Oh, the weather we’ve been having these past ten days! It’s beach weather, gardening weather, biking, jogging …. whatever your outdoor pleasure, it’s been fantastic here. I see lots of cars occupying the nicely discreet (but accessible!) public parking Atlantic Beach offers its visitors; more than usual, for January. The rest of us are taking to the beach on foot, or bike, scooter or golf cart. It’s been far too fabulous a January to play couch potato this year.
Florida winters are my favorite. Having arrived in my little corner of ‘paradise meets dream-come-true’, I do relish cooler weather, the relief from the heat and humidity of May – September. I like that we get our cold snaps, that we can actually wear our cute jackets and boots and pants, and that our hair can blow freely under a winter blue sky with low humidity. This is the time of year when the phone calls come: “What are you doing over spring break this year?” from friends and relatives in the dark, gray, cold north. There, they are surfing the Internet for flights to Florida while my son is surfing the waves on our neighborhood beach after school.
So while I love this weather for many reasons – one is that we haven’t had to run either the heat or the air conditioner (a nice break on the utility bill), I won’t mind if our 75 degrees becomes 55 degrees, either. Chances are, it will. Winter here is changeable that way. As long as we don’t have to endure hard freeze nights, when we scurry to cover those tropical plants we insist on planting despite their not actually being native to this zone (they are so pretty! and most winters we don’t lose any of them anyway!), I find our beaches winter weather quite delicious. I love biking in cooler temps, wearing a windbreaker but not arctic outerwear. I love working in the yard and not sweating. And I also thrill to the spike in temps from ‘normal’ (mid 60s) to warm (73 – 80 degrees!) when we beachlifers feel extra blessed and sun-kissed in January. Instagram and Facebook are rife with photos that virtually shout, “We love where we live!” —and are implied invitations to our friends far and wide (whether or not the photographer intends it!)
The other day, we saw our photo posted repeatedly on Facebook…. but it wasn’t just our photo. It was dozens of people from our little beach town who happened to see the same breathtaking sunset sky, and had to snap, and share. Yeah. We love where we live.
And last Saturday, oh boy, did I ever love it. I got started on my 2013 tan. I put on sunscreen, grabbed my summer beach chair, an armful of beach reading, and passed a lovely few hours in the warm winter sun. My black-polish-pedicure was about the only thing that said winter that day.