Ever since I can remember, I’ve felt drawn to the South, especially during the long, cold, grey days of winter.
That pull has been exceptionally strong this year, when temperatures took an uncharacteristic early nosedive — and have yet to recover.
Blame my parents, both native Mississippians, who seized every vacation as an opportunity to drive back and forth “home.”
And who strongly encouraged me to go back “home” when it came time for college.
I started feeling the tug right after Thanksgiving.
The week we were scheduled to leave, I developed a nasty cold, starting with a scratchy throat that got sorer and sorer. Soon, my eyes and nose got involved, running like they were in a marathon. My ears were stopped up, too, leading to a dull-witted fog, followed by incessant coughing.
Have you tried driving two days — 750 miles — feeling that rotten? No? Well, neither had I until this time.
And let me assure you, it wasn’t fun.
Still, with every fiber in my being, I knew I had to get South. To heal. Body and spirit.
I see photos on The Weather Channel of snow — at home, on the East Coast, even in the Mideast region of the world. And yes, it’s beautiful.
Traditional Christmas cards depict lovely snowy scenes, with evergreens outlined in white frosting, woodland animals peacefully dining on berries, fireplaces cozily lit with a roaring blaze. We’re taught from a young age that that is what the holidays should look like.
But the older I get, the more I admit that’s NOT my ideal Christmas.
Nope, I’d be really happy if it snowed from about Dec. 15 to Jan. 6, then vanished completely until the next year!
I don’t like slush — the muddy, wet stuff that slings to roads and tires after the pretty snow has started to melt.
I don’t like ice — especially the kind that looks like water but is slick enough to kill or maim.
I don’t like shopping in coats, walking the Sheltie bundled in a gazillion layers of clothing, not seeing the sun for days on end.
I prefer this:
And especially this:
What heals you when you’re feeling puny??