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Long Underwear

Damn, it’s cold today. How cold? I think it may be 32ºF right now. The high is projected to be 44ºF. That’s the high, not the low. That is absurd.

After riding around in the cold too much yesterday, I wised up and pulled on the long underwear this morning. Some people are surprised that long underwear still has a use at our latitude. I know a guy who moved here from Minnesota and threw away all his cold weather gear. Man, did he regret that. He’d never been so cold as he was that winter. Because it does get cold here occasionally. Not always, and not as cold as the Great White North, but cold enough to put a chill in your bones. Cold enough to kill you, if you’re not prepared.

There have been winters where I didn’t need my long underwear even once. Unfortunately this is not one of them.

Of course, I’m more sensitive to the cold than some people. I don’t mean that I chill easily, though I do. I mean that since I mainly get around on a bicycle I’m exposed to the elements more than people who simply go from one climate controlled environment to another.

And, despite my complaints, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think it’s all for the best. In fact, I bundle my girl up and subject her to the elements as well. Here’s a picture from a day that wasn’t even half as cold as today.


You should have seen her today. Warmer coat, warmer hat, only a narrow slit for the eyes. Alas, I didn’t take a picture.

As we ride the bike, we talk about how cold the wind is, but it can’t stop us. Why? Because we’re tough. Nothing can stop us. And then we sing a round of “Frozen Ones.”

Yes, New Orleans has a winter. Visitors who come in the warm months have trouble believing this, but it’s true. We live in the subtropics here. The very definition of subtropical is that we still have a winter, no matter if it’s mild.

At this time of year I almost always begin to yearn for the true tropics, to escape winter forever. I’d like to at least visit. I start reading about places like Dominica and browsing travel sites. Highs in Dominica are in the 80s this week, with plenty of rain. I always thought getting to the Caribbean would be easier from New Orleans, but there aren’t any direct flights that I know of.

So anyway, I’m staying here for now. I hear we may get back into some more reasonable temps in time for my birthday. I’m pulling for the 70s.

Published inPixWeather & Seasons


  1. Brooks Brooks

    I’m totally your opposite when it comes to weather. According to one New York Times article, I may suffer from “Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder.” Don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that my mood starts to plummet when the thermometer creeps above 70 degrees, and I’m flat-out miserable between June and mid-October.

    The first chilly days of fall trigger near-euphoria. I like winter too — there’s something cozy about the short, dark days. NYC’s blink-and-you-miss-it spring would be okay if summer didn’t loom like a death-sentence at the end of it, and while I try not to think about that, my subconscious won’t leave it alone.

    I really like Missy’s sweater. The bandanna over the nose makes her look a contemplative Scandinavian bandit, and it’s a wholly captivating look.

  2. liz liz

    You’ve got some Portland, Oregon winter weather minus the rain. I agree that there’s something about subjecting oneself to the elements via bike commuting. For me it’s something about the direct experience of wind and rain and feeling myself breathe. It was a little below 30 here in Portland earlier this week and even though I hate how cold my hands get, I still want to experience it. It seems more direct.

  3. Anne Anne

    Our winters are also damp, which makes you nice and chilly even if the temperature is not as cold as it is elsewhere. I’ve got my down coat, long undies, mittens, and scarves all ready to wear to Krewe du Vieux, which is always the absolute coldest few hours of my winter.

  4. Martin Martin

    A few years back I and my BC (Beloved Companion) were temporarily living in Metairie. She had been there for about a year already and I arrived in mid October (from Portland, OR) to be delighfully greeted by absolutely beautiful, balmy weather.

    December rolled around and it began to chill down a bit – but it was still o.k. Then it snowed!! About three inches! (Only the seventh time ever, I was informed by a neighbor.) Imagine my surprise, shock and dismay – all my winter stuff was in storage back in Oregon.

    Fortunately the chill lasted for only a few days – by Mardi Gras week in Feb. it was in the high 60’s – low 70’s and sunny to a fault.

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