When I went to bed Sunday night, it was already snowing.
How much snow would be on the ground when I woke up Monday morning remained uncertain. Even though the forecast called for 2-4 inches, the pessimistic side of me who is accustomed to Mississippi Delta winters was certain none of it would actually stick.
I was pleasantly surprised when I looked out my bedroom window the morning after to see a blanket of white fluff — about 3 inches in fact — covering the ground.
As my two children slept, I crept around the house and gathered everyone’s thickest winter coats and boots. They had no clue what was just outside their bedroom windows.
My husband, who leaves the house for work before the sun rises, even drove home just to play with his kiddos in the snow.
What a terrific morning it was too. We spent an hour throwing snowballs, building snowmen that stood less than a foot tall, and taking several pictures to remember this rare occasion.
It was a good thing we played and took pictures when we did because by lunch time, most of the snow had already melted away.
As I was still admiring the beauty of our winter-white morning, I realized how very different things were exactly one year prior.
On the night of Jan. 10, 2020, I went to bed in a fitful state.
There were heavy rains, powerful, high-pitched winds and our electricity began flickering just as I heard the tornado sirens sounding off outdoors.
Terrified, my entire family crammed together in our hall bathroom and waited for the worst to pass. Eventually, the severe winds calmed, the sirens stopped and it was time to return to bed. I thought that was the end of it.
Early the next morning, I woke up to calls from my brother telling me downtown Greenville received some damage.
Unsure of what to expect, I threw on my raincoat and boots, grabbed my camera and drove toward Main Street.
Along my drive, I saw several broken tree limbs, fallen trees and debris.
Downtown was an absolute mess with debris scattered all about, several buildings damaged and one building, thankfully unoccupied, had even collapsed.
The decision was also made later that day to finally demolish the already dilapidating Elks Lodge.
As we all know now, a tornado had, in fact, made its way toward the Queen City after traveling across Lake Ferguson. Some of the homes along Lake Ferguson were hit the hardest by the tornado, leaving their homes completely destroyed.
I then drove to Metcalfe, where I saw even more downed trees and damaged homes due to what meteorologists called straight-line winds.
It was a terrible storm that left many residents with a lot of hard work to clean and make repairs.
I would have never guessed that exactly one year later, we would wake up to a scene of children playing in snow.
People are, just by nature, resilient creatures.
When we are faced with difficulties, we find a way to deal with it and we move forward. That's all any of us can do.
I think about that a lot, especially during these times of uncertainty and strife in our nation.
Despite how any of us may feel on either end of the spectrum, I can assure you of one thing: life will go on.
Every single time we get ready to welcome a new U.S. president, there are those who say the worst has yet to come, the end is near and many say they will just move to another country.
And, every single time, our day-to-day lives continue without much, if any, interruption.
After the many elections I’ve seen come and go, I still don't know a single person who has kept their word and moved to a far off land just because a new president has taken office.
Whether or not my husband and I have been in favor of president-elects, we always say we’re just going to keep living our lives. That’s what we have always done and plan to always do.
It's really as simple as that.
Catherine Kirk is managing editor of the Delta Democrat-Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.