South Florida Octobers

South Florida October Sunsets in the Everglades

Even in South Florida, you could feel the drop in temperature beginning in October. Not quite chilly, back in the 1980s, the first two weeks of October meant that we got to shrug off our cloaks of humidity. You could tell that Mother Nature had dialed back a bit on the heat of summer as you would have days that could run over barefoot to your friend’s house down the street, and the pavement wouldn’t burn your feet.

Of course, this was back in the days of when summer had the same daily forecast: “High of 88 Degrees and a Chance of Thunderstorms in the Afternoon“. On the outskirts of town, you would find yourself at the edge of the Everglades, the river of grass that seemed to stretch out wide and as far as you could see. The heat of the day would build up over these waters and allow for storm clouds to be created. You could count on playing in the rain by around 4 PM or so most afternoons.

That is until October arrives, lifting that oppressive blanket of moisture just enough that by nightfall, you might want to change out of your shorts into your favorite pair of Jordache jeans. You know, the ones that you had to lay down flat on your bed to be able to suck in your stomach enough to pull up the zipper. Stepping outside, you could feel the tiniest bit of crispness in the air as you breathed in.

South Florida Octobers’ Second Summers

Around the middle of the month, we would get what was referred to as a Second Summer. Somehow, those days managed to always sneak up from behind and surprise us. Just a few is all that it would take to put us back into place, with temperatures suddenly soaring back up to the high 80s to ensure that we would be especially grateful when the cooler breezes returned.

Those Autumn-Summer days brought gifts of their own through the most amazing sunsets. At dusk, the skies would fill with colors we still do not have names for. The peachy pinks and fiery oranges would mix themselves with the puffy white clouds to create magical and majestic paintings that mere humans could never really come close to capturing.

By the end of South Florida Octobers, we could safely pull our lightweight windbreakers from the backs of our closets. We would pack away most of our shorts, knowing we would only need a few until the following year. Excitedly, we would attend our high school football games in our jean jackets and order hot chocolate from the concession stand.

Granted, we all jumped at the chance to wear our brightly colored chunky sweaters the moment the thermometer would dip under 72 degrees. Personally, I’ll always treasure the memories of huddling close together at the morning bus stop on those extra special days when it got down to 65 or so, and we marveled at how cold our hands were as we stood under palm trees.

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