I woke up this morning, made myself a cup of tea (or two!), pulled a sweatshirt from my university days on over my head, and felt very thankful for warm, woolly socks made right here in New Zealand. I had to confirm to my husband that, yes, it is too chilly for Joe, our 10 month old, to wear shorts. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s getting cold over here.
There are still a few mild days and, truth be told, there’s usually a point mid-morning where I take off the sweatshirt for a few hours, open the windows, and bask in the sunshine that my houseplants so eagerly soak up. Even now I’m in short sleeves and bare feet as I write this post. Still, those days are becoming more and more rare, and the fact that it’s getting cold in May is something that I have yet to get used to. To make matters even more confusing, I was serenaded and entertained by a May Day dance going on in the street below just a few minutes ago. May Day. Isn’t that a celebration of Spring? But here we are, celebrating the onset of winter.I’m not complaining about Auckland’s weather. It’s generally quite nice most of the year. Sure it rains, but I love the fact that the 5 minute snowfall that happened last year made news all around the country – first time this city had seen snow in 70 or 80 years. I also kind of love being able to post status updates on Facebook that talk about “another lovely day at the beach” in late December. My Midwestern USA family and friends grumble and groan, and I just grin.
Now, however, it’s my turn to grumble and groan a little bit while they do some grinning. Summer is gone. It’s my turn to put away the tank tops, the bathing suits, the beach toys, and to begin to haul out the wool blankets, the duvets, and fleece. We had to put flannel sheets on our bed last week, and I now find myself getting up in the night to make sure that our little boy is warm enough, both of which are sure signs that winter is drawing near.
It’s not all bad. I actually love wearing warm socks, fuzzy slippers, drinking large cups of hot tea, and finding excuses to burrow down with a book indoors. Except now I have a baby who will very soon be a toddler. He’s on the cusp of walking, which really just means that he’s two shakes away from wanting to run everywhere. We’re so thankful that New Zealand is a relatively family-friendly country with lots of considerations for parents. I see several trips to the museum, the art gallery, the indoor pool, the library, and the aquarium in our future! And since the winters here aren’t full of ice and snow (at least not up here in Auckland), it’s not at all difficult to bundle Joe up, put him in his stroller, and set out for a brisk walk with rain cover in tow.
None of that right now, though. Now, my little boy is napping and I’m beginning to think that it’s time to once again put on the socks and get out the sweatshirt while figuring out what to make for dinner tonight. Perhaps something warm and perfect for a cold autumn evening.
Winter is definitely near!
Jenny is an American from Indiana living abroad in Auckland, New Zealand. An ER nurse, she spends her spare time with her husband and infant son and enjoys photography, travel, and writing about her experiences as an expat. You can read more of her thoughts and opinions at www.practicallyperfectblog.com