Yes, I have complained many times that “I’m freezing” while others look at me oddly dressed comfortably in their t-shirts and shorts. This time, however, it’s cold for everyone involved! The El Nino system warming our ocean waters is causing below normal temperatures for us down here in the otherwise land of the never ending summer.
It’s odd for me to drive down the coast line of Pinellas County and see people in hooded knee length coats, scarves, hats, and gloves. This has become the normal lately with just a few days of warmth peeking it’s way through. South West Florida has rested at about the mid 40’s range with highs in the upper 60’s. While these numbers may not seem so low to our Northern friends imagine for a moment being in chilly weather then throwing a cold wet blanket over yourself and walking around in the wind. Burr! This is what the Gulf Coast feels like.
With all that said the colder temperatures don’t take away from the beauty or even the ambition to go out. I get to wear my cute jeans and boots that usually only make an appearance here or there so that’s another positive. The chill is estimated to stick around until the Spring so we’re planning accordingly, and possibly regretting not keeping our winter gear.
While it may be cold in Pinellas County right now I do try to take time to reflect on our lives when we lived 1,100 miles away in the North East. Pennsylvania hosted some unforgiving winters during our time there. Waking up to go to work takes effort and patience. There’s much colder days, ice, snow, bleakness, and what feels like an eternity before you see what green grass looks like again. Do I miss it? Nope. Yet even in those fits of cabin fever after making it partially through a winter and not being able to handle one more moment inside we still found awe inspiring moments once we ventured out.
The photo below was taken on such a day. We had been snowed in for days on end and watched every movie we could, so a road trip was in order. Our little family jumped into our beastly red Jeep and ventured out with no destination in mind. Most roads were cleared at this point so it was safe going and gorgeous details in the snow topped mountains surrounding. I love my mountains and do miss them terribly!
At one point we found a nature preserve way on the top of one of these monstrously high mountains and thought, “why not?”. Making it up went alright even though this road hadn’t been plowed since probably the first in a series of snowfalls. The views made it worth the venture. Heading back down, well, we hit ice that was so slyly hidden under the layer of snow we crunched on the way up and slid the entire way back down until banking into a plowed pile of snow toward the bottom. Funny thing is none of us were really worried in this moment. We laughed and my husband got out to get us unstuck. Our drive was filled with smiles and laughter and being home again didn’t feel so bad this time around. We settled in, watched more movies, ate a hot home cooked meal, and endured through the rest of our Pennsylvania winter.
It was cold, it took time and energy, but it also gave us moments that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Florida winter, I guess you don’t seem so bad anymore. Let’s see what wild trouble we can get into for these upcoming chilly days!
Stay warm Florida and thank you to all who read our posts here at Wild Red on the Gulf!
Mandy- Wild Red