Thursday, March 5, 2009
March snowfalls are becoming quite common.
The latest one struck Saturday afternoon, actually February 28, and then more arrived early Sunday morning, March 1.
I’d been watching the weather for a day or two – knowing I was heading to Jackson Saturday morning for the Mississippi High School Activities Association State Tournament. Our H.W. Byers girls were meeting Scott Central in the Class 2A semi-finals.
I’d originally told Lawrence White we would leave at 2 p.m. I called that morning and moved the departure time to 1 p.m., due to the predictions from Channel 5 weather prognosticators.
The game-time was 6:30 p.m.
Of course, Mr. White and I like to get places early.
The drive down was no problem. We arrived in time to eat. First choice, Red Lobster, was too crowded (folks waiting in line), so we moved on to our second pick. The seafood buffet at Shoney’s was just fine, and we had plenty of time for seconds.
As usual, we saw other Byers’ fans at the restaurant across the street from “The Big House.” They were all dressed in green and ready to cheer on their favorite team, the Lady Lions.
Mr. White remarked about the family atmosphere at H.W. Byers. The more I’m around those folks the more I see it. And they make the newspaper guys feel a part of the family, too.
The Lady Lions looked right at home in Mississippi Coliseum. The defending state champs rolled to a nice lead, saw it evaporate a bit in the third quarter, but then pulled away for the 11-point win. Next up is Kemper County this Friday for all the marbles.
Much of the talk at the game, other than about basketball itself, was about the weather conditions back in north Mississippi. Most were planning on traveling home that night. Others, including the team, were staying until Sunday.
Mr. White and I had to pick up my son Andy, who was in Jackson visiting friends, and then we hit the return road.
My wife Pam kept us updated via cell phone.
She had it pegged on when we would actually see snow.
We stopped for gas in Grenada about 9:45 p.m., and a light snowfall had begun.
Then as we got back on I-55 toward Batesville, it got heavier and heavier. It was blowing big-time, but not sticking on the highway.
Driving the rest of the way to Holly Springs was no big deal – except for a few slick bridges.
We arrived about 11:30 p.m., and as it turns out, it’s a good thing we got home prior to midnight. Sometime after 12 p.m., Marshall County got more snow, and when I awoke Sunday morning to go take pictures for the newspaper, I was surprised. The roads were a bit snowy and icy, so I drove Emma’s Blazer, a four-wheel drive.
By the time I’d made some rounds around town and returned home to get ready for church, the sun was beaming and the snow had started melting.
As a result of the weekend snow, I couldn’t help but think back to a year ago, on March 7, I believe, to when Andy and I almost got snowbound on Highway 78. We had travelled to Southaven for the Gulf South Conference Tournament. There was a steady snowfall that evening. We had to travel back late at night driving about 15 miles per hour. We almost didn’t make it up the ramp at Olive Branch onto 78.
And it also took me back more than 25 years when I played a lot of softball. The first tournament that year in Hamilton, Ala., was scheduled in early March. It snowed, but the tournament went on as planned. I’d never played third base in the snow but actually it turned out to be loads of fun and it created many lasting memories.
This weekend we welcome Daylight Saving Time and 70-plus degree temperatures.
Spring is just around the corner.
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