THE LAWSON’S PEAK BOOKS

Brain Freeze

Brutal. Absolutely brutal.

In many ways, this winter is worse than last. Or maybe, the winter I’m in always seems worse than the last one. Regardless, this puppy has been pure dee nasty.

And that’s the call from south Louisiana…imagine those poor folks up north.

Wave after wave of wind and rain and cold, oh, my. Warm then cold, cold then warm, dry then wet, wet then dry.

This morning, that danged Yankee groundhog predicted an early spring. Well, for once I am willing to spare the little rodent from a snare, and pray he’s right this time.

They’re talking freezing rain here in the next day or two. Oh, joy.

What the devil is the use of living in the deep south? Might as well head to some equatorial region.

Everything is brown, but that’s normal for this time of year. The bayou keeps coming up with hard south winds, back down with strong north winds. I think I saw a frozen egret this morning. It might have been a clump of Styrofoam, though.

If Phil is right, and we have an early spring, I’m hoping for “early” being defined as next week. I am certainly deluding myself, but what the hey. I remain optimistic.

February has always been my least favorite month. It seems to be when winter bears down the brunt of its nastiness. After this morning, you can at least get a little hopeful, though I don’t feel absolutely secure until the pecan trees bud.

Don’t get me wrong. I am grateful I am not scraping ice off my truck windshield, blowing snow off the driveway and installing chains on my tires. I can’t imagine what they’re experiencing up north, but then, that’s why my ancestors, both Indian and Cajun, left there.

Spring seems so far away, almost like a dream. A warm, fuzzy dream, full of wildflowers and green things. It’s hard to imagine spring when you leave the house and your nose freezes solid, and it’s half an hour after you get back indoors before the scowl thaws off your face.

I remember when I was a kid, I joined the Cub Scouts. One of the first things we did was make a camping trip to Lake Fausse Point. During that camping trip, it snowed. I considered this a very, very bad omen and quit the organization.

When I was working at the radio station, it snowed one Friday. A lot. We had a snowball fight outside the station. I followed a buddy who also lived in Charenton home. When we got to the bridge at Charenton from La. 87, I saw his brake lights flash but he just kept going across the intersection. There wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hades of stopping, so I just followed him across, both of us lucky every other sane person in Charenton was inside and off the roads. I made it home safely and didn’t leave the house again until it was safe to drive.

I remember one year, early 1990s I think, when it got so cold for so long the ground froze for like three days. I mean, it was frozen solid at our house. Killed my crape myrtles I had planted that spring. That was cold.

It wouldn’t be quite as bad if it wasn’t for the stinking rain. Cold is one thing, rain is another thing. Cold and rain is simply miserable. It makes the cold get into my bones.

I need to make a gumbo this weekend. That helps a lot. First, it warms up the kitchen while I’m cooking it for several hours, and then it warms up my insides when I’m eating it, also for several hours. “Gumbo” may be a native African word for the okra plant, but it can also be defined as wholesome, tummy-warming goodness.

Buddy of mine sent me a text message last night: “I NEED TO GO FISHING!” Well, that makes two of us, but the notion is a futile one. At least a month before I start thinking about it. With a little luck, we might be able to get out for some premature, fruitless and fishless excursions, but at least we’ll be out.

I am dreaming of dogwoods and wild azaleas; the first green buds of my pecan trees and the time change! Oh, the blessed time change…

4 comments to Brain Freeze

  • Oh c’mon, Roger…30F below 0 in Saskatchewan, although today is a balmy 19F above 0. My woolies have been wearing woolies. Wish Bob and I could hunker down with a bowl of your promised Gumbo. They don’t have Gumbo here, but the pickerel is pretty good. :0/

  • pete cooper, jr.

    A “Balmy” 19 degrees?
    Eating “Pickerel”?
    No gumbo?
    Man, we need to quit sending aid to Haiti and send it to Saskatyouwhatever.
    Incidentally, cher, it’s wet 30-ish right now in beautiful suburban Cade, La., and it ain’t a bit “balmy”!

  • blufloyd

    Hey Ms. Foster know where Esterhazy is?

    Well we had a warm up here in cornfields but back to single digit days for a couple days.
    The slop on the ice has to firm up. I thought about Spring no furnace noises at 60 degrees.
    Is Spring in 6 weeks different than 6 more weeks of Winter?

  • Yes, Blufloyd, I do know where Esterhazy is. However, I’m a few “clicks” further up in the tundra. (clicks being Saskatchewanese for kilometers, eh?) 6 weeks is 6 weeks, whether you’re coming or going. Best you can do is keep those woolies plugged in, read Tom Robbins and eat pickerel.

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