It was cold on Tuesday. My wife came home with a startling confession. She admitted, “Today I heard the first person, outside of your family, talk about Cotton Britches Winter.” Now, that always takes me back to my childhood. My grandmother not only recognized Cotton Britches Winter, but adhered to a strict observance of four other “winters”, as well.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Southern tradition of naming the spring “cold snaps”, here is my grandmother’s list. In her mind, it was not open to debate.
The first cold snap or winter was Redbud Winter. It was followed, usually closely, by Dogwood Winter. The following is the only area that was subject to interpretation: Blackberry Winter and Locust Winter were often alternated in order, depending upon which one she saw blooming first.
That brings us to Cotton Britches Winter. It was always the last chilly weather before warm weather stayed for a few months. Her explanation of the name was priceless. I can close my eyes and see her with a twinkle in her eye as she says, “When this little cold spell is over, you can put on your cotton britches because winter is over.”
I can’t wait for Cotton Britches Time. How about you?