I DO THIS to myself, really. No one else is to blame.


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It’s the snowmen. In a deep south winter when there has been no snow (and frankly, much to my dismay, there is no contract, no promise from above), they become a little embarrassing. And I begin to think about it too much.


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Amy and Jim have snow in Massachusetts (shocker), Dallas has had snow, west Arkansas has had snow. I think even Birmingham had snow.


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But when we get as far as mid-February in north Mississippi, and the whitest thing in our world is my husband’s legs, the presence of snowflakes and snowmen in my home begins to take on a surreal, out-of-place, time-out-of-joint aura.


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Their perpetual grins, which seemed so pleasant when I set them out in early December, now seem to say, “The joke’s on you, sucker.” (Not a nice thing for snowmen to say, and wholly inappropriate considering that, if not for me, they would spend all 12 months of the year in a plastic bin in a dark attic.)


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With the arrival of any other season, you’ll see Eddings Hill decked out to one degree or another with all the appropriate ephemera. You know the drill. Spring, Summer, Autumn…down come the bins from the attic. (Those who know me best understand that I have a mortal dread of not having enough to dust and clean. ::cough, choke::)


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So, naturally, come Winter, I hang snowflakes. I display our snowmen collection. I set out our winter village, modest though it may be. But by mid-February, when there has been no snow here in the deep South, they begin to seem a little forced; a little out-of-place in (hello) winter. Which makes this ritual begin to feel a bit like a personal weirdness. That’s when the mind games begin. As though I’m a little girl…or a very old woman…pretending.


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Does having snowmen in my home when it never snows make me look fat? I’m asking. But I’m not asking.

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—Rachel


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