In the middle of a snowstorm in the Northeast, it’s hard to imagine how it ever made sense for Sister Verna, Sister Lena, and Sister Elizabeth to move from Hawaii to East Syracuse, NY in the 1960s to teach me and my scores of Catholic schoolmates reading, 'riting, 'rithmetic, and 'religion. I know they didn’t have access to all the great data we 21st century humans have at our fingertips about world climate stats or how to lose 50 pounds with this one simple trick, but surely someone explained that a perpetually wet and more often than not cold village in central New York State wasn’t going to be Hawaii.
First of all, if you move anywhere from Hawaii, you’re probably taking a step down. That said, there’s no reason to move to Siberia.
On the other hand, some people really believe in suffering. The Franciscan nuns of my childhood are kindred spirits with triathletes and wrestlers trying to make weight. Denying their basic human desires by taking vows of poverty, chastity and obedience is evidence enough of their willingness to inflict suffering on themselves, so why add being perpetually cold and damp?
You note that when I moved from Syracuse I ended up in Boston, where the weather isn’t much better. True. But if one must live in the cold and rain, it might as well be in a city that has major league baseball. This might explain Richard’s decision to move to New England from Olde Englande (probably not), but even he couldn’t take it any longer and now finds himself in San Diego. On a windswept day in February, that’s a move that seems perfectly sensible.