I've been living on the East Coast since 1995. That's 22 years, people.
When asked if I grew up here, I say "No...California", and the next question is....ready for it...."What the hell are you doing here?"
Growing up on the ocean on the West Coast, we had the year round beach at our fingertips, windows open wide, the flies lived inside - maybe a little fog, a few fires, landslides, and rain if we were lucky.
When I changed climates for college, I suddenly realized I couldn't get away without a jacket or closed toe shoes and had to adjust to a new major wardrobe mindset. I also realized that every 4 months or so, I got to change that wardrobe again, shut the windows, light candles and make soup or on the flip side of the season, sit out in the blazing sun, into the balmy evenings with the noisy cicadas.
It is hard to believe that for twenty years on this coast I'm still counting back the three hour difference in my head before calling or texting my family. I'm still getting used to the fact that on the East Coast, the sun going down won't necessarily be "over the ocean horizon". I am getting used to that while I am ten layers deep in January, and my family is walking the beach in flip flops and a baseball cap to shield from the sun, not for warmth. I am also getting used to the countdown to what's next in New England weather, and it is always just as good as the previous.
Now, as my heat kicks on and bangs through the pipes, our Winter shoes are piled in our "shoe hallway", and I put a third blanket on the bed, I am thinking to myself that I have no problem with the cold...as long as I am warm. The rain and snow and grayness are my favorite kinds of melancholy days. I am the most productive in my work, my art, thinking and even my sleep. What comes out on paper is also the most volatile, as the season changes...