Today marks the change of seasons along the Gulf Coast .
No, it’s not some arbitrary date some person stuck on a calendar years ago. Some square with the words saying “lookey, lookey, it’s autumn.”
This is a real bonafide seasonal change.
You can see holiday decorations going up in neighborhoods.
You can see hanging decorations strung from street light to street light.
You can feel the anticipation in the air.
You know it’s safe and all the hours you spent decorating work won’t be blown away in the wind.
At midnight tonight, November 30th, just as it is on midnight ever November 30th, Hurricane season is officially over and we are free for the next six months.
If you live along the Gulf Coast, or anywhere near the water in the South, you don’t get 4 seasons like other parts of the country. We get only two seasons. Hurricane season and the other six months.
Sure hurricane seasons coincides with that season also known as summer, when it’s hot, and often unbearable. But heat in the south never generates the conversations that a good old blow from the gulf generates. Heat can’t even generate the shopping or the frenzy associated with a small blow that may or may not come your way or make landfall.
The entire country just experienced what is known to store owners as “Black Friday” when merchants are hoping shoppers will part with some cash and empty some shelves.
In the South, we do that time and time again during six months of the year. Nothing clears the grocery shelves of water, batteries, gasoline, alcoholic beverages, plywood, and bread like a newly named hurricane. We don’t need a Black Friday to do that. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be a Friday. Any day of the week will do when a newly name hurricane is rumbling around in Gulf waters.
We know the damage these storms can do, but we are inexplicably linked to them, to hurricane season, and to the other six months of the year. Just as a child can recall a particular Christmas when they got exactly what they wanted, we, the Southerners of this country can recall the really bad hurricanes by name and year and what was blown down or away.
While at this time of year many of you are making or have just made preparations for huge accumulations of snow, we are sitting back taking a deep breath knowing we have dodged the bullet once again.
While you prepare for possible weeks locked inside, we chuckle with glee and the thought of six months with no local sightings of Jim Cantore.
We freely string holiday lights knowing the great winds will not give them to our neighbors three miles away.
We put up tacky wooden Frostys, elves, and even Santa’s sleigh and 8 different reindeer. We sleep content knowing when we wake the next morning they will be exactly where we planted them the night before.
We may not have a white Christmas, as many of you do. But we can celebrate in our bare feet, with hearts free of “another named storm”.
During the season of thanks, we have much to be thankful for.
During the season of lights, we can put lights on the outside of our houses knowing they are safe for six more months.
Happy November 30th y’all.
From the life and mind of:
Wanda M. Argersinger
© 2010 All Rights Reserved