Coping with Cold

Posted on December 11, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

Okay, so we are wimps down south when it comes to cold weather. We dodged the bullet in Central Mississippi this week of the severe winter storms that swept the country as we watched them skirt to the northwest of us. But anytime the temperature dips below 32 degrees it is too cold to venture outdoors. Add the bone-chilling humidity and wind factor and we turn up the gas logs and grab the snuggies.

CopingCold-BobbyeHaving lived for 23 years in the tropics probably has something to do with our inability to climatize to American winters. We coped with perennial snow and ice during the years we lived in Richmond, VA, but it is just unnatural for our moderate seasons down south. Last year winter consisted of three or four “cold spells” when the temperature dipped below freezing for a couple of nights only to warm up during the day.

But for the first freeze to hit before Thanksgiving left us unprepared. The second wave this week definitely inhibited our activities. Do we venture out to get the mail? Can the trash wait until the next garbage day to put it out by the road side? I did convince Bobble to bundle up and walk a few blocks downtown to view the Christmas parade last Saturday, but even I had to admit it wasn’t worth it. It was much better cozying up on the couch to watch ballgames the rest of the day.

CopingCold-FernsOur garden room is over-flowing with all the outside potted plants that had to be brought inside, and the palm on our porch now overwhelms the foyer. The ferns from our wrap-around southern porch have to be hung in the garage while we watch our brave hardy perennials bite the dust and turn limp and brown.

CopingCold-RedMaplesThis whole seasonal thing takes getting used to. In Virginia the trees were bare and our yard raked clean by Thanksgiving but here most of the leaves don’t start falling until November and we are doing the last of the clean-up in the new year. With the absence of an early frost we don’t have trees as colorful as the northern part of the country but we do have a few stunning maples such as those pictured.

CopingCold-BobbyeRakingHaving a yard full of trees can be a pain at this time of the year. We blow, rake and mulch before a weekend trip only to come home to the ground covered once again. It does result in a voluminous compost pile that is appreciated by our spring flowers, but it is an endless task. We even have some oaks that don’t lose their leaves until the new ones start budding in the spring. Fortunately I have a Proverbs 31 woman who is handy with a rake and has learned to use my leaf vacuum to keep me company in the task.

One Comment on “Coping with Cold”

  1. Donna Bell

    Pat Lawson put your website in the retiree’s newsletter and I decided to go see how you all were doing. It seems like you both have had an enriching 3 years since you have been away from the Board. Your grandkids are really growing up and I know you will have a great time when Lori and her family comes to stay with you in the summer.

    The picture of the trees with all of the color has helped me to think about spring because right now the cold and snow is getting to all of us.

    Well I am at work so I will say bye.


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