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Today is May 9, 2021

Mississippi Seen

Creation shakin’

By Walt Grayson

Creation shakin’

Our chief meteorologist at WJTV, Ken South, was pretty much correct in saying the rare ice storm we had at the end of winter was a “generational” event. I’ve seen a few of them — 1994 being the most memorable. I may even have wisps of recollections from the 1951 ice storm. Someone held me up to the dining room window and showed me a blue world overshadowed by dark gray clouds with white ground and shiny, drooping trees. I would have been a little less than two years old at the time. Funny, I can remember something from that far back but don’t recall right off where I laid my car keys a little while ago.

Snows and ice storms are exciting events when you are a child. Not so much when you are older and actually have to get out in them. Plus, snows and ice storms are way too cold for Mississippi. So, I hope Ken is right and another bad one won’t come along for a few decades.

But that’s behind us now. We are in the time of year when “God Shakes Creation.” That’s what Greenville writer David Cohn titled his first book, taken from the sermon of a Delta preacher describing what happens to the world when spring finally erupts out of winter.

I grew up in Greenville but was totally unaware of Davin Cohn until much later in life. I was very familiar with his description of the parameters of the Delta. Beginning in, “The lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis and ending on Catfish Row in Vicksburg.” But I always thought William Faulkner said it. Actually, the Delta doesn’t quite make it all the way into Memphis or Vicksburg but stops shy of both. But Cohn was talking about more than physical attributes, anyway.

In a typical year, by the beginning of April, creation has already shaken a good bit. The Japanese magnolia has bloomed. So has the wisteria, the dogwood and the jonquils and daffodils. Irises are popping up. And by the end of the month, we will have daylilies. And the daylilies will stay with us through early June, with re-bloomers straggling all summer.

I dug up a daylily bed in our yard that had become too shaded to bloom last October and transplanted everything I found into pots and put them in Miz Jo’s greenhouse over the winter. The first warm day this year I took a couple of pots of daylilies and a couple of pots of irises and transplanted them into a new flower bed. And the next morning I could hardly get out of bed my back was so sore. Now I’m wondering what I’m going to do with the other 100 or so plants that need putting into the ground.

Maybe gardening needs to be a generational thing, too. The grandkids can replant my daylilies. I can just see that happening. Getting them to do that really would shake creation!


Walt Grayson is the host of “Mississippi Roads” on Mississippi Public Broadcasting television and the author of two “Looking Around Mississippi” books and “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Homegrown Stories.” Walt is also a reporter and 4 p.m. news anchor at WJTV in Jackson. He lives in Brandon and is a Central Electric member. Contact him at

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