Airing Out the House

open-blue-window-shutters-on-ornate-building-in-new-orleans-louisianaThere is a moment that passes in Louisiana a couple of times each spring and if you're lucky a couple of times in the fall, these "moments" seem that way even though they are entire days when the weather is perfect.Unlike the muggy summer (which lasts six months) or the wet and cold winter (which also last six months), our spring and fall may only take up a week of the calendar in total. But what the good weather in Louisiana lacks in length, it makes up for in depth.

That first day of sunshine and pleasant temperatures after the long dismal winter is exhilarating. You can see everyone with an extra spring in their step (no pun intended) and most importantly to me, you can open your windows and air out the house.

If you've never lived here (or other areas of the country with extreme weather swings and very little moderate weather), you really can't imagine the insanity that builds when your air is trapped and recycled, heated and cooled (often both in one day) for almost the entire year.

Opening the windows is of course advantageous for saving money. Temperate weather means no A/C, no heater. But it's much more than that. Stagnant air stinks of clean. Of process. Of manufacturing.

When the windows come open that first day, it feels like carnival season. And Easter resurrection. And crawfish boils. And barbecues. And backyards. Anyone who experiences our dreary winter or laborious summer and then meets a day with sunshine and 70 degree breezes who doesn't want to second-line, is likely already dead.

Yesterday was one of those perfect moments in Louisiana. Today is continuing the trend. After a false spring two weeks ago, we got cold rain for the last two. When Friday came with sun and that fresh scent that said, "Go ahead. Crack the windows. It's a little cool now, but wait. Today's the day!", my heart sang.

Our windows are open as I write this and I'm reminded of why I live in Louisiana. Why I love Louisiana.

It lives deeply and wildly. With spice and panache and verve. With style, dammit. With flair. And sadly, perhaps because it is so bold, so joyful, so Louisiana, it can't last. Our state is one of fleeting beauty. It's perfect springs last a day or two as do our respites between political scandals or natural disasters.

But the brevity of our celebrations just make us enjoy them all the more. They grow in the retelling over the long winters and summers. The planning becomes a joy of its own. We live for the next time we open the windows.

So, I'm airing out the house today. Enjoying this perfect spring while it lasts. And knowing I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world now, or in the long summer to come.