Was the wintry weather a delight for your family?

Published 12:37 am Sunday, January 8, 2017

Once upon a time snow in the South was indeed a rare sight. Over the last few years, however, the white stuff has become much more of a familiar friend.

People from the North struggle to appreciate the reaction Southerners have to the white stuff.

First, many people freak out over fear of having to drive in the stuff. And it can be treacherous. In the North, city, county and state crews generally plow and spray roads to remove snow and make the surface safe to drive.

Email newsletter signup

Finding a snow shovel around here might be next to impossible.

But what people in northern climates view as merely an annual nuisance we view as a welcome novelty, one that we often use to mark time.

“Remember that time it snowed when you were little?” a relative might ask at a family gathering. All involved might recall exactly the year due to the rare nature.

I can recall two really big snows from my own childhood, and one of those is only a memory formed by a family snapshot.

By contrast, our daughter, who is not quite 4 years old, has already experienced snow in three winters of her short life.

Of course the use of “snow” is liberally applied around here to pretty much anything that is cold, white and on the ground.

Weather forecasters seem to dub it a “wintry mix” when they don’t really know what’s going to happen — could be snow, sleet or freezing rain.

That’s what we got on Friday, a wintry mix that seemed more sleet and freezing raid than snow to me, but what do I know. I’ve only seen the stuff a few times in my Mississippi life.

Friday afternoon and evening’s precipitation made Anna’s night Friday as we tromped into the backyard to explore the stuff she can really only remember from photos of herself in years’ past.

Darkness prevented us from doing much more than crunching around in the yard and scraping up a few handfuls to toss at one another.

But the promise that it might be around Saturday morning was enough to keep Anna focused soundly on getting up, getting dressed and getting outside.

She doesn’t possess real winter gear so we did what we could.

Base layer?

PJs, check.

Middle layer?

Snowman dress (she picked it, but it seemed fitting.)

Upper middle layer?

School uniform sweatshirt.

Top layer?

Fleece jacket.

Add in a second pair of socks and pants and rain boots, and we were all set.

I thought the trip into the backyard winter wonderland was going to be diverted to the ER when Anna planted her foot on an icy patch and began to slip.

Fortunately, she caught her balance and avoided a spill.

In an hour or so, we had scraped up enough icy snow and mixed it with water to make it hold together a bit to make our own version of Frosty.

He stood approximately 3-feet tall and looked rather dapper, if I do say so, in a baseball cap, carrot nose and buttons forming his mouth.

We couldn’t scrounge up any coal for his eyes, but we figured out Hershey’s Kisses made fine replacements.

Anna was thrilled with the creation, and her reaction made all the stooping and squatting that went into the diminutive snowman well worth it.

Hopefully, the winter precipitation was equally as fun-filled and harmless for each of you.

If you took photos of the white visitor from the north, please send us a copy at newsroom@natchezdemocrat.com.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.