Saturday, November 27, 2010

Frost on the zucchini

Who is this angry man?
It seems odd to feel chilled and wear a woolen coat in a city where palm trees and banana trees still have green leaves.  It seems odd to look serious in a city that is so overflowing with happenstance joy.  If a New Englander frowns, it is because he is disturbed to fetch a heavy sweater out of the bureau drawer to insulate his skinny bones when 50 degrees at the end of November should seem like a lark in the park.

We refuse to turn the heat on in our apartment.  One: it is electric heat and everyone knows electric heat is the most expensive form of all, over oil and natural gas.  Two: it's just not that cold.  Is it?

I woke up with frost on the end of the old schnozzola and when I pressed it into the nape of my wife's neck she yelped as if someone had dropped an ice cube down her bra at a bar-b-que.  Has New Orleans made us so soft already?  I am a flinty New Englander, of good, honest, Housatonic Valley Connecticut stock, used to shoveling snow and withstanding wind chills that would make a southerner wither from frostbite.  I have all my toes despite miles spent marching through slush and snowdrift with inadequate footgear.  50 degrees gives me the shivers.  I must be acclimating.

One thing I can't acclimate to is having a regular 9-5 job.  I can only go to Parkway Tavern and Bakery for lunch on the weekend now and the line for a po' boy stretches a hundred people deep.  On a weekday, it is more tolerable, maybe twenty people, maybe fifteen.  If you time it right on a Thursday, there's no line at all.   I miss being devil-may-care.


Anita said...

You gave me a nice chuckle! You are definitely settling in. Timing lunch to miss the lines and complaining about the freezing cold so early in the year is what we do down here.

This is actually a pretty busy gardening season. You can still set out pansies, petunias, snapdragons, etc., and you should. You can also plant your Christmas poinsettias out in the garden after you've finished with them indoors.

Really, we just have to make it through until twelfth night and then the beginning of carnival season helps get us through the worst of winter. King Cakes will be available on January 6 (and if you see any before that time, don't be so gauche as to buy one!)

A note on potential winter woes: watch out for frozen pipes any time the temperature falls much below thirty degrees Fahrenheit on the south shore and stays there for four hours or more. Almost none of the old houses here are insulated against the cold, not even the pipes, and that certainly contributes to the discomfort.

Happy holidays!

Whalehead King said...

I've heard that about the pipes. Thanks for the tip.

Slimbolala said...

Northerners never believe us when we say it, but the cold here is kind of sucky and miserable in a different way from many far colder climes: damp and pervasive. We're not equipped for it, our buildings aren't equipped for it, and it gets in everywhere and soaks into one's bones.

Whalehead King said...

The opposite of Arizona's fabled dry heat: Louisiana's damp cold. I still don't believe in either yet---it's close to 80 today! The cold did soak into my bones though. Thank goodness it's gone for the moment.


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