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The Tentacle


April 8, 2014

This Winter

Roy Meachum

Not even the season that came right after World War II, when I was stationed in Germany, the coldest winter of my life, which was bad for Europe, struck me so horrible. Having enlisted in New Orleans, I was unaccustomed to “Yankee” cold-spells.

 

The Stars and Stripes newspaper celebrated how chilly it was. Look it up: the winter of 1946-47 was a record breaker, especially for a Louisiana child. I wore wool uniforms; I broke out khakis for an occasional warmer day. Despite the lack of air-conditioning, the old castle was comfortable to sleep in.

 

This was colder. I can’t recall when the snow was falling; sometime in the last week. In my New Orleans childhood, I couldn’t imagine getting disgusted at the “white stuff;” but this winter I cried “enow,” “basta” and “genug.” All words meaning enough.

 

Fortunately at my age, I spent some weeks in the hospital and nursing home, the Weimaraner, Goethe, was taken from me by Patricia Kelly, a true friend. She took great care about the boy dog. That was the end of January, before the winter set firmly in. So I had no need to walk him twice daily.

 

The utility bills, electricity and gas, came as a shock; they continue to startle – despite taking all discounts enrolled in! The garden was a mess: frozen mush. Despite Oscar’s best efforts, it didn’t reach the acceptable level; and he tried. (Jeffery, his three-year-old, with wide-open eyes, ran around the house, in a curious way, helping.)

 

As the column told readers, I’ve moved to Westminster; it provided no escape from the winter. In New Orleans the other day, the thermometer read less than 40 and during daytime hours. Mercy! As Aunt Bootsie would say: Mercy! Her late husband was of diplomatic status to Honduras. She had lots of opinions on many subjects.

 

As I tried to say at the beginning, apart from Russia – Moscow and St. Petersburg, this was coldest winter in my eight decades and a half. So, if you’re a tad younger, this was a season to compare to, and you’ll fall short.

 

Welcome the Spring!

 



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