On September 22nd the nation woke up to welcome Autumn. Such a pleasant season for many. It’s a time when shorts and a nice baggy long sleeve are completely doable. It’s a time when crisp leaves turn all shades of colors like golden-yellow, dusky red, and amber orange. What? Let’s enjoy a pumpkin spice latte on our porch swing as the brisk October air whispers the secrets of Fall in our ears. Why, yes. Yes, I will. As I sit back taking in the sweet aroma of fallen foliage, the sound of children playing in the colorful leaf piles, and the feel of fresh Autumn air, that’s when it hits me. I’m thrust back into my reality. This is Laredo. There is no sweet Autumn aroma. There are no piles of raked colorful leaves. No. Instead, we have yet, another two months of summer. September 22nd – you mean nothing to me. You do nothing but tease.
Laredo, TX. I guess many call it the arm pit of Texas. Well, at least we Laredoans are allowed to call her that. We have what you call year-round summer. God blessed us with 12 months in a year. And of those 12 months, we experience summer in 9 of them. And it’s the kind of summer where one hesitates to run errands after 9:30 am because the sun is out at full force by 8 am. And if you don’t need to leave the house during the day, you don’t. So, yes, we celebrate that one day in September when the temperature drops to 80. These two memes sum up seasons in Texas:
So Sara… what are non-summer seasons like in Laredo?
Instead of Fall, Winter, and Spring, we have what I so affectionately call FaWiSp. It’s pronounced just like it’s spelled: Fa-Wi-Sp. Yes, there is such a thing as FaWiSp, and for you doubting Thomases, I cordially invite you to move down here during our best months – July through October.
When many start unpacking and fresh pressing their fall and winter apparel, we Laredoans are still sporting the occasional spaghetti strap, short, and flip-flop combo. And it’s no day at the beach, either. Our heat doesn’t come with a fresh ocean breeze. It’s either scorching hot, or muggy and humid. Nature taunts us, of course, throughout our “Fall” months with the occasional “Cool” fronts which last a few days, and then she brutally reminds us of where we live by throwing us back into the 100s. Now of course, I’m not saying we don’t get a Fall, Winter, or Spring, it’s just that it goes by so quickly that at times we debate whether or not to take out the winter clothes to begin with. Then you have Laredoans like me. That one cool day we get, when it’s in the 70s, and I’m dressed from top to bottom like Mary Tyler Moore-hat, pea coat, and knee-high boots- in the opening credits of her sitcom. You might even catch me running into the street singing that I’m going to make it after all.
The “Fa” comes in towards November, and at times very late November. I recall two years ago, a brutal heat wave in the midst of our Thanksgiving break. Yes. Thanksgiving. The sun blared down on us as we gave thanks for the blessings in our life, blessings that we’re so grateful for, like air conditioned homes.
“Wi” gives frost bit kisses on our cheeks in December, but we get it’s full force embrace in January and February. This is when many of us fashion hungry individuals take out our beautiful coats for a week or two. The last few years we’ve had a rainy Wi season, so many of our leather jackets and boots usually stay in the closet, and we’re forced to wear rain coats, and galoshes over our more practical shoes.
Soon after our short and wintry season we welcome “Sp.” The sneezing and watery eyes begin, and unfortunately last longer than the actual season. Spring in Laredo is beautiful, but don’t blink your eyes because you’ll miss it. Last Passover we debated whether to let the kids hunt for eggs since it was so hot. Of course, the children won and they were outside sweating up a storm before we could give our counterargument.
And there you have it – FaWiSp. And as quickly as it came, it leaves. By mid April we’re usually back in the 90s which last probably until May when the 100s begin to peak out behind the clouds. Long before June 2o something arrives we are basking in the heat of the summer sun. So, while many in northern states are still fighting below zero degree weather in April, we’re down here in the arm pit of Texas, saying our farewells to FaWiSp and our hellos to summer.