I stepped out the door at about 6:15 AM on Monday and found it refreshingly cool. It’s been a long, hot summer. That’s not unusual for us down here; I can’t say it’s been much different than any of our other summers as far as the heat goes. It has been, however, a drier summer than we are used to. The big creek at the Flatwoods nature preserve near our house is almost totally dry. There’s only one pocket of water left, and it is rapidly disappearing. I’ve never seen it this low since we moved into our place in 2006. We’ve been putting out some water for the birds and other critters in our back yard.
I’m glad to see the worst heat behind us, although we’ll still have some pretty brutal days. I’ve never been one to particularly mind the cold, although I’ve always lived in the south where the colder temperatures seldom get to the extreme. In the time I’ve been in Louisiana, it has only gone below ten degrees once, and that was a cold snap that lasted several days. I’ve seen snow about three times since 1986, two of those since we moved to the Northshore after Hurricane Katrina. The snow has never lingered more than a few hours.
Frankly, I rather enjoy cold temperatures, at least as long as I can eventually find a place to get warm. Down here, I tend to wear short sleeve shirts year around, although in the coldest period of our year, usually January-February, I may pair the shirt with a windbreaker when I’m outside. During our “winter,” which has to be put in quotation marks for those who might mistake it for a real winter, I often get asked by people at school: “Aren’t you cold?” This is because they are wearing a heavy coat and gloves while I’m still wearing my t-shirt. These days I just respond with: “Aren’t you hot?”
Just like how, sometimes, I feel as if I were born out of time, I often feel as if I were born out of place. Maybe I should have been a Neanderthal in Ice Age Europe.
Come to think of it, maybe I was.