An Iowa winter in Paris


An Iowa winter in Paris

I have lived in Paris for more than forty years and cannot remember snow sticking on the ground for more than a few hours, let alone a day. But this morning when I entered the living room (photo above with curtains shut), I felt like I was right back in my native state of Iowa where snow covered the trees, the bushes, the ground, the streets under a big white blanket all winter long.

Although Paris is a northern city, it is unequipped for snow so the sidewalks and roads are dangerously slippery and there are 700 kilometres of traffic jams all around the city as drivers struggle to get into the city to work.

We snuggle up in our apartment, looking outside at our yard, knowing that the bakery and the butcher shop, the newsstand and the metro are only a short walk away.

And of course the snow is not the only that’s falling.  Waves of nostalgia for real winters fall upon my mind as well. Those Iowa winters!  Sledding, skating, snowballs outside, warm fires and fresh baked cookies inside.   Nostalgia is the keyword here: do I really miss those long winters? Those winters that are so pristine and beautiful the first days and then gradually turn to slush and seem (and are) interminable?

Not really.  But how I love this special treat of an Iowa winter in Paris.

8 thoughts on “An Iowa winter in Paris”

  1. A comment from another Iowan in Paris. I had the same feeling when I saw my neighborhood under a blanket of beautiful white snow this morning. Luckily, I don’t have to drive anywhere to work today and my local grocery store, bakery, pharmacy and café are a few steps away!

  2. I think it was my second winter in the Paris region (Gentilly, bordering on the 13TH and 14TH of Paris, and next door to James B.), when we had a heavy snow of many inches, truly unprecedented. This was probably 2013. As I recall, it lasted several days. Joe and I were a bit stranded, as the steep steps down from the house, and the decline to the street was too slippery for us to navigate. We had a wicked ‘propritaire’ who refused to clear the path for us……
    Now I must check my photos to get a sense of how deep the snow was. Maybe six inches.

  3. I lived but a short distance from Janice when growing up. When I retired I moved to a warmer climate thinking that I would be happier away from the snowy winter days.

    I am now returning to Iowa, where for over 60 years I watched the seasons gradually change and replenish my environment. I never thought that my mind would miss that seasonal cycle.

    Yes, snow can be difficult to navigate, but it helps make this beautiful blue marble that we live on exist.

    1. Agree with you that seasons are important and hope you’ll enjoy them now that you are back in Iowa. Thanks for your comment. Harriet

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