Baby, it's cold outside, and baby, don't you know it when you're bundled up on the couch in a furry throw and layers of mismatched clothing that includes a pair of fuzzy socks pulled over sporty white anklets and the ratty, old lint-ball of a sweater you hung on to just for this kind of day.
The man of the house has been heading out these past mornings wearing long johns underneath his work clothes and toting a container of hot oatmeal and a thermal mug of coffee — a functional Northern breakfast that will hopefully warm his innards, keep the cholesterol in check and move things along.
The heat pump's been cranking along at home, working hard to keep steady at 67 degrees while the kids are whining that their feet will never be warm. In the meantime, the Progress Energy meter spins like a clock on steroids.
Can't wait for that bill.
Outside there's a layer of frost on the car and the air smells of burning fireplaces instead of coconut sunscreen. Dare to venture out to check on the garden tomatoes that are blanketed in old queen-size sheets, and a shiver runs through you, sending you scurrying back inside to the couch and the warm, furry throw.
So this is why we love living in Florida?
Usually, that's the cadence this time of year — at least when it's the typical 70 degrees or so and your stoic Northern buddies are dealing with those arctic blasts that sweep across the Plains states every winter.
But now it seems we're on level ground with much of the lower 48, as the post-holiday chill blankets some 35 states, including the Sunshine one, in temperatures well below normal.
That's according to the television weather person who on Wednesday morning said it just might sleet or snow this weekend.
It's a humbling experience for Northern transplants like me who have suddenly lost those winter bragging rights. Unless, of course, you're phoning long distance to rank on the 22 inches of snow that's accumulated in your best friend's back yard while she's taking a breather from all that shoveling you used to have to do.
"Enough," she's saying in that weary voice that makes you tell her to go ahead and splurge on a plane ticket and come on down for a little fun in the sun — which, I promise, will surely be here by the time she makes her way through airport security.
Yes, baby, it's cold outside, but this, too, shall pass. We know it even as the text messages flow from north to south to chide about the complaints we were muttering not too long ago about the "*&%$#@ endless summer" along with all that mindless yearning for cooler temps.
"One must be careful what one wishes for," was the latest text message to bounce its way south.
Michele Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6251.