Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

It’s Not The Cold, It’s The Gloom


My mother and my daughters recently visited with me in my Florida home.  What they returned back to was almost cruel.  In Florida, the weather was a very comfortable low 80’s, and nothing but sunlight.  Just days after they returned back to Pennsylvania, the area got walloped with over 31 inches of snow.

Of course with my health, I can only breath a sigh of relief that I do not have to deal with shoveling large amounts of snow, or deal with extreme cold temperatures.  And while the initial impact of the snowfall is quite beautiful, after the novelty wears off, reality sets in.

It is a phenomenon that I saw first hand in the Spring of 2014.  I picked up a friend from the Philadelphia airport in March, who had come to visit my dying father.  She came from Florida.  In just moments from leaving the terminal, the expression on her face changed as her view of the overcast skies, brown and barren trees, simply changed her mood to one of gloom.  And I am not talking about her pending visit with my father either.  She had just flown in from a place where the climate was still warm, and very sunny.  It was like watching air released from a balloon.

I really could not understand what I was witnessing, because the Pennsylvania overcast winter climate was all that I knew.  That is, until after I moved to Florida.  My first visit back home was in November later that year.  Coincidently, the area had been hit with an early snow storm.  And while initially I was dreading the cold, and possibly the snow, in just months, I had grown acclimated to the sunny climate of Florida.  It happened, the overcast skies caused an immediate change in my mood.  I had never experienced anything like it.

The skies remained overcast the entire weekend visit.  And the dreariness in my mood remained.  Upon my return to the airport, and I kid you not, a single ray of sunshine was piercing through the skies.  And from the highway, I could see that it was pointing right to the airport.

Do I miss the drastic changes of seasons up north?  Do I miss the changing leaves?  Do I miss snow?  We actually do have changing seasons down here in Florida.  I do miss a day up in the Pocono mountains to smell Fall.  And yes, I do miss the silent beauty of a snowfall.  But you know what I do not miss?  Constant overcast skies.

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