Cold. Colder than I've been in four years. You might not think it's cold, depending on where you live, but it's cold.
It was down to 71 yesterday, and this morning it was 60 or slightly less. (I don't trust the old thermometer on the wall outside that says 55. It looks older than me.)
I know that I'm back on the mainland and can't expect tropical weather, but this is not what I expected in Louisiana on Oct. 1.
It once got down to 71 one night on St. Croix, we actually had to sleep under the sheet!
Shortly after we moved to the islands four years ago I had to travel to Philly for a pirate appearance. When I stepped outside the airport a cold wind almost blew me down. Fortunately we spent almost the entire time indoors, so that worked. And except for walking through the frozen food section at the supermarket I was never that cold again. Oh, and covering Senate hearings. For some reason, the V.I. Senate keeps its chambers blood-chillingly cool. But the rest of the island? Toasty.
In fact, I was stunned once when grocery shopping to see this guy walking down the aisle in a heavy, puffy down parka. Took me a minute to figure out he worked there and was stocking the frozen foods. I was always surprised when a young islander told me he or she was going off to college in New York or Chicago or Minnesota. Don't they ever watch the Weather Channel? We have a young friend who grew up on the island and in Arizona, who is now at college in Rochester, N.Y. He's never heard of "the lake effect," has apparently never seen pictures of when blizzards blow down out of Canada. Good luck Rafa!
The problem is, we are totally unprepared for this. Before we left Oregon I got rid of all my sweaters. All of them. My wardrobe is mostly T-shirts and Hawaiian shirts. (So you can imagien what my sweaters looked like. My family was glad to see them go.) We have three sweatshirts in the whole house, plus a few sweaters in Millie's closet. I'm wearing one of them now – a sweatshirts, not Millie's sweater. That would be silly. She's tiny.
The sun is out now, and it's supposed to get back up to about 80 today, which I'm looking forward to. But I'm obviously going to have to prepare. From what I've been told, winter here is sort of like fall in Oregon, a little drizzly and cool. And if yesterday was a harbinger of what's to come, I'm not ready.