Old Man Winter not a stranger

Published 2:44 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2024


By Jan Penton Miller

It is so pleasant to have a change from our usual weather. Pleasant, that is, if I’m sitting by a warm, cozy fire as I am right now. But the frigid temperatures of the past few days have made me realize once more how blessed I am to live in the Deep South where this is not the usual occurrence.

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Winter days of my childhood spent rambling on my grandparent’s farm in Neshoba County bring back memories of snow ice cream, long icicles hanging from the roof, and frosty breath as we romped outside. The winter weather never particularly made the cousins, siblings, and I want to huddle by the fire; we were much more interested in the outdoors and all the fun awaiting.

Mamaw would look for powdered snow banked up somewhere and although I don’t know her recipe exactly, I would imagine vanilla flavoring and sugar were part of the recipe. Snow ice cream was delicious and creamy so she may have added other ingredients. It was always a treat, and something we anticipated with excitement if snow was in the forecast.

When I was a child I don’t remember people being fixated on the weather. I guess it may have been because nobody had the weather channel. When we had thunderstorms a couple of times lately I heard more than one person worriedly discussing the possibilities. I know that it is good to be prepared for whatever weather situation may occur, but with so much information from the internet and television comes anxiety for many.

I’m not trying to make light of possible tornadoes or any such thing, but many times if we aren’t careful we can spend time not preparing for a possible occurrence, but worrying. There are things that every person should be aware of ,however, to keep their family, pets, and property safe during a weather event. Most are just good common sense and vary depending upon the situation.

Keeping a pantry stocked with bottled water and food items that don’t require electricity is a simple, but very important thing in case of a power outage. It is also a good practice to keep vehicles filled. I think a good rule of thumb is to watch the gas gauge and fill up when it hits half a tank. These two simple things can help us have peace of mind. They can become automatic and leave us one less thing to think about if icy roads or possible tornadoes threaten our area.

In frigid temperatures it’s imperative to keep our furry friends warm and dry. If it’s too cold outside for us, then it’s also too cold for our pets.

My readers have truly been in a deep freeze with black ice and lots of snow that has made travel very precarious. Thankfully, the arctic blast has given way to more moderate temperatures, but old man winter will probably hang around for a while so bundle up and be prepared.