Sunday, August 7, 2011

I defy you, heat!

It has been "strongly suggested" at times, within the past year, that the winters in Poland will be too hard for us to bear, too nasty, and dreary, and dark, and they will have us running back to the states with our frostbitten bums flapping in the wind. Of course, I roll my eyes at this. Yes, it will be cold in Poland. Yes, they have winters there. Long, harsh ones, with lots of frozen stuff everywhere, and dark begins at 4:30pm and it get so cold that people need to wear coats, sometimes even the big ones with the puffy squares all over them that are filled with the feathers of some unlucky bird. I know this. I'm not daft.

Sometimes, *sometimes,* I even get people who say things like "wow, isn't it really cold there, like living in Siberia?"  Really people? Siberia? Do you know anything about where Siberia actually is on a map? Here, I'll show you... there it is, right there, circled in red.... like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel it reaches out it's little land finger to touch the other little outstretched land finger of... ALASKA! Yep, now *that's* North. There are days with no sunshine. And there are days where there is only sunshine. That's North. That's not Poland.

Now that we've established that Poland is indeed no where near Siberia, or anywhere near as far North as say, The Arctic Circle, let's take a look at Poland and compare it to somewhere a little closer to our current home...

Okay, so it's pretty far North. I'll give you that. When I originally read this post by a friend, I was inspired to do the same thing with Poland and North America and prove to the World that Poland was actually only about as far North as Maine or Washington State, but I was a little off. Ok, so my Geography might be a little rusty as well. It's right up there, with, let's say Vancouver, and plenty of sane, successful, happy people live in Vancouver...right? Right.

So then I thought, you know, if people are  worried about us being so cold in Poland that we won't be able come back fast enough, maybe I should explain how I've been feeling lately about good old Austin, Texas, our current home, and the place which everyone thinks we are mad to leave for this Arctic Tundra called Poland.

That's right folks... Austin is on the same Latitude as Egypt and Saudi Arabia... further south than Iraq. Now I don't know what images are conjured up when you think of those countries' climates, but I think of desert sands, sun beating down, oppressive heat, and air so hot you can barely breathe when you walk outside. And, dear readers, those are the exact words that I would use to describe the climate in Texas at this very moment. 106 degree days and not a drop of rain for close to 2 months. One of the worst droughts in history, with record temps almost every day, that began in APRIL..*APRIL*!!!! That's right... we will have close to 6 MONTHS of 100 degree days by the time September ends. I figure between April and October of this year we will have seen the worst of a Texas summer for at least the equivalent of 4-5 months. We are advised by our local weather forecasters to stay inside for the better part of the day, for our health!

So the next time someone mentions that we are moving to a place with Arctic winters that are soooooo unbearable I might just have to pull out my handy map and remind them that cabin fever works both ways.

And we've got it bad. 
      +     =  

cabin fever.  We can't really be outside past 10am. The kids are eating dinner and in bed by 7 so the evening is really out of the question. Public pools offer no mid-day relief and really, 106 degrees is no place for a child, no matter how much water they are submerged in. So, we  hang out in our little house, A/C cranked down as low as morally permissible, and we wait it out. 

I figure, I can sit inside and wait out the winters in Poland just as easily as I can sit inside and wait out the summers in Texas. Perhaps even easier. Winter is a time when you want to be indoors, with a cup of hot chocolate and all snuggly in front of the fire. Your body naturally wants to be inside. Summers in Texas are  just a cruel joke to our natural inclination to want to be outside on bright sunny days. 

 I guess we are really just trading one extreme for another. As a Texas girl, born and raised, I know that the winters will be hard in Poland, for me at least. I will miss the sunshine, I really will, and the heat, which I normally love. But I also know that it is foolish to live somewhere where there are rolling blackouts because everyone is just trying to keep cool and we are using our last bits of water to try and keep our lawns alive. Ridiculous.

So, in honor of our move to Poland and the winters that will greet us there, Adelina and I went out on Saturday and bought some beautiful, soft and squishy yarn, so that I could start knitting some scarves and hats and mittens for her and the boys. Knitting winter apparel in the middle of one of of the hottest summers in Texas history? Awesome. Love it. 


  1. YES! And it is not just wishful thinking. Seriously! Winter and the holidays that go along with it *were made for cold weather*. Crank up that oven, roast that turkey. To bed early on Christmas eve. A house full of people to celebrate (and in so doing keep each other warm). That's why winter traditions go well with cold weather....'cause it's supposed to be cold! You're gonna love it. And then you'll have your first spring, and you'll love that even MORE :D

  2. The hardest part of a long winter is the lack of light. If you're prone to depression prepare for that. Other than that at least when you're inside you can use your oven all day and BAKE THINGS. I don't even want to cook anymore. This heat is just as depressing as a long winter. My love for Texas grows less every year that we have no fall and minimal springs.

  3. Dwija- I am really looking forward to appreciating all the seasons. I have never really had seasons and can't wait to be able to welcome spring as a real renewal of life rather than just a jump in temp. from warm to hot.

    Exactly Katy! And yes, I know that I will be prone to getting down when the gray days drag on and on... I am already demanding a 4 day vacation in the middle of it along a sunny coast somewhere we can drive to just to get away, or better yet, a trip to Texas (if funds permit)), I love Texas, but seriously, it's becoming a matter of mental and physical health or alck there of to live here.

  4. unfortunately that's not siberia, that's kamchatka

  5. Nope, that's siberia alright. I mean, Siberia is actually much larger than that little area, but the circled area is in Siberia. At least, all the maps I have found online call it Siberia.