I love watching the seasons. Yes, spring and fall are my favorite, but there is something special about winter, too.
My high school buddy Jay Pinkerton once told me winter was his favorite season. Jay lived on a farm and was his father’s only son. I have to believe much of the manual labor needed to plant, tend and harvest soybeans was handed to Jay.
He was busy spring, summer and fall. We hunted in the winter.
My grandmother was from Kentucky and there were many Christmas holidays when I played in the snow.
I was fortunate to go to California one summer and do high Sierra camping with my cousins. That translated into a trip to Alaska with those kinfolk the following summer. I actually spent a summer night on a giant snowfield at 16,000-feet on the slopes of Mt. McKinley.
I was young then and cold was just another challenge to be faced by a young man with more zeal for adventure than common sense.
I’ve always felt the best hunting can be found in these parts on a cold winter mornings. I’ve also said there is a fine line between deer hunting and sitting stupidly in the woods freezing to death.
I had a Scoutmaster who carried us camping once a month, year round. “Stay clean and dry, don’t do things that makes you sweat, and if your feet are cold – put on a hat,” were all learned from Mr. Felix.
It’s not the cold that kills people, it’s ignorance and a lack of preparation.
Coldest I’ve ever been
I remember spending two nights in San Francisco one summer that were cold. We even took a dip on a dare in the bone-chilling Pacific Ocean in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. That was very cold.
I once broke through ice on a frozen creek in Pennsylvania when I worked the oil fields of the Northeast one March. The water was only waist deep, but some very temperature-sensitive parts got very cold before I got out and could change clothes.
I do remember a November in the 1970s when it got down to 5-degrees in Mississippi. And there was an 18-degree campout when I was a Scoutmaster in West Point.
But the coldest I’ve ever been was at a Mississippi State baseball game one Sunday afternoon in February. I was a college boy with a college girl on my arm. I looked so dashing in that tight T-shirt when I picked her up. But the sun soon started to set and the wind started to blow straight out of the Left Field Lounge. Then they ran out of coffee and hot chocolate in the concession stand.
The Bulldogs were winning and she wanted to stay. All I could do was smile and shiver. I never went out with the Ice Princess again!
Son of the South
I walked an advertisement around the corner Monday morning with three-inches of snow on the ground in Clarksdale.
Yes, as a Son of the Sunny South, I knew “this too, will pass.”
In the next week or two we’ll get one of those 70-degree winter days that makes living in the Magnolia State worth it all. The jonquils will soon poke out their yellow heads. The glorious days of April and May will spring upon us and be followed closely by those hot summer months of June and July.
And being the ungrateful humans that we are, we will be longing once again for the cold of winter.
So offer me a cup of coffee. Throw open the door and invite us in, out of the weather. Maybe you need to cook up something warm and carry it to someone you know.
Yes, it’s c-c-c-cold. But as Southerners, let’s help each other grin and bear it as we trudge through the Winter of 2021.
Floyd Ingram is Editor of your Clarksdale Press Register. You can share a warm cup of coffee with him just about any morning at 128 East Second St., in Downtown Clarksdale.