I moved to Dallas about five months ago. Prior to that, I’d always lived in cold places. I spent my childhood and my early adulthood in Central Maine, where snow fell six months out of the year, and while it did warm up a bit during the summer months, it never really got hot-hot.
And it certainly didn’t last.
Fall would rush in and slide quickly into winter.
I remember moving to Cleveland, Ohio, and finding it practically tropical in comparison to where I grew up in Maine. I actually called Cleveland the “tropics,” which made my new friends laugh. True, it still snowed there — and parts of the city were part of “The Snow Belt.” But it was different. Winter wasn’t as cold and never-ending.
And the summers were boiling compared to what I was used to. The eight years I lived there, my house was about a mile south of Lake Erie, and the humidity let you know.
A Warm New Home With the Occasional Freak Cold Day
Dallas has been a deviation from all that. The most glaring difference is how ridiculously sunny it is in comparison to both of my previous homes.
I was here during a summer heat wave called the “Ring of Fire” (never quite sure if this was a Mordor reference or a Johnny Cash one — both seemed appropriate). The heat index crept up to 110 to 120 — and stayed there for weeks.
I found myself making sure to go out at 8 or 9 am for walks because it was “only” 80s.
Thankfully, that’s over. It’s been more temperate in recent months, with temperatures mostly in the 60s and 70s over fall heading into the brink of winter — something unthinkable up North.
Today, however, it’s cold. The temperature got to 30-something overnight. And this has happened a bunch of times this year in Dallas. A day or two when the temperatures are 30s, 40s, or 50s because of a cold front.
And then it returns back to normal.
A Single Cold Day or Two Feels Different Than a Cold Winter
“Probably disappointing for you,” a local says to me re: the freak cold weather days. “Move down from up North, and the winter follows you.”
But that’s where they’re wrong. A single cold day is different from a cold winter.
When it’s 60s and 70s all time, an occasional cold day doesn’t make as much of an impact. Because the ground isn’t frozen. There are still animals running around everywhere.
And in a sunny place, where it’s rarely cloudy, even when it’s cold the sun comes out. When it’s that sunny, the sun artificially makes you feel warmer when you stand in it — and feel psychologically warmer, too.
The cold isn’t as heavy and pervasive (and depressing) when it’s a freak weather incident rather than a persistently cold season.
A Bad Fit Is More Like a Cold Season
I’ve had a lot of long-term relationships. Some of them were rocky, some were much more even keel.
Nevertheless, all of them had conflict every once in a while. The best fits, the okay fits, the horrendously poor fits. All of them had conflict.
You deal with other human beings, you occasionally have conflict. It’s the price of engaging with others, take it or leave it.
But it wasn’t always the same level of conflict. The best fits were ones in which rough spots were more like the freak cold day and less like the ongoing cold season that stretched for months.
We fought or had to work through some issues, but it wasn’t our baseline. Most of the time things were sunny, and I had a reasonable expectation that once the cold front cleared, things would return to a warmer norm.
And I feel the same way, unperturbed by the freak cold days in my fairly warm new home. While others are disturbed by them, I find myself unbothered. Having experienced a pervasive cold season, this doesn’t feel nearly so bad.
But maybe if I live down South for long enough, I’ll end up spoiled. Maybe I’m still suffering from fresh memories of never-ending winters with the intensity of a person who just left a relationship so destructive that the smallest gestures from the next person they date simply wow them.
Books by Page Turner: