Gulf Coast winters rock

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

You have to excuse our bragging. When there is a thundersnow storm in the northeast while it is in the 70s and 80 along the Texas Gulf Coast, we tend to rub it in a little.

Not that we don’t get cold weather down here. When we do, we’re too busy cranking up the central heat. We are not in any mood to brag then.

But there are some people living along the coast, who, for some reason like cold weather. My question to them is: Why don’t you move where there is a lot of cold weather?

It makes no sense to live along the Texas coast and profess your admiration for the cold. It would make more sense to just move where it’s cold – a lot. By May, those cold-loving folks must be burning up down here.

The rest of us like taking selfies in February outside in bright sunshine, perhaps in our T-shirts and shorts, and sending them to people we know in other parts, where the snow is blocking their driveways, or perhaps even their front doors.

We shouldn’t. It’s not nice. They will retaliate in the heat of the summer, when we’ll hover around the 90s every day, and they’ll be enjoying a cool breeze on an August evening. Then the selfies will be traveling the other way.

But for now, the kids up north love their snow days, and the adults are anxiously awaiting spring, when it becomes a little less complicated to dress in the morning - at least a few layers less.

We do suffer some in July and August and the early part of September. That’s when it’s a good idea to invest in some cheap Southwest Airlines tickets to Colorado and hang out in nature’s own air conditioning for a while.

That’s when the smart traveler can take selfies in front of a fireplace inside a nice, cozy restaurant on an early September evening, and send them back here with words like: “It was a refreshing 52 degrees this morning. We went outside and enjoyed the brisk weather before breakfast.”

This is interesting, because at home, 52 degrees would be considered cold in the winter months, and I would have the heater going. There must be a difference between the Colorado 52 degrees and the Gulf Coast 52 degrees.

It may just be psychological. A relative who does not mind 80-plus heat in his own house complains when the temperature reaches near that in mine. I keep the thermostat at 78 during the summer. I don’t like being cold.

“I’m sweating like a pig,” he complains. “Must be the different climate.” Then I turn the A/C to 75 and get a light jacket or blanket for myself. People complain about everything these days - and probably the days before these days.

My relatives in Europe have had a rough time this winter. Temperatures barely reached the freezing point during the day for weeks on-end. I cannot do anything about that, but I can try to warm them up a little long-distance.

“It was so cold this morning that I even had to put on socks,” I wrote one day. There was no response.
I figured that their keyboard probably froze, or they could not type with those heavy gloves on.

“It has warmed up nicely,” came the reply after a while. I checked with Accuweather, and the high there was right at 32 degrees Fahrenheit that day.

They say that cold is all in the mind. I say, “they” are wrong. Cold is in the air, whatever the mind thinks. My imagination is not good enough to perceive 32 degrees as anything but cold.

But, if you hit that mark for the first time in weeks, you could get a sense that things are actually warming up, that spring is coming, and all that frozen tundra called a country once again will turn green.

Even though Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow recently, which indicates that there will be six more weeks of winter.

That’s one reason it is a smart move to buy some plane tickets if you live where it’s really cold and come enjoy our Gulf Coast this time of the year.

Then, while those left behind are still trying not to slip on the icy streets, you can send them selfies of hanging out at one of our almost-empty beaches.

Yes, you’ll make them mad and envious, but it is fun to do. Try not to be too gleeful as you (and all of us) enjoy the wonderful Gulf Coast winter.