After a 30-day trial of wintering in warm weather, I’m not convinced. I find this humorous because this is something I’ve long wanted to do.

When we lived downtown Chicago, leaving didn’t make sense, because we could always get out in the winter: public transportation and an undercity pedway made moving around relatively easy. But after our move to Sioux Falls, where I became dependent on driving everywhere and timing of snowplows, I readily agreed to trying what I thought I wanted to do: skip the snow and ice and run to dry roads and higher temperatures. I considered this a dry run.

Lake Pleasant, AZ

Lake Pleasant, AZ

So most of our dry run is over, and here are some weather stats for today: Sioux Falls—a prediction of up to 12 inches of snow, temp 27; here in Peoria, AZ, sunny all day, temp in the 50s.

So I should want to stay here until April, right?

Wrong. I miss my new house in South Dakota even though we have a more than lovely rental here. I miss my daughter and her family. I miss my visits to the health club where we meet up. I miss the grammie talk from my little grandchildren. I miss my shopping 10 minutes away. I miss… I miss… I miss…

our AZ patio

our AZ patio

So, as I’m wont to do, I’ve spent some time trying to figure out why this dry run into warmer weather has not yet sold me on the idea. I’m recalling a long conversation I had with a sister a few years ago when I wintered with her for a few days. We were sitting outside at a California Starbucks, brainstorming the pros and cons of a winter stay in warmer weather. As usual, I had my writing notebook with me, and we made a list of what was important to us: the first, obviously, was being in warm weather. The other areas were health, family, church, community, shopping, and entertainment.

Over our iced mochas, we discussed each area in detail. I got the idea to draw a pie chart (thanks to math and statistics teachers) to try to quantify which areas were more important than others. Nicer weather in winter was certainly important. That’s why we were there. As older women with a health thing or two, it’s much more pleasant to hang out in sunny warm swimming pools than to trudge through chilling rain or snow and ice.

We were having this discussion mainly for her sake. Recently widowed and having always wintered away from home with her husband, she was exploring what would work best for her in the future. I didn’t realize then that I would be referring to that discussion so soon myself.

But, at this point of our dry run, I’m leaning toward family being the largest slice in my pie. And our own home and bed would be next. How about you? Can you relate?