I live in Los Angeles. It’s currently 64 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for fifteen years. I didn’t move here to become a movie star. I moved here to escape the miserable winters I was forced to deal with my entire life. I’m originally from Detroit, Michigan and I lived in Boston, Massachusetts for four years. I moved from one side of the country clear to the other to avoid winter (and the abusive monster who tried to kill me, but that’s a story for another time).
I’ve lived here long enough now that when Male sent me a text message the other day saying that it was -20 windchill where he is, I had difficulty remembering what that’s like. It seems the rest of the country is experiencing an unseasonably early cold snap called the Polar Vortex, which makes me think of a Christmas wormhole instead of -20 windchill in early November.
So, I thought I’d gloat and tell you some awesome things about not having to deal with real winter anymore. Here are 8 of them.
No winter coat
When I was a kid, every fall, my mom would take my sister and me shopping for our winter coats for that year. It was an item that you were stuck wearing for the next six months, so it was very important that you get it right. They were big, bulky things that made you look like the Michelin Man:
I recently bought a parka to wear to the dog park, because I’m outside for an hour in the dark every night, exposed to the frigid 60°F weather. Brrrr! (yes, I know. I’m a sissy.) I uncreatively call it my dog parka. I bought this parka… in Los Angeles… when it was 90° outside.
Hats, gloves, scarves and boots are accessories instead of necessities
These are just a few of my hats. Bask in their awesome glory:
Other than the ushanka (the flap hat, top left), which I bought in Los Angeles to take to Michigan last time I went in winter, none of those are winter hats. They’re just hats. Yay hats! I have actually worn the ushanka here when it gets really cold (like 40°).
I don’t need to winterize my car
I don’t need special tires, antifreeze, tire chains or a bag of kitty litter in my trunk just in case I get stuck. I don’t have to do anything in particular to my car at all when winter comes around.
I remember buying my first new car ever and springing for the special under coating to keep the salt from rusting it out. I don’t need that here. My car is a swaddled and spoiled California car. There is no rust on it at all.
No ice scraper needed
The worst part of driving in winter, aside from, you know, the black ice and dangerous driving conditions, was having to scrape my car since I never once had a garage when I lived back east. I’d go out to work in the morning with a broom to brush off the loose snow. I’d start my car, turn the defrosters on full blast and grab the ice scraper. Then, I would laboriously set out to clear my windows of ice. It usually took a while.
The worst, was when I lived in Boston and actually had to dig my car out of a snow bank before I could even drive it. The roads there were narrow and the snowplows would bury your car under an avalanche.
When I moved to California, I clearly remember ceremoniously throwing my ice scraper out. That was a good day.
Being outside can’t kill you
As I was walking my dog this morning in brisk wintry 60° weather, I thought to myself that, if I lived back east, there’s no way I’d have a dog without a yard to throw her ass into. That selfish thought is actually what prompted this post.
Every year back east, you’d hear a news story somewhere about someone dying from exposure, because just the simple act of being outdoors can kill you. That’s a crazy thought when you get down to it. Screw that. I’m all bundled up in my dog parka when it’s only 60°.
One of the many benefits of living in California is fresh produce year round. The middle of this state is all verdant farm land and they grow things all the time. If you walk into a grocery in January, you can find freshly ripened tomatoes and strawberries. True, they’re better in the summer, but having freshly picked strawberries in January is pretty neat. The farmer’s markets here are year round.
You can take your fresh produce and grill it up in January, too. This past summer, I bought a little gas hibachi grill. I love it.
Grilling my food myself is still somewhat of a novelty for me, so practically every weekend since I bought it, I have marinated some chicken and grilled it up on the weekend.
My parents are coming out from Michigan for Christmas this year and when I told them we could grill some food, my mom turned away from the phone and yelled to my dad, “We’re going to grill food… outside… in December!!!”
If I turn to my right, this is my view:
Do you know what that is? It’s sunshine. And, yes, it’s mid-November and that is an open window. I enjoy fresh air.
When I lived back east, I had seasonal affective disorder. I couldn’t enjoy fall because it meant that winter was right around the corner. Everything would turn gray and die and I’d be stuck inside with no fresh air for months. Since I moved to California, my SAD has all but disappeared.
That’s enough gloating for one day. I’ll go ahead and be thankful that I no longer have to deal with this:
What’s it like where you live now?