This "polar vortex" or "cold front from the arctic," as one Mississippi meteorologist referred to it, has turned the deep South into the deep freeze, with snow and ice across south Mississippi, south Alabama, and Louisiana. Down here, people know how to deal with tornados, hurricanes, and extreme heat. Add a few snow flurries and a threat of winter weather, and we can't keep our cars on the road, and there is a bidding war on milk and bread at the grocery store.
A friend of mine living in south Louisiana sought advice from friends and family on Facebook due to the storm warnings and possible power outages in her area: "Friends who experience winter - would you please share food suggestions and any advice?"
Of course my advice would be to stock up on milk and bread.
Southerners can't handle ice and snow. Even temperatures that drop below 40 degrees will cause anxiety in the deep South.
My mother watches the weather channel for days on end, wringing her hands with the worry of ice and snow. Well, I blame that more on having three daughters and a husband who are all accident prone with less-than-average driving skills.
While I was growing up in DeSoto County, the winter of my seventh grade year, it snowed four to six inches of snow every Monday morning for three weeks. Schools were closed, and my sisters and I spent most of the days sledding down the large hills in our neighborhood.
Daddy spent hours each Monday morning to get one of the cars out of the driveway to get to his south Memphis business. All four cars ended up stuck in the neighbors' yards before he finally gave up - red-faced with frustration and fury. After his blood pressure returned to normal, he would join us on the hill.
Winter weather was fun and games when we were kids and begging for a snow day. As an adult with responsibilities like bills to pay and kids to feed, winter weather is a complete inconvenience.
At 39-years-old, I have become my father (it is quite remarkable how we morph into our parents as we grow older). I'm going to try to get to work regardless of the weather until both our cars get stuck in the neighbor's yard.
This morning when I got up, it was nine degrees in Carrollton, and it was cold in my old house, despite the gas fireplace logs and three electric heaters working in tandem with the central unit. However, all the pipes in the house were working this morning, mainly because my husband wrapped all the exposed pipes outside the house with the same care he takes to bundle our son before leaving the house on cold days.
A thick frost had turned the outdoors a sparkling silver gray, a beautiful sight, which led to a fight with both dogs that would rather stay inside in the warm than go into the big chill to do their business.
As January turns to February, I am nervous of what Mother Nature has in store for the rest of the winter. As is the case in Mississippi most winters, I'm betting a blizzard will paralyze the state, but no worries, we will all be wearing flip flops two days later.
I hope you all stay warm and safe, and remember your animals in this cold weather. If you are cold, they are cold. Bring them inside.