On Winter


I never actually expect winter to happen. After living in the tropics for eight years, I kind of got out of the habit.

I’ve heard people say that we don’t really have winter in the south, but that’s not my reality. I know that North Carolina is considered part of “The South” but it feels like the north to me. For one thing, there are no avocados growing here. No breadfruit, either. At 35.622 degrees north of the Equator, Moncure is peach country, not mango country.

JanuaryMaui2003 JanuaryNC2009
Maui – January, 2003 and Moncure -January, 2009

And here its happened again – we’ve got winter. No matter how deep I am in denial, winter keeps happening. It’s been cold for months and then, just like the weather service predicted, we got snow. I looked out the window and saw it swirling around the garden and blanketing the lawn. I couldn’t believe it, so I propped the door open with my foot and took a picture.

Later, I saw my friends playing in the snow, but still I didn’t want to go outside. They were romping like kids in the stuff. It looked cold and wet – two conditions I try to avoid. Finally, I forced myself outside. With a leaf rake, I cleared our back steps. I took a whisk broom and dusted off Christine, our faithful car.

Lauren and Val walked by, dragging branches from the woods to burn in the stove next door. They were planning on making snow cream. Meanwhile, a pot of coconut cream potato/corn chowder simmered on our stove. I tried not to think about how nice some breadfruit chips would go with that soup.

As I chatted with Lauren and Val and saw how happy they were, I found myself enjoying the day despite myself. The sun felt good, the sky was bright and clear and the air was fresh. I let down my guard and embraced it for a moment and then I ran back inside.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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