January is a miserable month in Louisiana.
In the first place, there’s the big let-down because all the excitement of Christmas is over. The tree comes down January 7 (if not a lot sooner), there’s a depressing can or box of crumbly fudge or cookies still lingering on the table, and there’s no money left. The constant availability of King Cake defies any resolution to “eat healthy” this year, and the plan to walk every day is thwarted by the incessant rain.
When the sun does come out from behind the clouds, it is so low in the sky that the rays hit the eyes uncomfortably at any time of day.
I was prepared to be huddled inside my apartment this January. I bought electric space heaters back in November and brought my electric blanket back with me from Louisiana.
But January here in Torreón is like . . . well, like no month in Louisiana.
The sun shone every day of the month for the first two weeks. The early morning temperature didn’t drop below 45, and in the sunny afternoons it rose into the low 80s. There was no rain, even when a norther blew through. The sunset was brilliant.
On the day that it was cloudy, it wasn’t cold. And the next day, the sun was out again.
My apartment is special, because in my neighborhood, a second story is unusual. This makes the view from my windows unimpeded to the northeast and southwest and allows the winter sun to stream in almost all day.
On a Saturday, I went with some coworkers to do a tour of La Plaza de Armas. The wind blew a lot while we were out, and shortly after I returned home in the afternoon, it blew even more. The sky was gray with dust.
But it didn’t get cold, and the next day the sun shone and the sky was brilliant blue and I had the doors open while I cleaned and cooked.The clothes were dry on the line in half an hour.
The very last weekend of the month, we had some cloudy days. The temperature forecast was 6 degrees Celsius. I stayed inside and made cookies and hot chocolate, but it never did get that cold.
It’s not perfect. It’s really dry and half the population has coughs and sniffles. I myself had a couple of days of hay fever.
Now we are a week into February, and the weather is getting warmer. The sun shines every day.
A little rain wouldn’t hurt us.