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Sunday, August 21, 2022

Hello, Fall!

When we decided to come to Nur-Sultan, we knew that it would be cold.  It is, after all, the second coldest capital city in the world.  Once November hits, the temperatures drop below freezing and stay there for five months straight, never ever getting above freezing until April.  So, it's cold here.  Really cold.

When we got here exactly one month ago in July, the weather was absolutely beautiful.  We left Tashkent on a day where it had been 108.  When we landed in Nur-Sultan, it was in the eighties.  We were able to open all the windows in the house and enjoy a lovely breeze and the children spent the first few days outside for almost the entire day.  It was so nice to be outside and not feel like you were going to melt into a puddle within five minutes.

A few days in July, the temperatures climbed into the upper eighties and even maybe the low nineties and I turned on the air conditioner in a room or two inside the house.  But those days didn't last long, and the long, sunny, pleasant days were oh so refreshing after years of sweltering through summers in both Tashkent and Dushanbe.

Then the weather started cooling off.  I've been enjoying running outside, and this week I started wearing long sleeved shirts because my arms were going numb in the upper forties low fifties morning weather.  We've had to start keeping the windows closed because the refreshing breezes are a little too nippy for the house most the time.  The children have started putting jeans on to go play outside in the morning, although Elizabeth keeps insisting that her sun dresses are good enough.

But the weather has still been pleasant enough - low seventies and sunny is pretty good weather if you ask me.  Sure, it's been cold in the mornings, but it does warm up in the afternoons.  However, when it dipped into the fifties this weekend, I realized that summer is officially over.  We took the kids to the embassy to swim (in the indoor pool), and everyone was wearing jeans, long-sleeved shirts, jackets, and shoes.  The house is getting a little chilly, and we won't have any heat until the city turns on the hot water for heating in October.  The grass everywhere is perking up and turning green with the cooler temperatures.  I've noticed some trees starting to change colors.

I keep reminding myself that this is August, because it feels like October to me.  If we were in Tashkent, we'd still have another six weeks of swimming season, and in North Carolina it's still hot and humid with no cool weather in sight.  But although the temperatures feel like October, the days are still long summer days, with the sun rising by 6:15 and setting by 8:30 at night.  I've never lived in a northern place like this before - we're the same latitude as London and Calgary - and I'm having to get used to a whole new cycle to the year.

But as with all things in life, we'll get used to the seasons here in Nur-Sultan, and by next year August will be associated with fall instead of the depth of summer.  And it will be strange to think of people in other parts of the world going to the beach when we're pulling out fall jackets and having bonfires.  For now, however, it's going to take a bit of adjustment.

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