An Igloo in Paradise


"Scare tactic," I haughtily sneered at the television as I flipped stations. How cold could it get in South Florida?


The alarm awakened me as usual at 6:30 am, and I jumped out of bed, naked, to greet the day. I immediately jumped back under the comforter that had cocooned me for the past eight hours.


"Holy shit! Its cold," I warned my husband.


I had heard the reports of a freeze moving into South Florida on the previous nights weather forecast, but, well, it's South Florida. People here wear mukluks when the thermostat nosedives to 85. News breaks from our local stations had warned us repeatedly to prepare for a cold front, but in Palm Beach County the weather is treated with a higher degree of seriousness than a serial killer.


"Scare tactic," I sneered at the television as I flipped stations.


Hating the cold the way most people hate root canal, I chose to wrap myself in a blanket of denial.


"It's not going to get cold. It's NOT going to get cold. How cold could it get?"


My positive thinking must have been lacking in power because the weatherman was right. During the night, the temperature dropped to thirty degrees, and, when my bare butt came in contact with the frigid air enveloping our bedroom, I quickly remembered why my husband and I had left the freezing winter wonderland that is New Jersey in February for the so hot I cant breathe swelter of South Florida living.


Ever the Boy Scout, my hubby had prepared for the possibility of "a slight chill." His words not mine. In 37 years, I have never known Mike to be cold. He sweats at the sight of a jalapeno pepper. Having placed a warm shirt and pants on a chair near the bed before retiring, he was now cozily attired and headed to the kitchen for coffee. I was still pondering how I would get from the bed to the closet without freezing my buns off.


When we lived in the northeast, I expected to wake up and see my breath clouding my vision. In Florida, one expects to wake up to blinding sun that no amount of window covering can keep at bay. I love the sun! I need the sun! The sun is my god!


Arms wrapped across my chest, I made a mad dash for the bathroom and grabbed a big bath towel to wrap around me. Then, I crawled around the closet looking for the long forgotten trash bag of heavy clothes I had kept "just in case." Wearing two sweaters, jeans and wool socks, I set out in search of hot chocolate, one of two good things I associate with cold weather. The other is sitting so close to a roaring fire that my skin puffs like a toasted marshmallow. In New Jersey that is considered a healthy tan.


I have no plans to venture outside today, but should the call of the wild coax me from hibernation, look for me at Target. The flyer in this morning's paper advertised a sale on thermal underwear.