Rachel has been so excited about the coming winter. She’s been pulling out sweaters and hats for weeks and trying them on—getting ready for winter. Ever since we hit our “cold spell” earlier this month she’s been waiting for “our winter.”
It was still 80 to 90 degrees by day and 70 to 80 degrees by night and she insisted that it was cold enough to wear pants, long sleeves, socks and shoes. And frankly, it did feel good. We took the fan out of her room because she was getting too cold at night. We started sleeping under the top sheet. It certainly did look like winter was upon us.
But this past week we’ve been back up in the high 90s and low 100s. Today’s high is 102°F (39°C)! Need I mention it’s the middle of October?
Rachel and I went out to do some grocery shopping before Grandma arrives later this afternoon. It was hot.
After walking down the street for a little bit, Rachel looked up at me and said, “Well, I guess it’s summer again!” Then she pulled the neck of her t-shirt out and stuck her hand down inside, “I’m sweating in here!” she said.
We can tell it’s fall, though, because there are bright yellow blossoms exploding all over the city—I’m pretty sure it’s the Golden Shower Tree but I’ll have to get a picture to be sure. Looking at the pretty yellow flowers reminds me of autumn, only with a spring twist. It’s kind of an odd combination.
I told Rachel that in some places—you know, places that actually get cold in the winter—the trees lose their leaves and spend the whole winter naked, sleeping until the spring when they grow new leaves.
“No way!” she said.
“Oh, yes,” I assured her, “In the fall their leaves turn orange and red and yellow and then fall right off. That doesn’t happen here because it doesn’t get cold enough and the trees can stay awake all winter long. So instead we get flowers.” (I’m not complaining about the flowers but the heat is a little bit much—80s would be fine).
“That’s kind of crazy, Mom,” Rachel said, looking at me in disbelief.
I told her she could ask Grandma about it when she gets here because it’s happening to the trees in Utah right now.
And then we passed by a garbage truck being pushed down the street by the lone garbage man.
“His truck’s broken,” Rachel said casually, “So he’s pushing it.”
She had no problem believing that, but trees with leaves that turn colour and fall off all at once?! Unbelievable.
Her life certainly is different than mine was as a child. I realized this when we were going through her baby pictures a few days ago. We started about at about a year ago, when we lived in Egypt already, and worked our way back to when she was a little baby.
She had no problem identifying locations of pictures in Egypt.
“That’s me at a mosque.”
“That’s Mommy-Daddy at pyramids.”
“Ooh, the beach! Is that the Red Sea?”
But then we got to the family pictures we took by Utah Lake.
“Where are we?” she asked.
“In Utah,” I said.
“What are those?” she asked, pointing to the mountains in the background.
“Those,” I said, “Are called mountains. They’re really tall and that white stuff on them is snow—ice! It just sits there, outside. It’s so cold that ice can sit outside on the mountains.”
“That’s silly,” she said.
I agree. Snow on the ground—preposterous idea!
The Rocky Mountains were the backdrop of my childhood. When I would draw pictures the mountains were often included, with snowy caps on their peaks. Rachel’s childhood backdrop are they pyramids. That’s what she wants to draw when she makes a landscape picture.
The funny thing is they’re so different and yet…kind of similar…at least in shape. I wonder how much of this she’ll remember.