Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winter Down South

Both the central heat and the fire place are going at The House of L, a very rare occurence here in southeastern Louisiana.  It barely hit 40 today; couple that with a drizzly mist, overcast skies, and a ground soaked from a five day rain, and you get very distraught southern folk.

Our reaction to winter weather is often a subject of ridicule for those north of the Mason-Dixon line.  A dash of sleet?  Temps in the 30s?  A sprinkle of snow?  Wussies, they say, you should come up North for a taste of true winter.

M lived up North for several years so she definitely has more experience with snow and ice and all that jazz.  I've never been in a blizzard, but I've visited family in New York enough to actually own winter gear like an overcoat and snow boots.  (I wore my black, calf-length overcoat to pick up a niece from K-4 a few years ago; one of her little classmates looked up at me and asked, "Are you a doctor?")

Certainly our reaction to winter weather and our definition of a winter storm may seem a bit extreme - schools shut down, roads close, folk stock up at the grocery.

But here's the thing that people don't realize, which is how exquisitely painful the cold can get down here in humid Louisiana.  It seeps into your bones in a way that should be impossible, especially when it was 70 the week before.

I used to teach with some young 'uns from New England (every low-income school I worked in during the early stages of my career had a couple of TFA transpants from the North.)  I remember a conversation with one during a particularly miserable cold snap.

Her:  "Damn, it's frickin' cold out here!  Nobody told me Louisiana could get this kind of weather."

Me:  "Yep.  Big surprise there, huh?"

I dunno where I was going with this. 

Ah, a list!  We need a list with bullets.  And a sub-heading in a pretty color.

Things Southern Folk Do When It Gets Chilly
  • Cook gumbo (Yes, I do this.)
  • Ride 4-wheelers in the ice and snow (I have this thing about small to medium powered four wheel modes of conveyance - no likey.)
  • Build a bonfire, gather round in camp chairs, have a toddy (I have been guilty of this in the past.)
  • Hunt  (Nope, no deer stands for me.)

Anyhow, I asked M if she had any pithy comments about Louisiana winter weather.  Here's what she had to say:

"Well, it's like 80 frickin' degress here in Florida.  I'm pissed.  I would rather it be frickin' 30 degrees.  I'm sick of hot frickin' weather.  *Bleep*!"

Here's some pics of the Great Winter Storm of 2008:


baileysnow.jpg  Bailey the Beagle high-stepping in 4 inches of snow

DSCI0218.JPG

Random snow pic cuz it's our blog and I feel like it.

Moonlight Call: A Tale of Southern Sass Update: I did this gargantuan wall schematic with index cards and sticky notes to help us figure out the plot issues in the middle.  So now we have a couple new scenes to develop and write, which should improve that section considerably.  It's coming along.  I really wanna say, "It will be done by THIS date!"  But I can't because we're taking the time to make the first half of the story sing like the second half.

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