Monday, December 28, 2009

Enjoy the Blessings of Winter

As someone living in Florida,  I have no concept of cold, snowy, winters.  Every once in a while we get a "freeze" here of 32 degrees, where we wake up to find our car windshields frozen with ice, and some frosted windows in the early mornings, which all soon melt away with daylight.  Winters however do have its special joys for which we can thank God for.  Firstly, it brings relief from the oppressive heat of summer.  Summers down here are no fun for the uninitiated.  The heat and humidity can be quite unbearable for folks who are not used to high humdity, and yes, air conditioning is therefore a must.  Without air conditioning, life here would be quite intolerable.  I have heard it said that Florida owes its development to the advent of air conditioning, for without it, no one would ever think of relocating here.  I  tend to believe that!

Another blessing of winter are the plants that bloom only at this time of year.  I especially look forward to the poinsettia plants.  These are actually leafy plants, with red leaf-life flowers (I am not sure if it is a real flower or just leaves that have changed color).  We also have pine trees here, and one of my favorite activities is to collect pine cones, and use them as decorations for the home.  The next joy we have are all the imported evergreen trees (from out of state) that we purchase as Christmas trees.  I just love the scent of a real tree.  It gives the home such a nice smell.  I do decorate the tree, but very sparsely with ornaments, as I do no want to hide the beauty of the tree itself with too many ornaments.

Special foods are another treat of winter.  Because the cold months discourage food production/planting, much of the traditional foods of winter are preserved food!  Here in South Florida we eat rum cake and dried fruit, and drink apple cider.  Other preserved foods such as sorrel drink is a  traditional Caribbean drink here.  Hot drinks are also very popular, as it is everywhere in the country.  Hot coffee and hot chocolate are the most favorite, but our coffee may come from a variety of places such as Brazil, Colombia, or Jamaica. 

All this eating however can easily cause one to overeat, which reminds me that winter here is a good time to exercise. The freshness and coolness of the air makes it really enjoyable to exercise outdoors.  It is a time to get  out the house, and explore the landscape, and enjoy the wonderful world God has created.

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