Snow or not, Vicksburg is a beautiful place

Published 11:07 am Wednesday, January 17, 2024

If you’ve ever been anywhere near south Alabama around this time of year, while any hint of winter weather is bearing down, the conversation most likely turned, at some point, toward the “Blizzard of 93.”

Now, I was ten years old at the time, so I can’t tell you exactly how much snow fell or how hard it made it to drive or get through the work day. All I really recall is not having to go to school and getting sick of the stuff really quickly. But what came out of that experience, for most of us in lower Alabama I’m afraid, was a misguided sense that we suddenly understood severe winter weather.

That notion was quickly dispelled by my first winter in college at the University of Missouri in Columbia. All it took was one mid-Missouri snow for me to realize I was in way over my polite southern head. The winters were maybe the only part of Missouri I didn’t miss when I eventually made my way back to the south. And for years back in Alabama, I managed to avoid anything more than a light dusting.

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But then came the winter of 2021. And as residents of Vicksburg and plenty of other places in this neck of the woods well remember, we got all we could handle. I lived here in town at the time, but worked across the bridge in Tallulah, and the polar vortex left me stranded on that side of the bridge for days. When I eventually decided to risk it and drive home, I held my breath as I drove over the bridge in a tiny BMW through the divots in the ice other brave – or bullheaded – folks had made before me. 

But I literally slid into my apartment complex and lived to tell the story. This year, so far, we have been spared that level of winter woe and I hope we make it through the rest of the season without quite that much snow or ice. But, once I did make it back to safe ground in 2021, I started scrolling through Facebook, because, well, where was I going? And I was absolutely blown away by the photos that poured in from around Vicksburg. They were beautiful. From downtown, to the area around the military park, to what looked like just random hills and bottoms, the snow transformed our already gorgeous town into a true winter wonderland.

I think that may have been the first time I really stopped to think about what a beautiful place we live in. I know the hilly terrain can be frustrating. I have other stories of how my first year living here I drove a Ford Mustang stick-shift (because why buy a Mustang otherwise?). But, we’ll save those for another day. The point is, snow or no snow, Vicksburg is beautiful. Since then, I’ve been able to explore much more and I’m still blown away by every sunset over the river; by every time the light is cast just so as you come over a hill; or by the way the ground suddenly gives way somewhere and you can see forever. It really is something to behold.

So, probably like most of you, I think I’ve seen enough of the winter weather for this season, but I have to say, even when conditions are frustrating and make life hard, they also make it a great time to stop and look at all the beauty we are blessed to live with.