Saturday, November 24, 2012


When my children and I were living in the United States after the earthquake, and my son complained that his lips hurt, I immediately starting worrying about food allergies. It simply didn't occur to me that his lips were chapped, because I'm not used to living in cold weather. I don't worry about chapped lips.

It's getting cold here now. And by cold, I mean that I'm sitting here in my bedroom, the warmest room in the house, in the hottest of part of the afternoon, and I don't have the fan on. On the street, the merchants are now selling jackets so that people can prepare for the coming winter. It's 79 degrees.

This time of year, I don't like taking cold showers. Most of the time, it's not a problem (though I don't linger - I get in, get clean, get out). But it's too chilly right now.

 I've lived in countries that have real winter. I spent four years in England, and I remember sitting on the radiators in the morning in my classroom to warm up, wearing fingerless gloves indoors, having to force myself to get out of bed in the morning because it was so bone-chillingly cold. I spent many years in the States, and have experienced snow days and other such miseries.

And now, this is as cold as I want to get, a Caribbean winter. It's nice, sleeping under a blanket, wearing a light sweater to work, turning off the air conditioner in my classroom when I'm working in there by myself in the afternoon. At the same time, it gets up to 90 degrees most days, and I can go the beach, and I hardly ever wear closed-toed shoes. My skin doesn't get dry and the only coat I own is in the attic in my parents' house. This is just the way I like it.


Linda at teacherdance said...

Hi Ruth. Considering I just gave my grandson some vaseline for his dry lips, I had to chuckle at your talking about this. He is from Texas now, & even there it is not as dry as in Colorado, especially in the winter. As you saw from my poem last week, I like winter, but the dryness here does get to us sometimes, & we use lots of lotions. I love hearing about your differences in climate, & envy you the ocean very much. It sounds lovely to be "cold" at 79 degrees.

Janet said...

My lips are cracking in the corners now (do I drool at night?), and though I've never had the desire for the tropics your post gives me a twinge of longing. The open-toed shoes year-round part alone is enough.

I'll bet there's color there too, isn't there?