The Greatness of Winter

They had so much snow in Buffalo that it pushed in the doors of a woman’s house. She talked about it on the radio. She’s using a table and a treadmill to prop the doors back up “until help arrives.” It took four people an hour to shovel the snow from the living room. Even for Buffalo, that’s a lot of snow.


Winter is the reason I’ll likely never leave New Orleans. I remember all those painful winters in New York and Colorado. I never had the right clothes, the windshield was always frozen and black ice was everywhere.


Sure there were fun, cozy, White Christmas kind of times. Snow days, when my mother, a school teacher, beside herself with delight, would turn on the music and get out the cards and the puzzles. The quiet of winter snow in the Rockies is unrivalled on the earth, I’ll bet.


But then there were all the other times, like the Christmas Eve Blizzard of 1982. We were snowed in with nothing but fudge and cigarettes. Mom got us bicycles that year, and hid them at a friend’s house, so no Christmas presents either.


I knew New Orleans was for me before I even got here. Dorian sent me letters, describing how she was having a ball dancing in the streets, barefoot in the rain in DECEMBER.


No more numb fingers and toes, no more chattering bones and layers of bulky clothes. It’ll be over 70 tomorrow. I’ve worn shorts here on Thanksgiving and even New Year’s.


It surprised me that people in New Orleans decorated their homes for Christmas - reindeer and sleigh on a perfectly manicured lawn, flowers blooming near the palm trees.


When it does get cold here, it’s chilling. All the water surrounding the city carries the cold right into your blood. Still, it is never the kind of cold that kills the mosquitos.


Maybe I’m a little sad. Yes, I can wear a mini-dress and sandals to Thanksgiving dinner, and know, with complete confidence, that I’ll never have to shovel snow off Magazine Street.


But then too, I won’t notice the March ground browning and thawing, the sooted slush making way for the Spring.