(C) 2020 Dart Humeston

Typical Boise Home wrapped up for winter.

Weather preparation is different in Boise versus Florida. It is November so I recently finished prepping for winter, which basically meant I encased my entire Boise house in a giant blob of styrofoam and then moved to Southern California.

No, not really. That is what my neighbors did. I just did the styrofoam thing. I even found matching white duct tape to use to secure the huge blocks of styrofoam.

I started by closing all of the exterior vents along the base of my Boise house where frigid air could pour in to freeze the water lines, the gas pipes, stray Presbyterian weasels, badgers, aliens, monsters or whatever else exists down there in the “underneathness” of my house.

Homes in Boise have this large crawlspace under each house for some reason. I think to store the dead bodies or maybe potatoes. I have a giant wooden trap door in our bedroom’s step-in closet which I have never opened for fear of what I may find. But apparently, the one thing you don’t want inside that crawlspace is freezing cold air. So, I located the sixteen or so metal vents and pulled the little rod down to close them. Or was that push them in to close? Whatever, I then stuck a block of styrofoam against the vent and parked a rusted engineless 1953 Chevrolet 3100 pick-up truck against it. Every home owner in Boise is encouraged to have at least three old disabled sixty year old trucks parked in their yard. It’s in the HOA agreements.

Then I found all of the garden hoses and unscrewed them from their facets and stored them in the garage. That left the faucets exposed, so I slipped faucet condoms over them. It is a thing made out of styrofoam that sits over your exterior wall faucets to prevent frigid cold air from seeping inside them and doing something horrible. My Furnace, I think

Next I checked the furnace. Don’t want that dying in the middle of a minus zero winter night! Since I am a Florida boy that meant I walked into the garage and stared at some contraption that might or might not have been the furnace. Whatever it was, it did not appear to be in flames or involved in counting voting ballots in Florida, so I checked it off my list. After that I duct taped and super glued around every window and door.

Snow Shovel
Next, I carried the giant plastic colorful snow shovels as well as the crates of snow melt to the front of the garage so that in the unlikely event I leave my house before Spring I can stare at the work involved in snow removal and crawl back in the house.

How does one manage seasonal change in Florida? It is different, as we have different seasons. We have summer of course, which is essentially every day. We have Hurricane Season, which runs from June to November, but mostly August and September. Then there is Winter, which falls between 2:30 and 3:05 PM January 28th.

The main difference between Boise and Florida is that in Florida one has to be prepared every single day for some form of disaster to occur. During the months where there are few national holidays, May to September, Peak Summer is in effect and people in Florida have to be ready for what locals call “afternoon thunderstorms”. The massive storms are rated in progressive strength by the following categories: Death Downpour, Toad Chokers, Watermelon Crushers and Burmese Python Drowners. These are not like the slight drizzles we get in Boise. They are massive sheets of rain, each droplet the size of home kitchen appliances, blasting out of gigantic clouds that tower over 30,000 feet into the air, with blinding lightning streaking from one end of the horizon to another and thunder so loud your house shakes. Thankfully, they usually are gone within an hour.

Also, it gets hot. Granted, in February it can reach 85 degrees sometimes, but summer it can reach 98 degrees or higher. However, the humidity exceeds 742%. That means everyone walks about with water pouring out of their armpits. The excessive sweat creates floods that pour down the sidewalks and streets, often pulling cars and corrupt politicians into the sea. Thankfully, Florida has the patent on corrupt politicians and manufactures them from sour coconuts and meth daily, so the next day there are twice as many ripping off the citizens, assuming the election office can figure out how to count their votes.

Hurricane Season. This is the big one. While most houses in Florida, especially South Florida are manufactured out of decommissioned battleships or at least concrete blocks, some of the older ones are made of wood, which somehow the termites and vampire palmetto bugs have not eaten yet. These will be blown across the Gulf of Mexico into Texas during a direct hurricane hit, so make sure you never become friends or join a car pool with anyone who lives in them.

Despite the fact that the path of hurricanes can be accurately predicted these days even as far as two weeks out, most Floridians firmly ignore hurricane season until 45 minutes before the winds exceed 120 MPH. Then they go to the store and buy every package of cotton balls and 1920 era electric fuses possible, as that is all that remains on the shelves.

The truth is, Floridians have a lot more things to worry about than anyone in Idaho. Every single day. Alligators are in every mud puddle of water, plus they have to watch out for: Bernese Pythons, Ball Pythons, Great African Snails, Nile Monitors, Common Boa Constrictors, Northern African Python, crocodiles, wild hogs, black bears, bobcats, and aggressive Jehovah Amway Witnesses.

Florida also far exceeds any of the 49 states in lightning strikes.That is powerful bolts of electricity striking your house, your car, your golf clubs or your Stand Your Ground handgun. More people die in Florida from lighting strikes than any other state.

Keep this is mind too – there are close to 500 people in Florida over the age of 100 who still have active driving licenses!!! And 80% of them are lost!

So, while Boise has some harsh winters which require a good deal of once a year prepping, Floridians have to prep themselves every morning just trying to locate their bathroom before leaving their house. That is the real difference.