The Seasons of South Mississippi
Raking up the leaves from the Live Oak Trees in my yard is one of my least favorite activities. This annual drudgery arrives with the pollen of early Spring to make it even more joyful. My stepmother used to say she loved having seasons, so she stayed in New England longer than the rest of us. What she failed to realize is that even in South Mississippi we have seasons as vivid as New England’s.
Summer is my favorite season no matter where I live. In South Mississippi it is hot and humid during the day and not quite as hot at night. There are brief cooler spells caused by almost daily thunderstorms that bring rain. You cut the grass at least every two weeks and sometimes weekly. There are lizards, turtles, and snakes in the yard. This is the longest season and lasts from about Mid-April to Mid-October.
Fall usually feels like Summer. You know it is fall when hurricane season officially ends. Confirmation comes when you have not cut the grass for two weeks and you can wait at least another week. Another indicator of fall is that the SEC Football season is in week 7 or 8 and things are getting interesting. Finally, fall has arrived when classic cars from across the country create actual traffic problems from Pascagoula to Bay St. Louis.
During the Winter you don’t have to cut the grass. By the middle of January all the Maple Leaves have fallen and you rake them up. You don’t often wear shorts and you don’t have to worry as much about snakes. There will be a few weeks where the temperature at night will get below freezing and the cat does not go out as much.
Spring is short. If it wasn’t for dreaded raking of the Live Oak Leaves and Mardi Gras, you would never notice it. It would merely dawn on you that it was Summer again!