Background: I’m from Texas.
So, I’m FINALLY understanding four seasons! You know in elementary school where the four seasons are displayed on the school calendar in class. Well, I guess I never thought they actually looked like that. I figured it was in some era or place far gone and we were keeping history or fantasy alive by displaying fall with brilliant leaves, winter with snow and ice, spring with melting snow uncovering flowers, and summer… well, I understood that one pretty well.
But, there are four real seasons in Rapid City. And they actually fall close to the calendar season changes! How novel. September, October, November is fall here. It’s been (Texas friends don’t read this part! Or at least don’t be jealous) in the 60s and 70s and sunny. Personally, 60s is a little chilly for me, but other people seem to think it’s an ideal range of temperatures. I haven’t turned the air conditioner on since mid-August. I know!! Who does that??
Winter is not that bad here – I’m (kinda) looking forward to the times when a new blanket of snow covers the brown slushiness of previous snows melted. I also love the sun shining brightly on fresh snow when everything feels very still and quiet.
Spring leaves a little to be desired. From day to day it changes – there’s a sunny comparatively warm 50 degree day, then an overcast rainy not-quite freezing, just wicked-cold day. Snow melts, flowers bloom, rain pours, and sun shines. When it came around to May I had a growing concern that I would NEVER be able to wear any of my Texas warm weather clothes as it was still a little too chilly for flip flops. By this month in Texas, I’ve broken out the tank tops and shorts and joined my fellow Texans, boating in the sweltering heat over Memorial Day weekend.
But, then FINALLY June came! And I felt like my muscles and bones could finally relax. When I’m finally warm, it feels wonderful! Like a cozy blanket, or a warm fire, or a sauna except happily it’s all around me! I can’t NOT be warm! I LOVE IT! I joyously broke out the warm weather clothes and found myself enjoying an entirely different wardrobe. NOW I get it! I would sometimes hear of people in far off worlds who put their clothes away each season and when they brought them out it felt like all new clothes. For those of you who don’t know: in Texas one does not put away any clothes any season because you can pretty much guarantee that you will need that tank top at some point in the winter and that sweater at some point in the summer (if only for the freezing air conditioning at the office).
Summer, obviously, is my favorite season in South Dakota. It is beautiful! The weather is the kind of weather that makes you want to be outside. We have a few of those days in Texas, but not with enough consistency to spur the state on toward all the outdoor activities that Rapid City does. Really, the majority of summer events is scheduled to take place outdoors. So, in case Mount Rushmore hasn’t made the case enough for a visit to this underrated state, perhaps escaping the summer heat in Texas will draw you here.
Then, you’ll finally understand the answer to the question I asked January through April – why do people continue to live here?? Now I know.