I hear tell that it takes a human two years to become acclimated to a new environment. If that’s true then in two more months Jim should be all settled into the various climates of Central New York State. The cold should not bother him so much, or the lack of sun, or the over generous amounts of rain we get compared to his native state of Texas. Oh, we have our warm moments up here in the Northeast, don’t get me wrong, but not like they do down there. I’ve had the pleasure of being in Texas for three of the four seasons, or what passes as seasons anyway.
In the middle of January it was in the mid-80s with clear blue skies.
In early July it was in the mid-90s with clear blue skies.
In mid-October it was in the low 80s with clear blue skies. It did rain once while we were there this last time and I immediately thought as I stepped out and saw the overcast sky, “Ah, just like home.” Of course, the very next day we were right back to those blue skies and in the 80s.
I’m pretty sure I could get acclimated to that sort of thing in two years, but I think you need more than that when going the other way. Hell, I’ve lived in these parts for almost fifty years and I can’t say as I am all that tolerant of the cold, at least not anymore. Maybe it’s just old age. I can’t stand to be cold anymore and I complain about it from September to May, at least. Once upon a time temperatures in the 80s-90s would have sent me running to the sanctuary of A/C. Now I think on them with an ever-growing fondness. While visiting Texas, as the others would all be inside, I’d find a glorious spot in the shade, the warm, warm beautifully warm and comfy cozy shade, to read and relax and wallow in the heat like I can so seldom do in New York.
But, what of Jim and his battle to acclimate the other way around? Will he ever be warm again? Will he ever employ the dressing in layers method? Will he ever forgive me for being the reason he can no longer ride his motorcycle twelve months out of the year? It tugs at certain guilt strings every time I see him sitting at the computer or on the sofa watching television wearing his winter coat over a hoodie sweatshirt over a t-shirt. I’m miserable when I’m cold and yet, I fear I am not as cold as he must be all the time in these Northern climes we call home.
He’d surely jump at the chance to move back to Texas to be toasty warm again. And yet, as much as I’d love to be warm more times than cold, I cannot find it in me to move. I love the changing of the seasons. I love to see the snowdrops, crocus and daffodils push their way up through the molding leaves and melting layers of snow. I love how the silence of winter is one morning suddenly broken by the sweet, beautiful chirping of returning birds. I love when the smell of lilacs drenches the air and when the sun finally returns. I appreciate every single amazingly cloudless and wonderfully blue sky. And in the fall, the hillsides are ablaze with the most brilliant of colors and the air smells of fallen leaves, ripened fields of corn, and pumpkins. And yes, oh, it is beautiful when we get just the right amount and type of snow that clings in tiny white lines along the leafless branches and all is quiet. At night, the blankets of white sparkle under a full moon, reflecting the twinkling stars above; breathtaking. I find myself humbled in those moments. Even as I may long to be warm and cozy, I can’t yet give those wondrous, child-like times up just yet.
I don’t think two years is long enough to learn to love a place so different than what you are used to. I have to admire the man for even trying and I count myself amongst one of the very lucky to have found a person willing to put up with it all in the name of love. As we enter our second winter today – the third if you count when he moved up here in the middle of January – I sure don’t look forward to shoveling snow, scraping ice and those Oh-So-Mighty heat bills. I do look forward to snuggling on the sofa and sipping hot cocoa though. And it’s been mentioned that someone wants to actually trudge out into the cold and snow very soon to get a real Christmas tree. Maybe he is acclimating after all.