This seems as good a time as any to mention that I moved back to New Orleans in the fall from my native New England, where I lived for the last 12 years. About this time last year, Boston was in the news a lot as our annus horribilis of snow. Mother Nature couldn’t control her blizzard hissy fits, and by the time her tantrums were over, she had spewed a record-breaking 108 inches of snow in metropolitan Boston.
The excited TV meteorologists tried to soften their blizzard forecasts by using interesting little euphemisms like “snow event,” and “active weather pattern,” and referring to the relentless blast of snowflakes as “white confetti” when the New England Patriots returned home from Arizona last January for a victory parade after its fourth Super Bowl win (go ahead, hate me for that).
My shoulders were as square as any New Englander’s, standing Boston Strong, donning Hazmat-like fashion during the bitter cold, and shrugging off arctic conditions as an inconvenient truth of living in New England. But even the heartiest Yankees grew weather weary. Enough with the time-lapse videos of buried cars and vanishing yards and the ceaseless onslaught of what I can only describe as snow porn.
Ahhhh, but I’m 1,500 miles away now living in New Orleans where blizzards don’t happen. Winter happens here with a whimper instead of a howl. Sun and warmth happen here; parades and parties happen here; Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras happen here; gumbo happens here.
Here in NOLA, I delight in obsessing with the internet to learn that we’ll be having a 70-degree day in winter while my Yankee friends are wearing three layers of wool. I shamelessly share our warm winter climate, taunting them with pictures of blue skies and people walking around with nary a sweater. I can’t help myself; weather trolling is just something I do these days. After years of nor’easters, polar vortices, frigid temps, black ice, down coats, boots, and other Pilgrim-like fashion, I feel a sense of purpose in knowing that I can take a walk in the park, enjoy the sun, and be greeted by folks who aren’t, well, chilly.
My best friends live here, my son lives here and now I do again. Missing the misery of New England winters does feel a little wrong, since I’m still there in spirit if not in thermals. But I’ll trade a winter of blizzards for a hurricane any day, especially the type I can sip with friends on a warm winter day.
Good to be back in the Big Easy, y’all. Cheers!