It’s been a tough summer, but now it’s time to make the best of the other three seasons
By John Toth / Editor and Publisher
It has been a tough summer along our part of the Texas Gulf Coast, and we deserve a break.
Yes, after Hurricane Harvey’s 50 inches of rain and weeks of river flooding, plus the heat and humidity, we deserve fall. It may be a little late arriving this year, but later is better than never.
Although the first part of fall hasn’t been much cooler than summer, we know that the storm season has wound down and our days of following wiggling noodles generated by weather computers are gone for a while.
I don’t mind the summer heat and humidity all that much. There are ways to deal with it, like air conditioning. I like the heat more than I like the cold, which was one reason I moved many years ago to the Gulf Coast.
Another reason was that I needed a job right out of college.
I don’t mind a little cold, but not months of it. So, I was determined to make a new start in a place that didn’t get very cold.
When I got here in July 1979, I was welcomed by a tropical storm and a hurricane threat, one after the other. They didn’t make me leave, and the best was yet to come.
Then came fall, and winter, and I was sold on this subtropical climate as I barbecued on my balcony in shorts and a T-shirt on a mild Sunday afternoon. No more cold winters.
Some people like the cold and snow. Colorado is only an hour and a half away by plane, but I got my fill of that in September one year when I sloshed through snow on top of Pikes Peak.
I loved it - for about two hours. Then we drove back down to where it was still in the 80s - at least the upper 70s. That’s about all the snow and winter I needed for a while.
My daughter recently messaged us photos of trees turning into beautiful fall foliage in Kansas. I do miss that part of fall here. Then I checked the morning temperature there and saw that it was 36 degrees.
That would be major news here, but in Kansas it was just another fall morning.
We get some fall foliage in December, but for the most part the leaves changing color is not so eventful as in places where there are four distinct seasons.
In exchange, I can often walk on the beach wearing summer clothes in December. I don’t have to worry much about frost on the windshield, or how I’m going to dig the car out from under all that snow. I can drive with the windows down and open the house windows.
And, we have the wildflowers blooming all over the place in the spring. That’s a fair exchange for the lack of fall foliage.
I remember climbing in knee-deep snow as a child, trying to make it to school, only to find out halfway there that it was a snow day. I didn’t watch TV or listen to the radio that morning. I just got dressed to go to school, which was three blocks away.
A woman from the other side of the street yelled at me that schools were closed, so I went back home and started watching TV.
A few years later the weather forecast predicted a major snow storm that would shut down the city. And it did. It shut down everything - well, just about everything.
When it stopped snowing, I went downstairs to dig my car out from under the snow. It took a while. When I cleared off the windshield, I saw a piece of paper stuck under one of the windshield wipers. It was a parking ticket.
That’s when I decided that I’d had enough, graduated, packed up the old car and hit the road leading southwest and to the Gulf Coast.
Enjoy this great time of the year, dear reader. It’s your reward for a tough summer. Open your windows on cooler days and save on the air conditioning bill.
It is a wonderful time of the year, as it will be next month, and the month after that, and so on.