Bitter winter keeps digging in its heels

Rick Jacobs

Rick Jacobs

Al Gore has to hate winters like the one we just had.

I say “had,” but I might be just a tad premature. I just looked at the seven-day forecast and we will be back into the 30s a couple of days next week.

Really? Are we really going to be dragging the coats back out on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings? (Actually, by the time this is printed it will already be over.)

I should have known. I planted a bunch of flowers on Saturday in drop-dead-gorgeous weather. Upper 70s, breezy, not a cloud in the sky. Cut and edged the yard. Then took the wife to a ballgame.

Perfect springtime activities. The ideal way to say “Good riddance!” to Old Man Winter and say “Hello, Spring! What took you so long?”

But Old Man Winter isn’t quite finished yet.

It reminds me of a fighter in the 10th round that just won’t stay down. Somehow he finds just enough left to get up and make one last effort before the count reaches 10.

Winter of 2013-2014, I hereby dub you, “Rocky.”

Except that Rocky was a likable guy. He was normally the underdog, the way most winters here in the Mid-South usually are. He’d win a fight here and there. And winter would throw in a really cold day or two. For the most part, though, warmer weather prevails. Very little ice and snow. Hardly any temps below freezing. And while the pools, of course, close, the golf courses are open year ’round.

This year, winter was on steroids. He took all 10 rounds. Punch after punch of arctic air invaded the Mid-South and sent temps plummeting into the single digits.

It was, to use my analogy, stupid cold.

I believe we have done a complete 180 and are now in the midst of a phenomena that I hereby dub “Global Freezing. The Ice Age returneth.”

The evidence is indisputable.

On one particular bitter morning, while out serving papers, I saw some penguins walking down Stage Road. They all had sweaters on.

“You don’t want to know.”

It was so cold one morning that my dog met me at the door with a diaper in her mouth and looked at me with eyes that said, “Please, Master. Just put this on me and let’s both go back to bed.”

Finally, it was so cold that Satan, for the first time in 1,000 years, had to turn on the Hades Heater to keep, uh, “Heck” from freezing over.

Of course the good news is that nothing lasts forever. Just take a drive down Stage or Sycamore View to the city limits and gaze at the dozens of beautiful tulips that spring up every year about this time. These beautiful “Welcome to Bartlett” flowerbeds not only remind us that Spring is here, but also makes us proud that we live in a community like Bartlett.

Also, if not for the bitterly cold winters, we could never truly appreciate a warm springtime sun on our backs, and with it the promise of long walks with loved ones, the crack of a bat hitting a baseball, the smell of a fresh-cut lawn and the taste of a sizzling steak cooked on an outdoor grill.

We will venture outside once again and enjoy long talks with our neighbors and get caught up with each other’s lives. We’ll feel the tug of a big one just hooked. We’ll again know the thrill, occasionally anyway, of a perfectly hit nine-iron. We’ll lounge out on the patio with a good book, listen to birds providing the perfect background music and enjoy sunlight well into the evening.

So, welcome, Spring 2014.

What took you so long?

Rick Jacobs is a process server for Shelby County and a longtime resident of Bartlett. Contact him at