Saturday, December 7, 2013

I love Texas - even today

They have a saying in Texas, 'If you don't like the weather wait a minute and it will change'.  We have the same saying in Ireland, and while the weather in Ireland does change much more rapidly than in Texas where it can be between 90 F and 106 F for weeks on end, day and night without change.  In Ireland the weather can go from warm and sunny to cold and rainy, then back to warm but cloudy, pouring rain, dry and windy, all in one day - however the temperatures will only vary slightly.

Last Sunday, here in Texas, it was 82 degrees F, that is almost 28 degrees C for my readers in Europe. Five days later, on Friday, it got down to 22 degrees F ( -5.5 degrees C).

We are expecting this weather to continue through the middle of the week, after that it will climb back up to 60 F for the weekend.

8 a.m. in the morning

During the night, it rained and needless to say, that rain froze - fortunately not before it hit the ground. The cars were covered in a thin layer of ice - something I was very used to in Ireland, but it is a much more rare occurrence here in Central Texas.

By 5 p.m., normally the warmest
part of the day here it was still frozen
Texans are not used to driving on icy roads, in fact in Central Texas they are not very used to driving on wet roads.  It has always appeared to me that they believe if you ignore it, it isn't there, and so they drive in their normal manner. 

To those of you who have not experienced this adrenalin rush - driving on the roads around Austin is similar to bumper cars at a fairground. Anyone driving the speed limit or, heaven forbid, below the speed limit, will be moved out of the way by the driver behind them approaching at high speed, then slowing down at the last minute, sometimes literally within a few feet of their rear bumper - very intimidating when you consider the majority of them drive large pickup trucks or SUVs.  

As a result, most intelligent people stay at home, in fact the authorities normally plead with people to stay off the roads if they possibly can.  One winter we experienced a 4 day ice storm and the entire city closed down, schools, businesses, everything ground to a halt until the weather improved.  I am fortunate that I can work from home when necessary and that is what I did this particular Friday.  My husband was able to take the day off work and we all stayed warm and safe.

Thankfully we have a fireplace in the house, though it isn't required that often, it is very comforting on a day like this. We don't normally have a screen in front of it, but we are preparing for a visit from our three year old grandson for Christmas.

So, we stayed home, ordered in delivery for dinner from Marco's Pizza (see my commentary here), pizza for Larry and Mildred and salad and chicken wings for me and spent the evening in front of the fire watching TV.  

The weather forecast led me to believe that the next day would be a repeat performance.  We may attempt a mid morning trip to the grocery store, but I suspect the rest of the day will be spent just staying warm.

One of the many things I do love about Texas is that on 6th December, we still have leaves on the trees, and we still have some fall color.  Don't believe people if they tell you we don't ever have autumn colors.  They may not be as virbrant and plentiful as in the North East, but we have them.

This oak tree in my front yard is looking beautiful, though you can see it has lost some of its leaves, it will be good through Christmas.  After that of course, we will be getting quite the workout raking and bagging the leaves from this, and the forest of trees in our back yard.

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