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Texas Gulf Coast winters: I’m hoping for more short and T-shirt weather in the subtropics

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

The temperature was mild, although a little muggy. People were running around in shorts and T-shirts, doing last-minute holiday shopping. This is the way we like to dress in December along the Texas Gulf Coast.

It’s a lot more comfortable to dress down while pushing through the crowds to get that advertised sale than wearing four layers of clothing. That could slow down forward progress to the checkout counter.

A friend mentioned the other day that he is ready for weather under 70 degrees. I’m not. While much of the country was either in a deep freeze or dodging tornadoes, the friend was complaining that it was too warm and a bit humid. I’ll take warm and humid.

Another friend posted on Facebook a picture of the instrument panel of her car as they made their way to Colorado. It showed that the outside temperature was -20 degrees. In my opinion, her temperature gauge was broken.

That is just too cold. Heck, 20 on the plus side is still too cold, or even 40. Why would anyone go outside on purpose and ski down a mountain in -20 degree weather?

My mother used to spend Christmas with us, and I could tell that she enjoyed the 70-ish temps in December. Then, when she left after New Year’s, it turned cold. But all she knew was that the Texas Gulf Coast weather is magical. She couldn’t stop bragging about it to her friends.

I once drove on the New York Throughway in November and had to cut the trip short because of a blizzard heading our way. I made it back safely, but the storm shut down the road for four days. Then I made my way to a warmer climate.

When I worked in Bay City in the late 1970s, a bunch of my co-workers and friends got together and played a little guitar and sang some songs while consuming cold beverages outdoors in late December in 80-degree weather. I soon came to the conclusion that living in cold states was not for me.

Back in those days, we enjoyed the mild weather without worrying if it was normal or made that way by global warming, because we didn’t know anything about global warming.

Now, some people have to point out while I am basking in the winter sunshine that the globe is getting warmer. You mean, the winter heat along the Gulf Coast indicates that the planet is melting? But it was also warm 35 years ago, and back then, we thought the Earth was cooling.

I’m not arguing about climate change, pro or con. Heck, we put enough garbage in the atmosphere to make it do just about anything, and the Asian countries and many others poison it more daily. That’s not fog in Beijing. Wearing a mask is not going to filter out the smog those people are inhaling.

Some people like to rub it in when the rest of us get cold.

My buddy in Florida is posting Facebook selfies of himself lying on a beach there. My buddy in Belize does the same regularly, especially when half of our country is under snow. I would also if I were over there.

One year I drove the family to Orlando to be even warmer in December than here (and also to see Mickey and friends), and it was like an East Coast summer the whole time we were there. On the way back to Texas, we ran into a blustering cold front and made the quickest bathroom stop in history.

A friend who moved away from here many years ago complained recently about the days of non-stop rain and sleet at his current location in the Northwest.

‘I bet you miss the Gulf Coast winters,” I told him.

“Yeah, but I don’t miss the Gulf Coast summers,” he replied.

“We have a solutions for that,” I countered. “Air conditioning and the beach.”