Friday, December 12, 2008
7 Quick Takes on Winter in the Tropics
1. People don’t think there are any real differences between summer and winter in the tropics, but there are, albeit subtle ones. If you live here long enough, you become attuned to the little differences in things like the air quality (still balmy, but with a slight sharpness to it), or how the sun sets over the ocean in a slightly different place (which I don’t totally get, because isn’t the west, the west?).
2. I admit it, I'm spoiled about the whole shorter days business. I know our winter days are pretty darn long compared to the Mainland, but they're still not long enough for me. I'm looking at the tide calendar and see that the sun rose this morning at 7:00 and will set tonight at 5:51. I find myself counting down to the winter solstice and getting excited about how the days will get longer after that. So maybe that's something I have in common with my Mainland friends.
3. We continue to wear the same shorts and t-shirts we wore all summer. It is a rare winter day when we are forced to don long sleeved tops and/or jeans. We do not like to shop for clothes during the winter. Imagine our frustration with the racks and stacks of cashmere and wool items with which every store in every mall is fully stocked. The display of wool scarves at The Gap makes me laugh out loud.
4. Still, I do like to sing along with “White Christmas” and “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” even though there’s no relating to them whatsoever. I draw the line, however, at “Let It Snow,” but maybe that’s just because it’s such an annoying song. Once I get “Oh, the weather outside is frightful” stuck in my head, I have to fight the urge to shriek in agony and tear my hair out at the roots.
5. One of our family’s Christmas traditions is to go, on the morning of Christmas Eve, to an eastern facing beach and watch the sunrise (the photo on my home page was taken at Sandy Beach one such Christmas Eve a few years ago).
6. Our extended family all gathers at our home on Christmas morning for breakfast. We eat outside on the lanai. Until it gets too hot from the morning sun, then we come back inside and cool off.
7. As I gaze out my kitchen window at bougainvillea, ginger and plumeria, I'm thankful for flowers that bloom all year round. Now, as part of the clean-up we're doing after yesterday's storm, I've got to go fish their leaves and blossoms out of the pool. Because I'm going for a swim this afternoon.
[HT: Jennifer @ Conversion Diary, a favorite blogger who does this every Friday -- I'm entertained and inspired by her QTs every week, and by those of other bloggers who are also inspired by her. Mahalo, Jennifer!]