I woke up to the first heavy frost of the year outside my window. It's not much, considering that it's already snowed in northern Illinois where I used to live. But pretty impressive for Texas.
With cold weather comes all sorts of ways to adapt to it. One of my favorite neighbors insists that anything below 50 degrees is too cold to go walking in; one of the delivery drivers at Domino's won't wear long pants until it's in the 20s. Comparing all these cold-weather wimps to the people of Illinois...well, let's just say it's rather humorous.
60 degrees: Northerners wear long pants and short sleeves, although shorts and sandals are fairly common if it's sunny. A jacket might be worn if it's cloudy or windy. A southerner, on the other hand, will be wearing long sleeves and possibly a light jacket.
50 degrees: Northerners switch to long sleeves and pants, although you might spot the occasional teen wearing shorts, and light jackets are not uncommon. Southerners break out the hats and light gloves.
40 degrees: Northerners wear light or midweight jackets and might drive with the windows open. Southerners go to Tractor Supply for parkas.
30 degrees: It is officially cold outside. Northerners wear heavy jackets or parkas depending on their metabolism. Children and teenagers will still try to check the mail or feed the dog barefoot and without a jacket on, although their mothers will scold them for it. Southerners dress like they're going on an Arctic expedition.
20 degrees: Northerners wear parkas and occasionally two pairs of socks. Southerners refuse to leave the house if at all possible; school will be canceled with any measurable snowfall.
10 degrees: Northerners begin to limit their outside activities but are still seen chopping ice off their driveways. Southerners are virtually housebound.
0 degrees: Temperatures of this degree are rare in the south, but can occur, especially if wind chill is factored in. At this point, Northerners will begin to skip church. They might not walk their own dogs, but they will bundle up to walk the neighbor's dogs if they are getting paid for it. Common articles of clothing include long underwear, snow pants, parkas, hats, and mittens so thick the hands are rendered virtually useless. Southern life as we know it ceases to exist.
But here's the thing about life in the south: winter comes in bursts.
It will be fifty one day. Then thirty the next. It might stay in the thirties all week but warm up into the sixties by the weekend. My weather app says that it's supposed to be 67 on Saturday and 49 on Sunday, only to warm back up to 62 by Tuesday. Texas is either bipolar or drunk. Either that or it's compassionate, trying to bring on winter but forever relenting after seeing the misery of its people.
When do you bring out the winter coats? And are you going to buy Where the Clouds Catch Fire (by clicking on the "Purchase" tab above) for anyone on your Christmas list? Let me know in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to like us on Facebook!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.