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Becoming a Floridian
Surviving Our Scorching Southern Summers
W hen my family first moved to Florida, I couldn’t believe what luck we had. I could wear shorts year-round, didn’t have to shovel the snow, and could swim whenever I wanted! For the first two years, all I did was wear shorts and laugh at people who needed to turn on the heat in their vehicles in January. I had that Midwestern toughness when it came to the cool temperatures, especially coming from Chicago, where summer weather only lasts for about six weeks before the fall chill starts. Growing up, summertime was the best time of the year. There were some thunderstorms and crazy bouts of humidity, but the summer days I spent running through the sprinklers or jumping into my grandparent’s pool were some of the best. As all Floridians know, summer can be unbearable, and most of us scurry to the next available air-conditioned building or car when we walk outside. And if you’re not inside, you better find your way to the ocean, a pool, or the lake from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fall, winter, and spring are the best times of the year to be in Florida, but summer is when the true Floridians are weeded out from the imposters. In Florida, summer is pretty much the opposite.
Thankfully, for the past three years, my family and I have had our own little sanctuary in our backyard to escape the summer heat. Prior to moving into our new home, we lived in our first house for about 14 years. When I began doing home visits and therapies near the lake, I would find myself in awe of the beauty that was around there. I would even purposefully drive that way even when I didn’t have an appointment in that direction! Eventually, we decided that we would take the next house that went up for sale on the lake, and we didn’t hesitate to jump when it did. Now, we spend weekend afternoons on our boat and watch the alligators swim or stomp through our yard. My kids seem to have no problem with the alligators or diving into the lake, but I was a little hesitant. As the weather has warmed up, I’ve gained more courage. Today, it’s pretty rare that we have company and don’t end up boating down the lake at some point. It’s our own little oasis, and it’s the perfect way to spend an evening, no matter the season. Despite the crazy heat, I wouldn’t ever give up our Florida lifestyle. The rest of the year is just like those Chicago summer days: carefree and only a little humid.
(And yes, I now turn on my car’s heat during winter.)
-Luke Kron, PT Managing Partne
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