It doesn’t snow where I hail from (no hail from where I hail, LOL). 10 years ago when I was first set to leave my home country and land in the US for studies, the one thing I was most excited about was SNOW! After all I was going to make Michigan my new home for a few years!
I even shared this excitement with the old couple sitting next to me in the airplane. They told me they were from Utah. I didn’t realize then why they were so unmoved by my enthusiasm. Hardly did I know that it snows A LOT in Utah, well almost all the time. Anyway, they gave me some tips about REAL winter clothing and told me straight out that the clothes and jacket I was wearing won’t suit Michigan weather at all. I didn’t pay much attention though; I had too much to look forward to.
It was New Years day when I landed. The screen in front of my seat prompted that it was 25F outside (approx -4C). WOW! sub-zero, I thought. I had this vague notion in my mind that things would be at a stand still at such temperatures; that people would stay inside, schools would be closed, there would be no one outside to weather such weather!
I came out of the airport and waited for a couple of minutes for my ride (a friend who had been living in MI for a couple of years). Brrrrrrr ……. I was frozen already in just two minutes. There were a very few people outside, I noticed while he was driving. Schools, offices, etc were closed, my friend told me, but not because of the weather but because it was a national holiday. He had a light jacket on and I also remember him mentioning that ‘it’s a pretty warm day today.’ Wait, WHAT?
Next day, it snowed! WOW! My first snow. I’ll never forget it. It was beautiful. Surreal almost. I remember a few of us ventured outside to enjoy the white rain; we even threw snowballs at each other. It was fun. Our fingers froze but I guess under the cover of sheer joy we were immune to the sub-freezing temps. It was a snow storm actually. 3-4 feet of snow accumulated. I felt as if I was in a dreamland. I loved it. I embraced it.
Next day, it snowed again. And then, it snowed for the next 4 months. Almost everyday. I’m not exaggerating. I didn’t see the sun for months and months and by this time I guess I had seen enough snow for a lifetime! I craved for a little sunshine. A glimpse of summer and a pretty fall were a good break only to start with snow again in October! Thankfully, I didn’t drive during those days (thanks to the campus bus service and a student’s thick skin that can endure such stuff!). By now, I had a slew of sweaters, jackets and warm boots- the REAL winter clothing. I couldn’t imagine it was the same me- me who used to LOVE snow. Yes, used to.
Right before graduation I got an interview call from Florida. I remember that cold December morning when I was to fly for my interview. It was snow all around and the plane was being de-iced. I must have slept through my entire two-hour flight as when I woke up the plane was about to land. It was a completely changed scenery. No snow, no ice … only greenery and water all around! And SUNSHINE! Yes! I thought, whether I get this job or not at least I get to enjoy a day of sunshine in December while still being a resident of Michigan :P.
The interview went well and I got an offer that I accepted. I have to confess, the weather did play a role in my decision.
Winters are mild in Florida (at least for someone who had just moved from Michigan, they were). 70F is considered cold. I used to laugh at this, I remember, for the first year I was there. Then I found myself wearing winter clothing (which is a very subjective term, I’ve learned) in such temperatures for the rest of the few years I spent there. 70F did seem cold after long and harsh 100F summer months! What a contrast, I thought! I loved the beaches and the mild winters but the summers in Florida were a torture. (Hailing from where I do I shouldn’t say this- summers there are far worse- but I’ve been spoiled, I guess :P).
In a few years, I made a career move and settled in the DC area. I would describe the weather here as a mix of light summers, beautiful fall season with a dash of rains, a pinch of mild winters sprinkled with some snow here and there. There are days when temps are in three digits or sometimes in the teens but they are rare and few. Some days there are drought conditions and we do get our fair share of snow (sometimes even a few feet), but they’re gone soon enough. It’s a moderate dose of a good mix of weathers. Though here in the US, dealing with weather has been made easier (from climate controlled indoors to snow chains on wheels and from very warm jackets to mist sprinklers in public spaces- you name it, they have it), but to me, climate does make a difference. I want it all. As I said, I have been spoiled :P.
I guess a good contrast is what makes me really love or hate something. A constant change is needed. A moderate dose of a good mix is what makes things lively and more enjoyable. Too much of anything is bad, they say. I wholeheartedly agree with them.
My first snow in MI
To MI’s credit, it has an amazing (but short) fall season
I have to admit, when I saw snow in DC after three years (I wasn’t here when it snowed last two years), I fell in love with it again 🙂