Life Changes, Weather Changes
Weather is something we all deal with daily, and often don't think twice about. For many, weather becomes background noise for busy schedules and day-to-day rituals. If it is going to be warm, you wear and outfit that can breathe. If there is a chance of rain, you grab an umbrella on your way out the door. If a snowstorm is headed your way, you gather kindling to start a fire in your wood-burning stove.
Weather may play a role in what you eat and drink throughout the day. Soup is great for rainy days, a crisp salad is perfect for scorching summer days, and hot chocolate on a snow day is a combination I hope everybody can experience at least once.
Everything from your mood to your health can be touched by weather, and it is something I have been much more aware of since moving to Florida.
I grew up in Big Bear, a quaint town in the San Bernardino mountains. The weather there is on the opposite end of the spectrum of where I am living currently. I experienced heavy rain maybe five times in the twenty six years I spent on the mountain, but I have seen my fair share of snow.
I really got into tea the last year I lived on the mountain. The snow helped that habit gestate. Some mornings I would make a pot of tea just so I could have something warm to drink while the snow fell and accumulated.
Having a warm drink to sip on while shoveling snow is delightful. Seeing the steam rise from the cup early in the morning while hearing the silence that is wholly unique to fresh snowfall is something that I miss dearly. If we got more than six inches of snow I would set an alarm just to be up before the world woke up and started shoveling its way out.
Summer weather on the mountain is very mild. It hardly gets above 80°, and the humidity is virtually nonexistent. I could enjoy warm cups of tea and coffee any time of the day and still feel comfortable. I've never been a huge fan of lemon in tea, but some summer mornings on the mountain called for it.
I developed my love for tea on the mountain and I will always want a cup anytime I choose to return home.
The move to Florida did not come without hardships. Drinking daily cups of tea was one of the few constants throughout the entire process. I enjoyed a cup before going to LAX for my flight, and I drank a cup my first morning in the new house. Tea reminds me of home, so having it throughout the move helped artificially make Florida feel more like home before I adjusted.
The weather in Florida could not be any more different than what I am accustomed to. I have never seen so much rain. It rained more in the first six months I lived here than I have seen in my entire life.
I now find myself drinking tea to the schedule or rain. When I see a storm blowing towards me, I start the kettle. I will never grow bored of enjoying tea and a book to the sounds of heavy rain pattering against my windows. If rain is expected on one of my days off, I make an event of it. Candles lit, soft music, tea, and old radio shows. The whole nine yards.
I tried to prepare myself for the heat that comes with a Florida summer, but I do not think I will ever get accustomed to it. A silver lining is that I have finally developed a taste for iced tea. I never much cared for iced tea or coffee, but it seems to taste a lot better in the midst of a scorching Florida day.
The weather out here is changing constantly. It can go from a bright sunny evening to heavy rain and back again in the span of an hour. Sometimes I will boil water for tea while it rains, and by the time the water is ready, it will have blown past and left a layer of humidity to accompany the sun. At that point I will just put the tea over ice.
I have come to respect weather a lot more now that I have a little experience with something besides fair sunny days and calm snowy nights. There have been nights where I stayed here in the shop an extra couple hours because it was raining so hard I did not feel safe driving.
Trading out earthquakes for hurricanes is a trade I think of often. Most times an earthquake hits, it is over with by the time you realize what's happening. You wake up in bed to a dreamlike undulating sensation, you hear your water cup fall off your nightstand, and by the time your sleep-fogged mind thinks holy shit, it's an earthquake, it's done with. You pick up your water cup, clean the spill, and are back to sleep in minutes. Just part of growing up in California.
With hurricanes, you know they are coming. That gives you time to prepare, but there's also an underlying anxiety behind it that just wasn't there with earthquakes. With quakes, you know the big one can happen at anytime and uproot your life, but it's on the back shelf of your mind. Hurricanes are the opposite for me. That feeling is in the forefront of my thoughts anytime a big storm is headed to the states.
I hope everyone touched by hurricane Ida is faring well. It's heart wrenching seeing its path of destruction, and even harder knowing not much can be done to prepare. You can stock up on water and non-perishables, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. Stay safe out there everyone.