Warmth of the Cold

I love fall. The sheer aesthetic of sitting by a window with warm glowing string lights, drinking some sort of hot tea, surrounded with the smell of books. The fact that it is finally cold enough to be wearing wool socks and sweatshirts. The feeling of cold air filling your chest from the inside, making your home feel so much warmer.

I have to admit, I miss the cold winters back home in Germany. Right now, it is almost freezing there, the leaves that are turning red-orange, some almost pink-purple, are covering the roads like a warm-colored blanket. The lakes are topped with a paper thin layer of ice in the morning, and windows and cars are frosted the way they would be in movies. Horses’ coats are becoming thick and soft, and cows are being brought from their pastures back into their winter barns.

Credit: view.stern.de

I remember how much I hated the feeling of biking up the hill to my house after school, watching the clouds turn to a darker grey as the sun set behind them, and feeling the warm air in my lungs being replaced by the cold, making my throat hurt by the time I got back home. But I always loved the moment I walked through the door, embraced by my jumping dog and the heated floor, maybe even a fire in the chimney. The best days were the rainy ones. Your house just feels so much cozier when you don’t want to go outside.

 

Credit: moondog.de

I miss that weather. I miss the grey skies and the rain-soaked lawns. I miss the muddy roads and paths going through the forest by my house. I miss collecting chestnuts with my friends and cooking them with their whole family. I miss being freezing cold with numb fingers and an icy nose. I miss how later in the winter the trees would look like they had been covered in powdered sugar, reflecting the grey-purple of the afternoon sky.

I miss my home.

And no matter where I’ll live throughout my life, no matter how many times I’ll move and find new homes, that will always be my first home. My family’s home. My real home.

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East Coast Weather vs. West Coast Weather

Winter in Los Angeles — Photo Credit: ImMovingtoLA
Winter in Washington D.C. — Photo Credit: HostelsClub

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is almost Halloween, Thanksgiving is only a month away, and fall has technically been in full swing since September 22. Yet, last week it was almost 90 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of Southern California. Spud Fest happened last week at OVS and it was hot enough for people to be wishing they were in the dunk tank or the pool. At the end of Spud Fest, some students were so tired of the heat they had the remaining water and ice from the ice chests dumped onto them.

For some, 2/3 of the year being summer, and the rest being an awkward mix of cold and warm is heaven. But for those who live for the cold, the Southern California fall and winter seasons are not ideal. Currently, the weather in New York City and Washington D.C. is ranging from 50-60 degrees, with rain. Hopefully, Southern California will catch up soon.

Halloween

Photo Credit: Urban Matter

It is now mid October, and IT’S STILL SUNNY AND WARM IN OJAI. This irritates me to no end, which means this post will be a long rant.

In Ojai, and pretty much all of Southern California, three of our seasons are summer, and the fourth season is kind of cold, but not really. This means, there is a very good chance that Halloween will be a warm, sunny day. There will also be no cool decorations around town like the Jack O’Lanterns in Chicago (pictured).

Disneyland, scary movies, and cold weather are all things I associate with Halloween. But, obviously the cold weather part isn’t exactly true for California.

But, Halloween is still one of my favorite holidays, whether it’s 80 degrees (ew) or 50. And, The Tower of Terror is closing at California Adventures, which is an amusement park tragedy. But it’s all ok, because after Halloween, Thanksgiving Break will be closer than ever.

Some Love for Rainy Days

There’s a certain thing I love about rainy days. Being able to take the day off to snuggle under a mountain of blankets and pillows. Breaking into the food cabinet for hot chocolate and marshmallows. Making a batch of warm, gooey cookies. Watching an old play and eating popcorn.

Driving in rain is so peaceful. Watching the drops race each other down the window. The rhythmic swipe swipe of the window-wiper. The drops making little thuds on the car roof. The heater blasting hot air like an invisible blanket.

Playing in the rain is so fun. Getting soaked from the puddles brought on by an endless downpour. Earlier this year, a group of friends and I had a water fight. We filled up buckets or cups or whatever we could find and just threw them at each other. It would’ve gone on for hours if it wasn’t for dinner. We looked like sad little puppies when we came inside, and immediately dried off.

One thing I love doing in the rain is going in the hot tub. I know, that sounds quite odd. But when I’m at home, we’ll turn it on and it feels so cool. The cool drops on your head and shoulders contrasts so much to the hot water keeping you warm everywhere else.

Even though rain can be inconvenient, like when a wedding or party has to be moved inside, it still is something I look forward to. The memories I’ve made because I had to stay inside because of the rain, and the memories I’ve made because of getting soaked by it, are ones I truly cherish. Sadly, in California, it’s drier than a saltine cracker and it rarely rains.

photo credit to: cdn.tripwiremagazine.com

 

Warm Winters

From my experience, California winters are nothing like actual winters.  With highs of 100 degrees and lows of 70 degrees, this weather resembles summer more than anything other season.

I’m from the Pacific Northwest, and it’s pretty chilly. Around this time of the year I’m usually prepared for cold weather, and lots and lots of rain.

Here, despite the fact that Halloween is right around the corner, I can wear tank tops to school every day. Instead of suiting up in my rain jacket and closed-toed shoes, I find myself wearing shorts and sandals. 

I don’t dislike the weather – it’s really pretty, and let’s be real. I can go to the beach in October! But as far as winter goes, it just doesn’t feel like one.

Photo Credit: http://www.californiatravel.eu

To me, winter means cozying up in sweaters and blankets, and being able to lay inside and listen to the rain. Winter is the cold wind on your face when you step outside, both chilling and refreshing at the same time.

Photo Credit: fcdn.mtbr.com

And while I love the sun and warm weather, I’d like to save it for the summer. It’s just where it fits in! I look forward to cold weather, and the feeling of winter – and that just doesn’t happen in California!

Hot or Cold?

The weather in Ojai compared to Portland is insanely different, and is treated in contrasting ways as well. It is so cold in Portland and so hot in Ojai, that whenever the weather crosses over into unknown territory, people react in extreme ways.

In Portland, as soon as the weather reaches 55-60˚, people are digging out their shorts and tank-tops, all the while raving about the wonderful weather. In these newfound outfits, they will venture out on hikes, set out to take pictures, or really do anything to be outside.

Californians, on the other hand, throw on their down jackets as soon as the sun ducks behind the clouds. If it’s below 75˚, sweatshirts and boots can be found as far as the eye can see.

What Portlanders consider to be the nicest possible weather, Californians refer to as freezing. After spending time in both locations, I can grow to appreciate both temperatures. However, I have to agree with the Portland mindset.

Photo Credit: photoblog/dynamic_media/photoblog/portland-sign-broadway-street.jpg

 

No Chill

Although I knew California was hot, by choosing to go to school here I didn’t think I signed up for a 75 degree November.

Already insanely hot during the summer months, I was looking forward to it cooling down leading up to the holidays. Oh, how wrong I was.

As of right now, the high for this week is 77 degrees. In November! I don’t mind this weather, it’s actually very nice. But, it’s comforting in a spring sense. Not for leading into Thanksgiving!

At home, the high for this week is a warm 50 degrees and raining. Although I’m sure it’s miserable to live in 24/7, it sounds wonderful to spend at least a day in!

Photo Credit: wyckoffcomfort.com

I love shorts as much as the next person, but coming from the cold weather, I look forward to the temperature where it’s appropriate to wear sweaters.

When it’s cold out, mother nature creates a true wintery feeling, which is amazing to spend time in.