‘Loose (leaf) snow’ falls to the ground

In the winter, books showing snow-covered roofs and trees with snow-tipped branches begin appearing on the store shelves.

If you were born in south Louisiana, you become completely enthralled by these charming vistas and start wishing for it to snow here. It probably won’t. We are lucky to see the leaves change color on some of our trees.

But, on a cold winter evening in the 1970s in New Orleans, my two little girls came running into the kitchen looking for me.

Both were talking at once, and they excitedly exclaimed that they heard the local TV weatherman say there was a strong possibility for snow if the cold front continued toward New Orleans.

“Don’t get too excited,” I told them. “Snow is really unusual for us. We may see a few pretty snowflakes fall, but they melt when the land on the ground.”

Secretly, I was as anxious to see snow as the kids were, but not as enthusiastic. But it was a really cold day and the sky was filled with rolling darks clouds. Who knows?

The girls pulled some cushions in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows of our den, then sat quietly, watching and waiting. Time passed slowly.

Suddenly, one of them jumped up and screamed, “Look! Look at the grass. It’s snowing! It’s snowing!”

I hurriedly went to see for myself. Wow! I, too, could see small white flecks softly falling onto the grass. The girls went hunting for their jacket and hats to go outside.

I stood there looking at the snow. Strange, I thought, it looks like snow but it’s not melting. And most of it was falling in one small area. What’s going on?

On my way upstairs, I could hear my two boys snickering and giggling. I had found the source of the “snow.” From an upstairs window, they were throwing tiny bits of white paper outside. What rascals!

The girls had followed me and saw what their brothers were up to. Needless to say, much fussing and a few tears were shed. Eventually, peace was restored.

Now we all laugh about the loose-leaf snow in New Orleans on that winter day long ago.

Advocate readers may submit stories of no more than 500 words to the Human Condition at features@theadvocate.com or The Advocate, EatPlayLive, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810. There is no payment, and stories will be edited.