|My brother's front yard in Tulsa a few Christmases ago|
Winter was always cold and windy and raw. We sometimes got deep, heavy snow that broke tree limbs, but it seldom lasted more than a few days. Ice storms were more common. One winter when Don and I lived outside Norman, in the center of the state, a big ice storm knocked out electricity and coated the roads. I was all for huddling in the dark and cursing fate, but Don insisted in getting into the car and driving five miles an hour sideways into town to go out to eat. I was pretty ill-natured during the whole trip, envisioning the police finding the two of us the next morning, frozen solid inside our car upside down in a ditch. I changed my tune when we were sitting inside a toasty warm Mexican restaurant wolfing down steaming hot chiles relleno.
But Christmas was Christmas, cold, like it ought to be unless you're an Australian. (Except when it wasn't. It is Oklahoma, after all, and cannot be predicted.) Now, in southern Arizona, we don't do cold, or at least what most people would consider cold. We are having a cold snap right now. Here is a picture I took of the thermometer on my back porch about an hour ago.
|My back porch in Tempe today|
Most normal people would not consider 60 degrees Fahrenheit to be cold, but I'm finding it uncomfortable. I had to rummage around in my closet for something long-sleeved. We can always tell who is visiting the desert for the winter, because they run around town in shorts when it's this chilly. We long-timers bust out the sweaters.
And no, people who live in hot climates are not wimpier than others. There is actually a physiological reason for their intolerance to cold. The capillaries grow closer to the surface of the skin after years of exposure to continual heat. Conversely, the capillaries of those who live in cold climates sink lower into the epidermis. A doctor friend of mine told me this. I don't know if he was pulling my leg, but I like the story and I'm sticking to it.
I'll take this opportunity to wish all you Dear Readers a very happy holiday season, great reading, and for those of you who indulge, successful writing.