Being outside more

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 10:45 PM | comments: 0

Diana was quite literally wrestling a quilt that she's been working on tonight, so I figured it might be a good time to sit down at the computer and continue my recent binge of learning and coding. We had a serious line of storms roll through, apparently associated with the tropical depression that just landed, and without a lot of lightning I decided to go hang out on the patio. Really epic downpours and a nice breeze. The rain has stopped, and when my neighbor's air conditioning isn't on, there's a pleasant sound of dripping and critters. Right now, I'm hearing the end, and seeing the flashes in the sky, of the Halloween Party version of the fireworks at Magic Kingdom. The distant sound of the train whistle I'm sure isn't far behind. It's a lovely night for the senses.

If there is anything I could identify as being a critical quality of life issue, it's the ability to be outside. Living in Florida means that you can do that pretty much all year. I'm not saying you can't go out in places that have real winter, but it's not particularly fun or comfortable, and can in fact be fatal. Yeah, you can ski and such, but I'm talking about leaving your home without putting on a parka.

Sure, summer can be pretty hot. Late-June to early-September, the heat gets a little old by August, and it feels a little gross if you're outside for extended periods. It's still not terrible, and when you're enjoying "jacket weather" in January, you know, because it's just under 70, there's no arguing that the summer hotness is totally worth it. Wear your sunscreen, stay hydrated, and it's all good.

As rainy (or misty, to be more accurate) as Seattle could be in the winter, I have to say that being outside was pretty easy to do there as well. When I worked on the Microsoft campus, the people I hung out with had a lunch rotation among various buildings, and it was never a big deal to get out and walk, all year. Heck, we had walking trails in the "woods" at the edge of campus, and I wasn't afraid to use them any time of year. Of course, in the summer it was 74 and sunny pretty much every day, Poppins perfect even. Being outside generally put you in view of those beautiful mountains, too.

This just wasn't the scene, growing up in the Midwest. Fall was the most wonderful time of the year, with the cool weather, the smells, the colorful trees... and then there was November. It may not have snowed right away, but it was coming. The trees appear dead. The skies turn gray for days on end, and temperatures take a dump. You may finally get a glimmer of warm weather in March, but you might get snow, too. That's a solid four plus months of coldness that forces you inside, and it sucks. I don't know if I could ever go back to that. I did once, and it was awful.

The bottom line for me is that I need to live where I can be outside as much as possible. I'm not even really a big outdoor activity kind of guy (unless you count theme parks), I just like having the fresh air.


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