When we broke the news of our impending move to friends and family in California, often their first comments were about the Maryland weather. "That's going to be a big adjustment," they'd say. And as I embark on week four of this new adventure, I can say that they were absolutely right; this is a big adjustment.
One thing East Coast weather has got going for it is consistency. You know when you wake up in Annapolis in August that it is going to be hot. That you will open the front door each morning and step out to feel God's hot breath on your skin. There is no wondering if you might need a sweater in the evenings (you won't) or an umbrella even though the sky is blue (you will). It just makes planning easier.
What I was really unprepared for is the bugs. We don't even own a fly swatter, for goodness sake! The deafening and constant screech of thousands of invisible insects is something I thought technicians invented for swamp scene ambiance in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride, not my real life backyard. The noise prevented sleep the first couple of days, but has now faded to become part of my everyday soundtrack. Although noiseless, I vow to continue my campaign against those little blood-sucking mosquitoes, who have devoured my children's legs and turned them into topographical maps of itchy red mountain ranges, until death do them part.
With all of this rain and heat and life comes intense beauty, too. Ivy tendrils that climb everything immobile, sailboats blowing under the bridges, the true green of mile-high trees that isolate neighbor from neighbor, birds of outstanding size and color, the 18th century bricks and domes and spires. It is easy to appreciate this new place we call "home," humidity and bugs and all.