March Begins. I Can Coast Now.

That’s me back in March of 1968 in front of my childhood home, an old log cabin, standing in a rare March snow for NW Tennessee.

I can remember it. Clear as day. Every year on March 1st, even if it was snowing, my daddy would say, “Tommy, we can coast now. We’ve made it through February, that’s the worst of it.” He’d go on to tell me that even though we can get some major snows in March, and we did. Lort! 1968, 14 inches in one day and no power for a week on the farm back in NW Tennessee as a child growing up. My dad assured me March snows can’t stay around long and spring was well on its way! He was right.

Winter back there could be gentle or harsh. Even if we didn’t get a lot of snow, I recall winters as being really dead. Hundreds of acres of empty, harvested soybean and cotton rows frozen in sometimes single digit weather. My daddy would often be in his coveralls going out to break ice in the ponds so the cows could drink. Or, him on the tractor hauling square bales of hay to the wooden feeders out in the pasture.

My dad, Billie Stafford, and I back in 1966 out feeding the cows one day. This particular day didn’t look too terribly cold.

Winters here in the Blue Ridge aren’t that much different than those back near the Mississippi River. The county I grew up in was as far west as you could go without dropping off into the Mighty Missip! Though we were about 4 weeks ahead of the seasons in warm weather and four seasons behind with fall and winter arriving.

Even with a decent frost on the ground at the farm this March 1, 2022, there are sure signs of spring. Winter is packing its bags. Though we still have several weeks of back and forth cold vs warm weather here in the mountains, warmer days are quickly approaching.

I’ve never been much of a winter person, even back in Tennessee. I couldn’t wait until those hot summer days riding on my horse without a shirt around the farm and in the river bottoms with the sun blazing. The same holds true here in the Blue Ridge. I look forward to those late afternoon thunderstorms rumbling across the mountains off in the distance. Sitting in the creek near the house when it’s hot as hell and the air is so thick you can cut it with a knife.

Soon the time changes, the days get much longer, and we can say goodbye to the ice and snow and the cold winds blowing.

Welcome Meteorological Spring Class of 2022!

My dad and I back in 1966 out feeding the cows one day. This particular day didn’t look too terribly cold.



About tommystafford

Recovering from life as TV news reporter. Airplane & helicopter pilot. Weather guesser. Farmer. Trail runner, dad & husband living in the beautiful Central Virginia Blue Ridge mountains!
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2 Responses to March Begins. I Can Coast Now.

  1. Debora says:

    I’m ready for spring on the plains of Colorado too. Supposed to be 68 today. Then snow again this weekend. Spring storms will be starting soon. Take care! Deb;)


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