Thursday, November 16, 2006

Texas vs. Utah, Part I

To explain the title of my last post - it was my idea to move back to Utah. I didn't insist that we move back, but BigDaddy has always known that I wanted to. So when he decided that he wanted to move back, I was very excited. This summer was supposedly very hot in Utah. However, coming from the Houston death-humidity, it felt cool and refreshing to me. Granted, I wasn't usually out in the heat of the day.

I've been planning to do a post exploring my feelings about where we live. We like Utah for many reasons, but our biggest complaint is that housing and land prices are out of control, at least compared to places like Texas (housing), Tennessee (land), or Missouri (land). I realized that this comparison post could get very huge, so I'll only talk about one thing at a time.

First - weather. Texas vs. Utah (anywhere on the Wasatch Front)
I hate the heat, but I also hate the snow. I know we can't live in California, so that means I have to accept one or the other. Going outside in Houston during the summer (any time from April through October) is like stepping into a death-wave of stifling heat. We were there for 2.5 summers, but I never got used to the heat. I was working all the time, so I never went outside during the day regularly. Maybe if I got a chance to experience it more often, I could adapt to it.

Utah is also very hot during the summer. However, the really hot months are limited to July and August, unlike the full 6 months in Houston. There is another huge difference. In Utah, if you find shade, you are saved! You go into the shade and it feels deliciously cool. You instantly start to cool down and feel better. In Houston, shade does nothing. You get out of the sun, but the heat is just as stifling because of the humidity.

What about winter? As you know, it's only November, and yesterday it was 13 degrees out, with a wind chill to 0! Utah is typically chilly or cold from October through March. Most of the time it's tolerable, especially if you have warm clothes. But days like yesteray just make you want to stay in your warm cuddly bed with your warm cuddly kids all day!

We never experienced this kind of cold in Houston. I don't even think we got our jackets out for two whole years. Last New Year's Eve we went to the Children's Museum of Houston. The kids had on overalls and long-sleeved t-shirts. The museum had water exhibits outside. The kids played in the water, outside, on New Year's Eve, with no coats. I think they might have been slightly cold, but it was still warmer than it is here in September or October.

If you like snow or snow sports, Utah is a great place. The motto on the license plates is "Greatest Snow on Earth!". Other than the 2 years in Houston, I have lived here my entire life and have never been skiing. I like to go sledding a few times. I like to see the beautiful snow when it's covering everything. I love to see it falling. But other than that, I'm not such a big fan. I'm terrified of driving on snow, or worse, ice. I just hate it. I've never been in a snow-related accident, but that's not because of my skill, it's because miracles still exist.

Of course in Houston, you will never get snow that sticks, but you also won't have to scrape your windshields more than once or twice a year and you won't have to drive on ice regularly. Interestingly enough, most bridges in Houston have warnings about icing over.

So - weather. Do we want to suffer the death-ray heat of Houston for 6 months out of the year, or freeze to death half the year? Such a conundrum.

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