Are You a Weather Whiner?

A letter from the publisher of Tallahassee Magazine

How many people did you hear constantly complaining about the weather we experienced last winter?

I can still hear the echoes. “I can’t believe it’s so cold.” “I am so sick of this cold weather.” “Is it ever going to get warm again?”

Chances are these same folks rant about our long, hot summers or if it rains more than an hour or if the wind is blowing too hard or if it’s just an overcast day.

Actually, I feel this was one of the nicest winter seasons we’ve had in 20 or more years, and the transition to spring came just at the right time. This year, it seemed spring arrived and bloomed over a weekend — and it turned into one of the most enjoyable in many years.

Let’s try to put this into perspective.

Folks, we live in Florida, a land of sunshine, beauty and no state income tax. We are in a place where many people work 50 weeks a year to be able to come for their annual two-week vacation — or work their entire lives so they can retire here. Can you imagine dealing with freezing weather every day for months, shoveling snow in the early morning so you can get your car out of the driveway, not seeing sunshine for weeks on end?

We have seasonal changes. But, since we live in Florida, those changes are mild.

Most of Florida’s population lives south of Gainesville and doesn’t have any seasons to embrace other than hot and hotter. (Not to mention that their roads and neighborhoods are crowded; that lines greet them most everywhere they go; and that, during the winter months, their lives are disrupted by throngs of Northerners flocking south to enjoy all Florida has to offer.)

October in North Florida brings the first cool breezes that signal to us fall is on the way. By November, the leaves on certain trees begin to turn color, putting on a foliage show similar to what can be seen in parts of North Carolina. If we’re really lucky, Thanksgiving can be enjoyed with a brisk walk on a cool day and the first fire of the season.

This past December, winter arrived in North Florida — and stayed put for about three months. Our Christmas was “nippy,” and we got to haul out our cold-weather wardrobes and keep them out. The crispness of the air added to the holiday cheer, bringing with it a spirit like that portrayed on Hallmark greeting cards.

Our cold snaps, which saw highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s day after day, probably worked wonders on keeping down our mosquito population — something we’ll all be grateful for this summer. But the cold eventually was broken in early March with hints of warmer weather, a reassurance that spring was not far away.

Suddenly, it came. Just as it does every year. Spring arrived — this time at Easter. And I was reminded again of how fortunate I am to live in what is likely the best region in our country.

We have the best of so many worlds. And I, for one, grow weary of hearing people continually complain about the weather.

We get to enjoy life every day in North Florida, whether the day is sunny, hot, cold, rainy, windy, clear or overcast. And frankly, the world would be a better place to live if we would all just enjoy and embrace what we have and quit bringing others down with negative energy.

Now it’s hot and humid and we’ll likely have lots of rain. Make the best of it and know that this will also change, hopefully into another great fall and winter.

If you don’t like it, try living in South Florida. I’m sure you’ll find many more things than the weather to complain about.

Categories: Archive, From The Publisher, Opinion