Every single year, the news (and everyone on Facebook) announces the first snow fall as if it were completely unexpected.
Every. Single. Year.
I thought snow was pretty cool when I was a kid. My fascination with it was lessened when I had to start walking to class through it, and when I started driving to work in it. By the time I had my own driveway and sidewalk, I was done with it completely, even with a snowblower.
Snow was one of the many reasons I was ready to move in 2009. Cleveland was generally in the shitter in terms of economy and jobs in my line of work. Seeing so many friends move and find bigger and better things heavily influenced me. Diana had lived in a number of places as well. It was just time.
Seattle was awesome. I miss it every day. It really opened my eyes in a way that I desperately needed, and should have had years before that. Way back in 1998 I went to Portland for a conference, and it was my first time out west. All I could think was, "Wow, these are my people, and this place is awesome." It took a lot of life shaking things up, 11 years, before I actually lived in the Pacific Northwest. Today I talk with friends who have moved around, and we're amazed that we ever lived in Brunswick, Ohio. It's not that we're judgmental in those discussions, but wonder more if people realize that there might be something more out there.
We went back to Cleveland and didn't last even two years, and most of that was because of winter. It's not just the cold winters keeping you stuck inside, it's the flat, gray, featureless sky that dominates your vision for weeks at a time. Say what you will about Seattle's perpetual winter mist, the sun still comes out almost every day for a little while, there are evergreens everywhere, and there are goddamn mountains with snow on them everywhere you look.
Central Florida is not as pretty as the Pacific Northwest, but what it lacks in scenery it makes up for in sun and blue skies. My mom told me when she moved here that she was amazed at how much better she felt in the general sense. Given the fact that depression is an issue on that side of the family, I totally get what she meant. Seasonal affective disorder kicked my ass every year of my life living in the Midwest. It's just awful. I never had it in Seattle, and I certainly don't in Florida.
I'm always reminded of the movie Orange County, where the main character spends his senior year plotting how to get the hell out of town (and dating Schuyler Fisk, lucky bastard). An author that he admires and finally meets talks about the conflict that people have with the place they're born. That's me. I don't hate Cleveland, I just don't want to live there right now. I certainly don't want to deal with snow.