June in January

You wouldn’t know it is mid-December by the look of things here in northern Virginia. On Saturday night, we went with friends to a Christmas light show where you walk through gardens decorated with all kinds of Christmas lights. We attended this event a few years ago bundled up in coats and hats and glove. This year, we didn’t even bother with jackets. The temperature had reached 70 during the day.

Sunday was much the same, and we did not want to waste it indoors. After taking the kids for “summer” haircuts in the morning, we walked to the local park, and the kids played for a few hours. Once again, jackets were optional as the outdoor temperatures were at or near 70 ℉. In both cases, everyone else seemed to be enjoying the weather. Lots of people were in their yards raking leaves. The playgrounds at the park were full. The bike paths were busy with traffic.

Last year at this time temperatures were often down into the single digits. I have to admit that in December, I prefer the cold to the warm. I like having seasons. December is supposed to be cold. It is a time for wool coats and hats and gloves. You can walk outside and fill your lungs with a deep breath of cold air.

Then, too, we head down to Florida for a weeks in December for the holidays. We drive, and there is nothing I like better than to pull away from the house while it cold and a light snow is falling, only to arrive in Florida a few days later, with the sun shining and the temperatures in the 80s.

Warm December weather messes with that. It’s not the same when you leave a place that is 70 degrees for a place that is 80 degrees, as it is when you leave a place that is 7 degrees for a place that is 80 degrees.

I have lived in climates where there is not much variation in temperature and season. Los Angeles was hot in the summer and fall, mild in the winter, and pleasant for a few weeks in the spring. I like summer and winter, but I also enjoy the transitions between them. I like especially like spring after a particularly cold and snowy winter. I don’t know how else one comes to appreciate spring without such winters.

Fortunately, we only have another day or two of this June in January weather. It looks as if, by the time we are ready to head for Florida, we’ll be back in to the 40s by day, and the 20s by night. Cold enough to enjoy the gradual temperature change as we make our way south on I-95.