Sum­mer can’t melt mem­o­ries

The Covington News - - THE SECOND OPINION - David McCoy, a no­to­ri­ous sto­ry­teller and proud Yel­low Jacket, lives in Cov­ing­ton and can be reached at davm­c­coy@bell­south.net.

Ge­or­gia is in the mid­dle of an­other spec­tac­u­lar sum­mer, and I need some win­ter ther­apy to dis­pel the heat of the day. I need to feel cold air blow­ing across my face. I need to en­vi­sion snow and ice and sweaters and mit­tens.

I need hope that the Arc­tic air is com­ing and sum­mer’s in­sects will soon be freez­ing in their bur­rows.

So, I’ll write about Christ­mas while we’re still in Au­gust.

There’s great com­fort in re­call­ing a fes­tive win­ter sea­son while it’s swel­ter­ing out­side. Christ­mas holds amaz­ing mem­o­ries for me, and I need those right now - those cool­ing mem­o­ries of the past.

It’s ironic that my strong­est mem­o­ries of Christ­mas are of com­merce and trees and presents and tra­di­tion. Christ­mas is a holy and ethe­real time of year, yet my mind floods with the earthly scents of bal­sam nee­dles, pies, turkey, and fires in the fire­place.

And I re­call the scent of the cold air. Cold air smells crisp and bright, and it en­hances the other scents of the sea­son. And it height­ens the senses.

I can still see the elec­tric lights we wound around our trees – large, col­ored bulbs with plas­tic re­flec­tors shaped like stars that dan­gled from the green wires, twisted and tan­gled from the closet. I re­mem­ber star­ing at the bulbs on our fresh green tree, and I re­mem­ber dream­ing of Christ­mas Eve as the cold nights closed in on us. I still see the cool glow of Christ­mases from long ago.

I re­mem­ber the de­sire and an­tic­i­pa­tion I felt at Christ­mas. I’d sit by the fire­place and imag­ine chem­istry sets and walkie talkies un­der the tree. And it could be cold and rainy out­side, but no one cared. When we did go out, we saw Christ­mas lights on houses, and we saw the spec­ta­cles on dis­play at the At­lanta stores.

We saw alu­minum trees bathed in light as the ro­tat­ing color wheels blazed hue af­ter hue on their nee­dles.

We in­haled the de­li­cious aroma at each depart­ment store candy counter and stood in awe of the ceil­ing-high shelves of toys that were be­yond our reach, but not be­yond our dreams.

And now I’m cold. Maybe it’s the air conditioning here in the house; maybe it’s the tem­po­rary weather shift. Or maybe I’m just cel­e­brat­ing an early Christ­mas in the mid­dle of an­other spec­tac­u­lar Ge­or­gia sum­mer, lost in a snow­storm of mem­o­ries.

DAVID MCCOY

COLUM­NIST

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