I grew up in a place that fashions itself a “Christmas City”. I moved north of there after high school and lived in the Pocono Mountains where snow and sub-freezing temps can start before and last after the months usually associated with winter. Heck, I even lived through Bloomberg’s Blizzard – when 27″ of snow fell on NYC, snow kidding!
So I can understand why citizens from the north laugh out loud when people in Florida complain about how cold it is as soon as the temperatures fall terribly close to freezing (a/k/a 50 degrees). I’m here to report from the frozen tundra of Pasco County that our current sub-tropical state is a real-world problem.
Sure, I learned to ice skate at my town’s outdoor skating rink when I was kid, but that was a LONG time ago in a land 900 miles north of here. When we want to ice skate in Florida, WE GO TO THE MALL. Not only do I “rent” my ice skates these days, here are a few other items I no longer own: gloves, a scarf, ski caps, boots, a winter jacket, a house with a fireplace or baseboard heat. During the summer, when I go to work at Tropicana Field I dress warmly because the air conditioning there is set to 72 degrees – which can be 25 degrees colder than the temperature outside. My “dress warmly work attire” includes sneakers, socks, pants, and what I call “layers” – y’all call this an undershirt/long sleeve shirt combo.
So when the temps drop below 60, we struggle. Temperature challenged, we have to “find” whatever items are accidently left over from before our Florida life started. Flipping the thermostat off of “auto/air conditioner” to “heat” for the first time means a few minutes of burning dust bunnies out of the air ducts. We actually have to MOVE the dials in our cars from the blue side to the red side – THE HORROR!
But when we get a stretch where it’s in the 50s at sundown and dips into the 40s after dark… please, pray for us. Frozen orange juice is for you people, not US.