spring – in fact – hey, April showers! But it’s rained nearly all day today, and it rained nearly all day yesterday, and it’s rained nearly every day of the past week, and it’s kind of freaking me out. Here’s a photo of the road next to our house:
Click on the pic to see the raindrops in the puddles! (I love my camera.) That was dry this morning, before the rain started. Perhaps it will be dry again tomorrow. That’s almost the strangest thing, that there’s all this rain but no flooding. (That’s not flooding. It’s just accumulating in the giant dips in the gravel road – actually, that’s the better of the two roads that lead to our house.) In Texas it would storm for 20 minutes and the water would be washing down the road for hours, carrying litter, garbage cans, and stray animals with it. Weird. Side note – look how green that grass is! Insane! And here we thought green grass was a myth perpetuated by the lawn care companies.
I know that next year we’ll be better prepared (what else is yarn for?) but right now my fingers are cold, and my nose is cold, and my toes are toasty warm in fluffy blue slippers! I really need to buy an umbrella. I tried to buy one today, but my brain classed it as an useless frivolity and it slipped out before I could get one. After all, I haven’t used one in years! Why buy one now? Sigh.