When my wife and I both retired, friends asked if we were going to sell our house and move away from St. Louis. We told them that we weren’t, although we’d considered places that wouldn’t be as cold in the winter. Since we refuse to live in any part of the deep red south, that left Florida and California.
We wrote off the latter pretty quickly, because housing is way too expensive in the parts of The Golden State we might opt for.
When it came to Florida — the state that almost singlehandedly kept my Knuckleheads In The News radio routine going for decades — we opted to possibly vacation in south Florida for a week or two in the winter, but not move permanently. When I shared this with some friends here in town, they all said we were smart because of how hot and humid it gets there in the summer. I reminded them that St. Louis — where they’ve spent their entire lives — offers little relief from those conditions, with temperatures in July and August often over 90 degrees and humidity over 90%. Thus, we spend our days going from our air-conditioned home to our air-conditioned car to the air-conditioned buildings of our destinations.
That is the same routine we’d follow in Florida. Although the chances of hearing a forecast of “Cloudy today with a 50% chance of alligators” are much lower here.
Instead of suffering through the heat and humidity every summer, why not move north to a cold-weather state and simply do the reverse with heat? Because in July and August, I can get into a hot car, crank up the a/c, and cool down in thirty seconds. But I know from spending the first half of my life in the northeast that, on a frigid morning, the car heater isn’t going to help until the engine warms up sufficiently — which can be the entire commute! In the early eighties, when I did mornings at WHCN/Hartford, we lived 12 minutes from the station, and the engine never got warm enough during that drive to heat the interior of the car one bit.
Besides, in the summer, I never have to scrape the humidity off my windshield.