Monday, October 23, 2006

Southern Summer Revisited

I was reading Southern Eye for a Northern Guy by Heather at Everything Under the Moon. It's part II of a series of four articles about the Southern four seasons, written for people from "the North" I suppose, and this article is about summer.

Ah, this brought back so many memories.... We moved from Delaware to southeast Texas at the end of May, 1998. If you know the Southern weather, as described by Heather's article, the summer begins EARLY in the South. When we landed in Texas at the end of May, we found ourselves in the 90 degrees heat and almost 100% humidity!!! We were overpowered by the incredible hot air when we walked out of the small airplane. My first thought was, OMG, my makeup is melting on my face! LOL

I grew up in Taiwan, which is a tiny little island in the Pacific Ocean, right next to Mainland China. We have subtropical weather, meaning hot & humid all year round. You would think that I would feel "right at home" when we moved to Texas. Ironically, I've never really liked the heat & humidity in Taiwan, especially in summer. For one thing, I have oily skin, and the combination of heat, humidity, sweat, dirt, etc. is a surefire formula for never-ending breakouts. When you started to have full-bloom acne at the tender age of 10, it's nothing but tragic!

It always amazed me, how these Southern ladies could keep their makeup & pantyhoses on all through summer -- in addition to their incredible big hair. I guess that takes true skills, which I didn't master and probably never will. Oh well. LOL!

We kinda got used to the heat & humidity in Texas after a while, but we NEVER got over the bugs. As Heather explains, "as nature has it, humidity breeds life. As a result, Southern Summers are over-run by large bugs. The further south you go, the larger the bugs. That is a scientific fact."

Yes, that IS an unfortunate scientific fact for people living in Taiwan and in the South. It gives me goose bumps, even now, to think about the giantic bugs we encountered in Texas..... the relentless mosquitos and fire ants. My son (4-month-old back then) was (and still is) very allergic to mosquito bites, yet all the mosquitos seemed to love his baby skin tremendously. Every time he got a mosquito bite, it would swell up and become a blister! Poor baby always got several blisters on him. None of the over-the-counter creams would help. The only thing that helped him was a prescription cream that his pediatrician gave us, which cost $50 every time we filled the prescription!! As you can see, the little mosquitos cost us a fortune. :-(

The fire ants were another major headache. They were vicious and they were EVERYWHERE! Once I stepped right into a fire ant hill in my own backyard, which we were unaware of. I was talking to a neighbor and backing up, without noticing where I was heading.... Hundreds of fireants climbed up my leg within seconds!!! It was a scary and painful experience. However, I was grateful that it was me, not one of my babies, who stepped into the ant hill!

We eventually moved back to the East Coast due to my husband's job. I can tell you that, although I miss our big house, our good friends, crawfish & all the yummy cajun food, I can TOTALLY live without the Texas weather and bugs!!! I so much prefer the four seasons in NJ. And even though winter is a little cold for me, that also means it's too cold for the mosquitos, and that's something to be grateful for.

1 comment:

Holly said...

I grew up in Idaho with the full blown but all too short nice seasons. I've lived in Arizona now for almost 9 years (split in the middle with 6 years back in Idaho) since I was married. I've definitely been bit by the desert bug. My sister says she couldn't live without the seasons. I say "Yes you can, you just visit them. ;o)" We don't get the humidity, and we don't get the fireants like some of our neighboring southern states. My daughter's birthmom is from Arkansas and she asked me why so many people move to the Phoenix valley. I said, "Must be the palm tree weather without the hurricanes or earthquakes." LOL

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