I like winter. Snow, a barn full of newborn livestock, sledding, frigid temperatures that encourage staying inside and reading a book, drinking tea by the fire, gathering with the family at Christmas.
In July, it is winter in New Zealand, but the picture I usually associate with the season is not here. There is some snow in the southern part of the South Island, and I can see snow-capped mountains, but there is none where I am. To be fair, it has been a mild winter here.
I am all right with that.
The phrase “Christmas in July” keeps coming to mind, but there is no Christmas. No midwinter I’d really call bleak, either. Just a few freezing temperatures which then warm up to the high 40s or 50s by 9 a.m.
Despite those types of temperatures, I am still cold because several of the houses here don’t have insulation, so the weather inside is often the same or even colder than the outside. I have learned how to properly light a wood stove and keep it going, thanks to my housemate from Norway. I’ve also purchased wool and possum fur socks (as I understand it, possums here are actually Australian possums as there are no native mammals in New Zealand, and they are not like possums in the U.S.), which are very nice. I also stick a hot water bottle under my blankets before going to sleep.
However, I don’t feel like I should be cold. Winter here is warmer than a Midwestern winter, so I should be fine, relatively speaking. And usually, I just live in whatever season is present. I don’t tend to say (or do my best not to), “I’m ready for [insert next or warmer season here].”
But being here has changed that mindset. Part of the reason is the fact I only experienced one day of summer in Indiana, and in total, I’m going to live through five and a half months of winter in 2016. So, I’m ready for….
Wait, what season is next?
I keep forgetting. I keep thinking that the seasons go backwards here: winter, autumn, summer, spring. This must be a long held belief from my childhood, along with the thought that people in the Southern Hemisphere had to stand upside down all the time, gripping the Earth with their toes in order to stay on. So even now, I keep thinking fall is next instead of spring. (That also could be due to the fact that particular season is usually in September, October and November, according to the Northern Hemisphere.)
So yes, I am ready for spring: greener grass (although the grass here still looks pretty green to me, for winter), more leaves on more trees and anything else that comes with spring in New Zealand.
Although, if fall does happen to come next, I’ll take it, too.
(As a side note: it started hailing as I wrote this. I knew I was going to jinx something.)