Dear Citizens of Long Beach, California,
In a recent visit to the U.S. News and World Report website I noticed that your fair city (well, actually your entire state) topped a list of 10 retirement locations with year-round nice weather.
When I checked the Weather Channel website today our corner of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley came in at 32 degrees while y’all were sitting at a balmy 60. Call me a season-ist, but that’s just not right. Sixty degrees Fahrenheit belongs in March or April, not January.
Don’t get me wrong. You have a lovely city. The Queen Mary is a classic beauty and even your new airport terminal is a pleasant place to pass the time. Who can complain about an open-air waiting area, complete with palm trees swaying in the warm breeze?
It must be paradise, except it’s not. Not for me, anyway.
I don’t wear the same clothes every day. I’ll never get a tattoo because I don’t want to be stuck with a permanent accessory. Sometimes I’ll switch back and forth between two books because neither can hold my attention.
I want to use all 64 crayons in the box.
Living in a place with four seasons means the weather never wears out its welcome. I’ve lived in Louisiana where summer drags out from April to October and in North Dakota where winter lingers from October to May. In our little part of the Commonwealth each season has the good manners to move on right before you decide you’re tired of it. Fall, in fact, always departs before I’m ready to say goodbye.Another thing---what do you talk about when the weather’s perfect all the time? Earlier this week something called the polar vortex rode into town, threw us all into a walk-in freezer and slammed the door. And as we shivered together we swapped stories with people in the check-out line and at work and at church. “Cold enough for you?” “Did your power go out?” “I hear it’s going to warm up to 30 tomorrow---I guess I'll wear shorts."
We squeeze every drop of excitement out of every weather event, especially those of the winter variety. We watched Mr. Vortex approach with dreadful glee, wrapped ourselves up in fleece and pulled on our mittens when he arrived, and discussed his visit extensively after he returned to the North Pole. What do you get excited about? "Harriet, I hear the temperature’s gonna drop to 50 tonight---I better go buy some more bread and milk.” I suppose if I lived in California I’d complain about the taxes, but that same old song would wear thin fast.
I hope I haven’t hurt your feelings. Many would consider your temperate climate ideal and I’m sure I’ll visit your city again.