Thursday, October 8, 2015

My Texas Alphabet: H for Heat

 The idea for this alphabet post series comes from ' The Alphabet of My Emigration' by Dee Dorota L., a member of The Polish Ladies Abroad Club, who has relocated to England.
I have also decided to join the project and write about My Texas Alphabet twice a week.

Summer starts in Texas in March. At least according to Polish summer temperature standards. Sometimes even 30C/ 86F happens before 'calendar' spring begins. This is what I like about Texas - winter is rather mild here and does not last so long as it does in Poland.
During my first spring in the state, I was quite surprised by the quick end of the cold season (and delighted as well). I was happy to see how quickly the trees in our neighborhood turned green and white. The latter one not because of the snow of course. It was a sign of spring: the trees were covered with fresh, delicate and beautiful blossom. It was so weird to know that at the very same time of the year, people in northern Europe still wear winter clothing. Really cold winds, low temperatures, and also snow are nothing unusual in March there. I had never liked the bitterly cold weather, so the happier I was enjoying the warm sunshine and watching nature waking up after the winter sleep again.

Spring - picture taken on March 12

Last spring we bought a pot of pelargonium to decorate our patio and to enjoy the red flowers while sitting outside. I took care of the plant as well as I could and it grew really beautifully. It was quite magnificent. It was - until the Texas summer began in May. Then, the heat came. Meaning not only much higher temperatures but also very high UV level (up to nine times higher than it happens to be in Poland). I tried to do my best to help the pelargonium survive the hot season. I watered it regularly and placed the plant in the shade (well, maybe I did it too late though). Anyway, despite my efforts, the  plant did not manage to resist the heat - it got totally yellow and dry.

Our pelargonium - in April

The summer heat is quite oppressive not only considering plants. The sunshine in the hottest part of the year is so burdensome and burning that while walking outside, I have a feeling as if it was pushing me to the ground. What is more, the summer Texas air is so hot and stuffy that even when a small breeze comes, it is as refreshing as the hairdryer air-blow. That is why, when it is so incredibly hot, most people prefer to stay inside (if possible of course), in air-conditioned rooms, as the outside activities are not very enjoyable then.

St. Patrick's Day Parade - March 16.

One of my Polish cousins has asked me why I do not sunbathe here. She loves laying in the sun and getting a suntan. I have never been a beach person as my skin is rather pale - I easily get sunburn even in the Polish UV level conditions. So, before going out in the (Texas) spring or summer I cover myself, including my head, cautiously. Another thing is, that I love wearing hats so the local sun gives me another reason to wear and enjoy them. Anyway, the cousin seemed not to understand that sun exposure in Texas is not the same as sunbathing in Poland. In my opinion, none of them is a healthy thing to do. Nevertheless, it seems if somebody has not experienced the strength of the southern sun finds it hard to understand how burning and dangerous such sunshine can be.

The heat season in Texas lasts till October. Then the temperatures lower a little bit and the weather becomes more enjoyable again - it is still nicely warm and sunny but not that terribly hot anymore.
I like it. Especially because October is the time of the year when it gets quite cold in Poland. Yesterday, when I talked to my mum, she mentioned that the heating at her place had already been on and she also started wearing warm jackets and boots. This is not my kind of weather and I am glad we can still wear shorts here.

Poland - October. We still wear shorts/summer clothes in Texas.

To sum up - I have decided to write about the summer heat because it is part of my life here. Moreover, the summers which I experienced in Poland were totally different, often cool, rainy and disappointing (meaning the lack of sunny weather). It is certainly not my intention to complain about anything (maybe except the pelargonium which got burned), but it would be great if we could spend the winters in Texas and enjoy the summers in Europe.

Other 'H' entries by bloggers, members of the Polish Ladies Abroad Club:

Jagoda / Włoski humor i energia
Anna / H jak Huragan
Gabi / H for Hamlet, Helsingborg and Helsingør // H jak Hamlet, Helsingborg i Helsingør
Justa / H jak Haarlem



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