I head South for several months in the winter but not just to trade snow, ice, and cold for sunny and warm. Really, as we used to tell my mother-in-law who complained that we did not visit her in Florida over the winter, “You can’t ski on gravel!”
I love snow — skiing, snowshoeing, building snowmen, snowball fights, even shoveling — yes really, it is invigorating! (As long as there is not too much at one time.) What I don’t like or perhaps what doesn’t like me is forced air heat.
So here it is December, in Wisconsin, cool (some say cold) days and even cooler nights, and I still have my windows open. I don’t mean just cracked either — OPEN to let the fresh air in and the heated forced air out. You cannot do that all winter, thus, I escape to a warmer clime.
In winters past, the heat would come on in the fall, I would leave my windows open as long as I could stand it, but about mid-December the snow would come and the temperatures drop and eventually I had to close up and deal with the fumes from the furnace and the dust from the vents filling my living space with a large dose of unhealthiness.
After one particularly long, cold winter, I decided to leave the heated living space behind and headed to Florida, where I lived in my van in a state park during the coldest winter in Florida history. It may have been colder than usual, but the air was fresh and unheated. That winter was the healthiest I had felt in years and the beginning of my annual “Escape from Wisconsin.”
I just saw the weather report and I am leaving just in time. Today is an above average 50 degrees, perfect for cleaning out the car for storage and loading in my suitcases. Travel day will be a more seasonable mid-20s, and the day after I leave the deep freeze arrives with wind chills by the end of the weekend expected to hit 30 below!
It’s time to go.