Posted by: dsduffy | June 21, 2012

Winter: A comparison

I lived in the Northeast of the United States for the first 34 years of my life.  That part of the country experiences true winters. Winters with snow. Winters with icy walkways that my dad would sprinkle with salt so we wouldn’t slip (thanks dad,  never slipped!) Winters that lasted for three months that felt longer than three months. Winters that had me getting up earlier than I needed to for work so I would have extra time for the de-ice and warm up my car. There were times when I hit the snooze button too many times, and ended up with only enough time to scrape the driver’s side of the windshield.  Then I’d drive with the defrosters on full-blast on snow and ice-covered roads to get to work on time (real safe!)

These were also the winters that were cozy. I’d look forward to getting home, where I knew it would be warm. The heating in our house would instantly take the cold away. It was just a given that our house would be warm.

Fast forward to the last four years of my life experiencing winter in Melbourne Australia. When we came for a two-week trip to check it out, it was June – exactly four years ago now that I think about it! I didn’t know what to expect after I checked the weather forecast on some website. I packed sweaters and pants and maybe a light jacket, but I wasn’t prepared for what was to come: wind and rain. One of the first things I bought were a jacket and a scarf.

Winter in Melbourne is strange, at least it is to me – coming from a place where winter means snow, ice, skiing and tons of excitement for Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve.  But winter in June? There are no major holidays to plan for, no waking up and running to the window to see how many inches of snow fell overnight, and no snowman building. It’s just one rainy windy day after the next. And it’s not that cold, but for some reason it feels really cold. It may be because the houses aren’t that warm (well ours is, but most aren’t insulated well and only have space heaters in each room.) Or maybe it’s because this is my 5th winter here and I’m climatized. Yes, my 5th winter in Melbourne. Wow.


  1. Great post! I too being from the Northeastern side of the US can relate to your experience of winter in Melbourne. I live in Melbourne now but when I first came to Australia I lived in Perth. Perth for some very strange reason is absolutely the coldest place on earth in winter!! Even a friend who migrated from Russia said the same thing!

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