Savoring The Many Seasons Of the Garden State

JudithphotoBy Judith Kristen, AAP Columnist

July in New Jersey.

And yes, my beloved California friends who read this column regularly, it is NOT the heat, it IS the humidity.

There are July days here when it’s only 78 degrees, but the humidity is 93 percent. It feels as if you’re walking through pea soup to get to your car. Even the birds and squirrels are in slow-mo. But, it is what it is. You’re wrapped in the sweaty embrace of a Jersey summer.

That said, the upside to our July is that we’re close to the shore; malls are a comfortable, non-humid 66 degrees; and there’s a Rita’s Water ice within walking distance of all of us.

Speaking of California, I’ve stood in an electronically-posted hour and 15 minute wait line in Disneyland in Anaheim, next to Native Californians in 85-degree weather with a soft breeze blowing, and refreshing 32 percent humidity. Yup. Thirty-two percent.

It feels like heaven to me.

The upside here is, those above five percent humidity-impaired Californians drop out of line, run for the hummus and lime water, and my 75 minute wait plummets to 20.

There’s always an up-side.

By the late 1950s, everyone in my father’s family had moved from Philadelphia to California.

They longed for 365 days a year of perfect 55 to 70 degree weather with low, low, humidity, cloudless blue skies, and palm trees forever swaying in the breeze.

The trade off was the occasional earthquake, lousy cheesesteaks, and that hour and 15 minute wait at Disneyland.

I have no regrets that I wasn’t raised a California girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love to visit out there; and the time I get to spend with friends is loving, fun, lively, entertaining, and sprinkled with lots and lots of joy and laughter. But I love our east coast changing of the seasons; the striking tulips and sun-faced daffodils of spring; garden fresh summer tomatoes; and the stunningly colorful autumns and sparkling snow flaked winters that leave our entire early morning world, fresh, pristine, and beautiful.

I can also appreciate the sameness of weather in Southern California, but there’s something that just doesn’t seem right to me in December when I see the local mall Santa Claus dressed in a breezy, linen reindeer shirt and bright red Bermuda shorts.

You know, this reminds me we’re only a few more months away from saying… “It’s not the cold… it’s the wind chill factor.”

It never ends.

See you next month!

Peace, love… and Fahrenheit


Judith Kristen is a Pennsauken-based author and animal rights activist who stalked George Harrison of the Beatles before it was illegal. For more information about her work, visit

Translate »