Wishing winter would release us from its icy grip

Published 9:38 am Thursday, February 13, 2014

When I woke up Wednesday morning and peered outside to see the chaos wrought by the ice storm, it didn’t look so bad at first. A veneer of ice clung to every surface and tree branch. The good news was we still had power.
First impressions aren’t always the correct ones.
I cautiously dipped my foot down the front step and the slickest ice this side of a curling sheet sent my foot sliding with frightening speed. Since my other foot was firmly ensconced on dry concrete, I didn’t go flying. More coffee was in order.
I looked at my car and it was encased in ice so thick it distorted the car’s shape like melted candlewax. That’ll be fun, I thought, breaking my car from its icy prison.
I took each halting move down the steps with the patience of a leopard stalking his prey. The tread on my shoes still couldn’t prevent all of the slippage. With every slither of my sole, I could feel a chill down in my soul. One step at a time at a glacial rate, I made it without an embarassing fall.
I began the miserable process of cracking the ice off my car. Sheets flew as my scraper moved faster than former Florida and Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin on a jet sweep. Did anyone expect a winter like this? Temperatures in the teens. Two bouts of snow and an ice storm. Cats and dogs living together. Mass hysteria. Maybe not the last two quite yet.
Only in this day and age could the host city of the Winter Olympics, Sochi, Russia, be warmer (40 degrees Fahrenheit) than Vicksburg (32). Some of the events have been rescheduled because of balmy conditions even in the nearby Caucasus Mountains, where the skiing and sledding events are being held. Reserves of ready-made snow are running low.
Russia needing artificial snow. Really? That’s got to be a joke, right?
As the Wicked Witch of the West said “What a world, what a world…”
The good news is a transition is on the way. The National Weather Service is forecasting highs of 60-plus degrees for the weekend, the highest temperatures since December’s unexpected warm snap.
Punxsutawney Phil wouldn’t agree it’s a trend after spotting his shadow on Groundhog Day. Let’s hope the furry prognosticator is wrong.
The weather had better improve, regardless of Phil’s bad news. Baseball and softball seasons are just a few, short weeks away. The only ice on a baseball field should be in someone’s drink.
Maybe Vicksburg needs to host the Winter Olympics. The weather this year would’ve certainly lent itself to the task.

Steve Wilson is sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. You can follow him on Twitter at vpsportseditor. He can be reached at 601-636-4545, ext. 142 or at swilson@vicksburgpost.com.