It’s hard to believe, but we’re only two months from Christmas and we have even less time before Thanksgiving arrives. In this part of the country, the holidays are often celebrated in warmer weather. In fact, there have been many Christmases where we were in shorts and short sleeve shirts while folks in other areas, such as the northeast, were shoveling snow and sporting heavy coats and scarves.
Sure, it gets cold here – but for me, cold weather constitutes anything below fifty degrees. This is probably why I love the movies associated with Christmas and Thanksgiving. Watching Jimmy Stewart battle his way through a blizzard makes me a little envious. On the other hand, I’d hate to have to put chains on my tires and shovel my driveway. There have been a couple winters that snow fell. One I recall, and the other I was too young to remember – but my mom is more than happy to retell the tale.
The first winter – I guess I was probably three, or so – my mom tells me the story of how I ran outside and how excited she was to see me witness snow for the first time. She said before she realized it, I’d declared the snow “feathers” and promptly flung myself off the porch thinking the landing would be soft. I imagine I wasn’t a happy camper once I realized not only was it not feathers, but it was cold and wet too.
The second time, I do recall. My dad worked construction for the first seven or eight years of my life. I loved it – I loved the new schools and friends I made and the places we called “home”. We were in Enid, OK – I think I was in second grade. We got up one morning and one look out the window told my sister and me we never wanted to live anywhere that didn’t include snow during winter. It absolutely sparkled! Everything covered in white – it just seemed magical to us. Even the tumbleweeds were white. Naturally, it was bitter cold, but it was such a new experience for us. After all, we were used to these warmer winters living on the Gulf Coast provides.
The snow melted all too soon and it wasn’t long before the job completed and we were on our way back to Mississippi. That was the last construction job Dad went on. I guess he and Mom thought it was time to come home for good. They bought the house my dad grew up in and promptly took to raising us in our hometown. Daddy started teaching and Mom went to work for the local police department. All of our Christmases and Thanksgivings were had in that house up until my sister and I graduated high school. After that, Mom and Dad sold out and moved a bit further inland. It just wouldn’t have been right for us to not stay together. Before long, both my sister and me were building our own lives and homes within a few miles of our parents. One thing’s for sure: we may not see snow this year, but we’ll all be together over my Mom’s seafood gumbo or famous chili (I never said we were traditional) this warm holiday season.